Monday, October 19, 2009

Dracula 3000: Top Your Crappy Horror with A Dollop of Coolio Whip

I've spent a good five minutes working on a zingy introduction to this exploration of yet another crappy direct-to-video horror schlocker; but then I realized that Dracula 3000 ain't even worth that much effort. This from a guy who's spent a lot of time contemplating really lousy horror movies.

What we've got here, friends and neighbors, is an incredibly cheap and impossibly incompetent weld of cheesy vampire flick and one of those Sci-Fi Channel thrillers in which several B-grade actors run around in a darkly-lit factory or airplane hanger that's shoddily standing in for the interior of a spaceship. I guess that makes it a cross-genre effort by crappy home-video standards.

Set in (you guessed it) the year 3000, Dracula 3000 follows the crew of an intergalactic salvage ship as it stumbles across the Demeter, a deserted transport ship packed lots of coffins. Greedy crew members, searching for possible drugs in the coffins, smash some of the caskets open. One reckless crewman cuts his hand, and his blood oozes onto one coffin's contents--a pile of sand. The sand then turns into a guy with fangs, a cape, and a silly white turtleneck, and the fun (relatively speaking, at least) begins.

The only demographic remotely served by Dracula 3000 would be a masochist like me, the kind of mook who'd endure nearly ninety minutes of  numbing, unfun incompetence for the rococco charms of a strange-bedfellows cast that includes strong-jawed home-video hero Casper Van Dien, ex-Baywatch babe Erika Eleniak, beloved Teutonic scenery-chewer Udo Kier, veteran big lug 'Tiny' Lister...and Coolio.

Yes, that Coolio--The one-hit wonder with the bitchin' medusa braids. And he's the undisputed highlight of Dracula 3000...Not that that's saying much.

The rapper normally gives the kind of woozy "Thanks for the Weed Money Paycheck" performance pioneered by Ice Cube. But here, the man behind 'Gangsta's Paradise' goes thoroughly gonzo, intermittently charging this dull throbbing toothache of a movie with a hearty dose of cartoonish glee.

Here he plays 187, the reckless crew member who accidentally unleashes the vampire threat, and once he's infected with the vampire virus, he becomes the movie's surrogate Renfield. 187 rolls his red-contact-lensed eyes and gnashes his fanged choppers with gusto as he throws the rest of the hapless crew through glass shelves and delivers a profane monologue about co-star Eleniak's pneumatically-enhanced figure. If Tex Avery's Big Bad Wolf took a salty cue from 2 Live Crew's Luke Skywalker, he'd act and sound like this.

Thanks to the wonder of YouTube, you can spare yourself the unparalleled agony of sitting through all 86 minutes of Dracula 3000 and enjoy (or at least gaze in slack-jawed WTF wonder at) this bold thespian's effort by going here. Be warned that the dialogue ain't the remotest bit work-appropriate, and that it's crude, infantile and sexist as hell. But the sheer shamelessness of it elevated this little cooked-carrot fart to crazy rotten-egg status for a few brief moments. Just don't think too hard about the fact that Dracula 3000 was written and directed by Darrell Roodt, who helmed the moving and acclaimed Cry The Beloved Country eighteen years previous. Otherwise you might get depressed.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

"Greedy crew members, searching for possible drugs in the coffins,"

Seriously? How the hell did that logic play out?

"Hey, look, coffins!"
"Why yes they are! What do you suppose is inside them?"
"Well, only uncool losers keep dead bodies in coffins, so I'm thinking-"
(in unison) "Mountains of weed!!!"