The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Announcement

Announcement

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I checked the page, and I wanted to make a few announcements.

First and foremost, it appears a dubious site has claimed the old url, meaning any link in any review that goes to the old mattmovieguy url is corrupt. I'm in the process of trying to remove them all, but it's a lot! It's best not to click on any link without hovering over it first to make sure it doesn't have mattmovieguy in the url.

Second, it appears since my last trip to the blog, Photobucket has decided to charge for third party hosting, meaning none of my images are appearing anymore. That's simply an aesthetic issue, but still annoying.

Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.

--Matt

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Dracula III: Legacy (2005)

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The idea of Rutger Hauer as Dracula kind of intrigues me. The idea of Rutger Hauer as anything intrigues me, that's why he's in the DTVC Hall of Fame. What scares me is when I see his name listed on a DTV flick, because I want to see him in it, but I know full well I could be trapped by the Hauer Bait-and-Switch.

Dracula III: Legacy picks up where Dracula II: The Ascension left off. In fact, just in case we don't believe them that III picks up where II left off, we're treated to an opening of flashbacks that work as a Cliff's Notes version of part II. Jason Scott Lee is back, only now the Dracula he's chasing is played by Rutger Hauer. He still has Jason London (not to be confused with his twin brother Jeremy) as his plucky little sidekick (I say little, but he's probably bigger than me), but he's no longer working for the Catholic Church. Good ol' Roy Scheider's given him the boot. Undeterred, he's now on his own mission to kill Dracula-- he don't need no stinkin' church. London wants in to save his girlfriend, who turned into a vampire in the last film. The two track Hauer down to his lair in Romania, in a plot that's similar but not quite as cool as Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf, where Jason Scott Lee has a not-so-difficult time killing him.

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This wasn't too bad. I could've used more Hauer, but when can I not, right? I wouldn't give this the stamp of Hauer Bait-and-Switch, but it's treading on that territory. For a vampire film it wasn't too bad, but it wasn't covering any new ground either. Knowing that the Blade films are my standard for excellence in the DTV vampire genre, I'd say this film was a nice try: entertaining, but not spectacular.

Jason Scott Lee was great in this, and he's one of the chief factors that made this fun to watch. He has sweet one liners, and delivers all of them in this tongue-in-cheek style that let's us know he knows they're silly, but won't betray his character. None of them are that funny alone, but in the context of the film they'll make you laugh. This is the second film of his reviewed on the DTVC (Timecop: The Berlin Decision being the other), and I hope to do more in the future. He's kind of like a Marc Dacascos, where no matter what he's in he's usually good, but he's not often cast as a leading man like a Dolph or a Don "The Dragon" Wilson.

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Jason London is in this. He's the guy from Dazed and Confused. He's not the guy from Mallrats and Party of Five. That would be his twin brother, Jeremy. Don't worry, I was having trouble with the whole thing as well. Usually if twin brothers are actors, one gets the bulk of the big roles. That's not the case with these two. And there isn't much that distinguishes them either: they act and sound identical. My advice whenever watching a film with one of them in it is to consult imdb to see if it's the one from Dazed and Confused, or Mallrats. Again, for Dracula III, it's the one from Dazed.

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SPOILER ALERT: SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE ENDING!
On the DVD in the extras section, there's an alternate ending. The one they go with in the actual film is pretty cheesy: Jason Scott Lee becomes Dracula, and takes this reporter he's fallen in love with as his bride. The alternate one has London and Scott Lee both losing their chicks, but beating Dracula and walking off into the sunset. Here's my theory on why they didn't go with that one: the film makers were too homophobic. By killing the two love interests, they're essentially saying: "We don't need women when we have each other". I for one am okay with that. These film makers need to stop being so scared to have homosexual undertones in their movies. It worked for Boondock Saints. I can't think of a movie with fewer homosexual undertones, and Alpha Males love that one.

This isn't a bad deal. If you don't expect too much, and are ready for the unintended silliness, then give this a rip. It may not quite be good enough to screen at a bad movie night with a bunch of people, but if you're kicking back on a Sunday and need to kill a couple hours with some friends, you could do a lot worse.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0303929/

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