Cinema/TV, Dracula, Film Notes

Your Daily Dracula – Leslie Stewart, Queen Dracula (2017)

Your Daily Dracula – Leslie Stewart, Queen Dracula (2017)

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.


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