Cinema/TV, Dracula, Film Notes

Your Daily Dracula – Tony Todd as Sylvian, Vampire in Vegas (2008)

Your Daily Dracula – Tony Todd as Sylvian, Vampire in Vegas (2008)

‘Let’s just say that last night I found out pink ooze and garlic don’t mix.  I’ll explain later.’

A quickie vaguely on The Hangover (with a ‘what happens in Vegas’ punchline) and the perennial popularity of vampires.  Sylvian (Tony Todd), the vampire/narrator, sometimes wears a monkish robe which passes as a Dracula cloak, has a gabbled-through backstory that doesn’t mean anything, and has hired Dr vanHelm (Delia Sheppard, once an erotic thriller fixture) to come up with a serum so he can walk in the daylight (not exactly an unfamiliar plot element).  Meanwhile, Rachel (Sonya Joy Sims) has gone to Vegas to keep tabs on her fiancé Jason (Edward Spivak) on his stag weekend, urged by her troublemaking best friend Dino (Frankie Cullin) – they all fall into the clutches of Sylvian and vanHelm, who need human/vampire subjects for their experiments, and Rachel becomes an unwilling vampire (Dino is more enthusiastic).

It spends more time in the Bronson Cavern area than Vegas, where some campers witness the turning-to-dust-at-dawn of some tied-up vampires – part of the experiments – and a couple of cops (GiGi Erneta, Ted Monte) plod through the film trying to add up the pieces.  In the end, Jason drinks vampire blood and grows pathetic CGI wings (the cartoon batwings in Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein are better) so he can have a fight with Sylvian.  It has a vampire stripper, of course (taut-tummied, fake-titted Bradin Rackley, star of Cleavagefield, Bikini Frankenstein and The Hills Have Thighs), but little in the way of exploitation elements.  Bald Bill Sunflower plays a Renfield who organises Vegas parties and doubles as Sylvian’s campaign manager in his scheme to build on his can-go-out-in-the-sun status to be elected Governor and then President.

Todd, a low-rent horror regular since his Candyman stint, has a Robert Englund-ish aspiration to classical horror stardom (cf: his take on Jekyll and Hyde) but doesn’t do much but rant and preen in a whispery voice as one of the blander vampire overlords on record – and his patchy/stubbly bald look doesn’t work (it’s kind of an attempted Erich von Stroheim ‘do).  There’s a speech (pace: The Night Stalker, the Fright Night remake) about how perfect Las Vegas is for a vampire, but without much in the way of on-the-strip location work that’s all a bit academic.  Written by Nicholas Davidoff (Anaconda 3); directed by the prolific Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall, The Breastford Wives, Attack of the 50 Foot CamGirl).


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