This version of the Bram Stoker tale has kept close to the intention of the
story - if not the detail. The major changes include a modern-day setting, in
Eastern Europe, rather than England; with other changes, many forced by the big
Despite that, the Italian Television production has managed to remain
much nearer the original than any other modern film, and for that reason alone,
the movie deserves credit.
But this ambitious aim has brought problems,
too. The novel, published long before movies were even a twinkle in someone's
eye, is a tortuous tale, told in 'real time', in diary form, in letters ... a
screen writer's nightmare! In their attempt to include every key section of the
book, they have had two major problems; keeping the plot in line and maintaining
enough pace to keep the suspense going.
Some set pieces, such as the coffins
by ship scene, have little relevence in the new geographical setting, merely an
excuse for rather flimsy special effects.
The long drawn out first section,
with Harker's visit to the Castle, takes fully half the movie - leaving the main
action to be successively more squeezed to get it in the alotted time. Whether
this was over indulgent direction, weak editing, or a late decision by the producers,
is not at all clear.
On the subject of special effects, feeble really is
the word. For me, the man into animal suggestions were the weak point of the novel;
here they've been expanded, and badly. Plus there's the mark of the TV Movie -
fog and dry ice in abundance.
Nobody won an Oscar for this movie, but the
acting is quite adequate; Lucy is very seductive; Van Helsing is convincing if
understated, and the rest of the leads carry their roles pretty well. Dracula,
however, is a bit of a let down; he postures and threatens nicely, but really
doesn't have the charisma to carry the role, especially in the seduction scenes.
in all, a TV movie quality TV movie - but a great tribute to the original, and
thoroughly recommended for Vampire devotees.
- Dracula's Curse in Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only); Dracula
in region 2 (Europe). Read more about DVD formats.
- Format: Color, Dolby
for sale to persons under age 18.
- Studio: Lionsgate
- DVD Released
17 August 2004
- Run Time: 110