Though it clocks in at slightly under an hour, this modern-dress, gender-flipped Bram Stoker adaptation still has time for a lengthy scene in which Lucy (Emily Ann Miller) discusses her ambiguous sexuality with an Air Conditioner repairman. That’s only one of many bizarre decisions writer-director Curtis Everitt, evidently working on a microbudget, makes in his rearrangement of the storyline.
Here, Jonathan Harker (Danny Zanelotti) is a middle-aged widower who has lost his faith since his wife’s death, and Mina (Abigail G. Holmes) and Lucy are his stay-at-home daughters, who get pestered by unpleasant suitors because of their dowry. Jonathan receives a postcard (signed ‘D’) from the ghost town of Transylvania, and drives there. He encounters a houseful of oddballs who more or less stand in for Dracula’s brides, then comes home with a new fiancée, the vampire Queen Dracula (Leslie Stewart). Lucy, who has adopted a short haircut and mannish dress so people will think she’s gay, is put in an asylum for complaining about Daddy’s new girlfriend, and bothered by a female Renfield type and the nasty Dr Seward (Jonathan Dixon), who has been one of Mina’s gold-digging beaux. Mina teams up with ex-cop Van (Aaron Mitchell) to go after the vampire brood with very thin stakes – and in a final confrontation, the Queen manifests as a witchy older woman (Melanie Calvert Benson) and a young goth princess (Meredith Mohler) before being destroyed.
It’s strangely prissy as a horror movie (bleeping out bad language) and leans heavily into religion without coming on as a faith-based film. These vampires’ horror of religious objects extends to Jonathan’s wedding ring — QD is vanquished when he puts it on again as he abandons his atheism. Technically, it’s very rough – oddly-paced, awkwardly acted, clumsily-staged, and over-reliant on greenscreen backdrops. Stewart is enthusiastic, and the use of three actors as the Dracula figure is interesting.