What a putrid mess. Films this bad don’t seem to come along all that often. Sure, bad movies get produced all the time. The film landscape is littered with poorly made schlock-fests. But this…this is an endeavor worthy of mockery, a movie that makes no pretense of clinging to anything of value. This movie, in other words, is typical of the quality of film that one gets streaming from Netflix. As Felix Salmon of Reuters pointed out this past January, no model exists whereby Netflix can afford the streaming rights on more than a handful of good movies at a time, so everyone out in the tubes with a subscription gets treated to movies as bad as Dracula 3000.
Directed by Darrell Roodt and written by Roodt and Ivan Milborrow, Dracula 3000 doesn’t have the worst premise ever conceived for a horror flick. It’s a thousand years in the future, and a salvage ship has discovered a derelict spacecraft, missing for fifty years but still on an intercept course with earth. The ragtag crew boards the mysterious vessel only to find that all her crew is dead, and she’s carrying a cargo of coffins. A good movie, maybe not a great one, but a good movie, could have been made using this idea. It would have been a shameless ripoff of both monster flicks and vampire flicks, but that doesn’t matter. A good idea is a good idea, and ripping off other ideas is how Hollywood stays in business.
Instead, in Dracula 3000, the audience is treated to a film akin to an Asylum feature but without as much self-awareness. Instead of the professional ensemble of gritty performances viewers saw in a film like Alien, we get Casper Van Dien, Erika Eleniak, Tiny Lister, and Coolio. That’s two pretty faces, Deebo, and a rapper, along with a few other people not worth mentioning. I hold Eleniak’s performance in a particular amount of disdain. I’ve seen better performances out of guest hosts straining to read the cue cards on Saturday Night Live. I’ve seen better performances out of politicians apologizing for cheating on their spouses. There wasn’t a damn thing any of the cast could do right in this film (although Coolio was lively), but Eleniak was encroaching on Sienna Guillory and Robbi Morgan territory. My Loyal Seven readers will know that Guillory and Morgan hold the top spots here at Missile Test for the worst performances I have ever seen in film, followed closely by Brigitte Nielsen and Ernie Reyes, Jr., for their work in Red Sonja. That exclusive club can now welcome another member.
But, now that I think more on it, I can’t just leave the rest of the cast of Dracula 3000 out in the lurch. They deserve some sort of honor. I can’t give them memberships, but there are plenty of staff positions at the club that need filling.
As you approach the Missile Test Wet Paper Bag Club, the velvet rope is guarded by Tiny Lister, typecast as the tough-looking doorman with the weird eye. Slip him a twenty and maybe he’ll let you past. It’ll take a fifty if you have ever been in a Uwe Boll movie.
Inside, be sure to leave your coat at the check with Grant Swanby. He had the least offensive performance in the movie, and thusly gets the post nearest the exit. Host Langley Kirkwood, decked out in his high-collared vampire costume from this film, will show you to a seat at one of the many tables in the lounge. Waitress service is provided by Alexandra Kamp, doing her best to channel Wendy Robie. But hey, hands off, gentlemen. She’s married.
If all the tables are taken, be sure to visit the bar, where Udo Kier and Casper Van Dien are plying their trade. They didn’t get their degrees in mixology from some clown college. They’re the real deal. No Bryan Brown or Tom Cruise in this fine establishment…yet.
Up on the stage, entertainment is being provided by Coolio, who is hypnotizing the crowd with virtuoso renditions on the piano of such cool jazz classics as My Funny Valentine, Stella By Starlight, and Freddie Freeloader. I bet you didn’t think Mr. Ivey had it in him, did you.
But, where are the club’s members? Where are those three special ladies and one gentleman whose ineptitude in front of the camera made the Club possible? They’re in the VIP section, nursing drinks bought for them by Jonathan R. Betuel, smoking Capris and doing lines of high-grade coke cut with ground up pages from Oscar-winning screenplays. You cannot believe the rush you get when the script for Chinatown or Pulp Fiction is coursing through your veins. Keep a steady supply of Kleenex nearby for when the real gushers let loose.
I hesitate even comparing this awful movie to Alien: Resurrection. But, it has to be done. Dracula 3000 is worse. Stay away.