Cinema/TV, Dracula, Film Notes

Your Daily Dracula – Brad Austin, Destruction Kings (2005)

Your Daily Dracula – Brad Austin, Destruction Kings (2005)

Not an easy watch.  It’s the major production of a prolific outfit called Low Budget Pictures – which seems to consist mostly of director-actor-writer-producer-cinematographer Chris Seaver – who have turned out an enormous number of films (shorts, features, webisodes, fan films, whatever) since Commando Kids and I Was a Teenage Ape in 1991.  The LBP oeuvre, which features recurring characters, crossovers and something approaching a Shit Cinematic Universe, includes Splatter Squad, Bloody Nipples, Anal Paprika, Scrotal Vengeance, Filthy McNasty, Blood Trim: The Bleeding, The House on Bonejack Hill, High Octane Fury of Jack Hardcore, I Spit Chew on Your Grave, Terror at Blood Fart Lake, Geek War, etc, etc.  On the strength of Destruction Kings, few hardy souls are liable to become LBP completists.

Shot on location in a high school, it’s a comedy-horror with a lot of scenes of people talking to each other while wearing strange outfits and daintily transgressing without ever managing to be in the least bit interesting.  Mr Bonejack (Seaver), who has a Don King wig and moustache and speaks in blaxploitation slang while being obviously white, and TeenApe (Casey Bowker), in Planet of the Apes mask and gloves, work for the Paranormal Investigation Agency and are assigned by their boss – a man in drag, or a man playing a woman, or a trans performer – to stop a trio of monsters who have come to town from doing monster things.  They also have to take along new agent Brandy Kaufman (Ariauna Albright), who isn’t impressed by TeenApe’s long, boastful, explicit chat-up line (the film has a lot of these – admittedly, often with kick-to-the-nads responses from the chat-up-ees).  Dracula (Brad Austin), Eddie the Wolfman (Trais Indovina) and Funkenstein (Jason McCall) – who does blaxploitation dialogue in a British accent and wears a faceload of clay – are sat in a car with some prostitutes going through one of the film’s too many long talks.  Meanwhile, in a room full of Star Wars merch (the prequel trilogy) and a significant Monster Squad poster, some enthusiastic teenage monster hunters from Bonejack High – Steffon (Shawn Green), Mowgli (A.J. Stabone) and Katie (Noel Williams) – want to get in on the act, and eventually intersect with the plot.

Influenced by Troma, South Park, Beavis and Butthead and ‘80s monster mashes, it’s mostly an inept ordeal.  One or two of the actors – Albright, McCall, Williams – commit so wholly to the terrible script that they occasionally get laughs, but most of the players are defeated.  It’s all talk until one gruesome bloody vagina gross-out effect inaugurates ketchup-sloshing gore – it’s the most memorable moment in the film, but out of tune with the rest of it.  Seaver being notionally in blackface comes a long way down the list of issues you might take up with the filmmakers – at a key point, Mr Bonejack is despondent until the voice of his guru mentor Bill Fucking Cosby speaks to him and inspires him to get back in the game.  Austin’s chubby, schlubby, pimp Dracula isn’t exactly the most intimidating Prince of Darkness ever seen on screen.



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