Dracula Iii: Legacy Movie Review
The latest installment in this "Wes Craven Presents..." series of vampire tales, Dracula III continues the saga of the mysterious, once-bitten Father Vincent Uffizi (Jason Scott Lee) and his wise-cracking sidekick Luke (Jason London), as they head deep into the Romanian forest to kill Dracula once and for all, and to rescue Joe's girlfriend Elizabeth (Law and Order SVU's Diane Neal), who turned into a bloodsucker in a sexy red dress in the last movie.
It's a tough trip. Romania is in the grips of a violent civil war as our heroes arrive. Given the various atrocities in Eastern Europe over the last decade, it's perhaps not too far-fetched to imagine that bloodsucking demons from hell are behind all the carnage. That's certainly what a group of French peacekeeping troops believe once they return from a patrol covered with fang marks and unable to describe the horrors they've just seen.
The sickle and whip-wielding Uffizi and spear-toting Luke venture on, first encountering a lovely and veddy veddy British TV reporter (Alexandra Westcourt) and then bumping into a bunch of rebel fighters who are rounding up local civilians to deliver to the castle, where Dracula and his crew wait to drink their blood. As night falls, vampires are everywhere.
After a half-hour or so of decapitation, gunfights, and exploding cars, Uffizi and Joe arrive at the castle for the final showdown with Dracula himself, this time embodied by Rutger Hauer doing a sort of Klaus Kinski shtick, but with an American accent. The good and evil within Uffizi struggle for supremacy as his tainted blood boils. He pulls out the whip, flicks it around, and so on...
Dracula III raises a lot of questions about direct-to-video moviemaking. How much money do they save by shooting in Romania? How much does Roy Scheider get paid to fly over for a single scene as a disapproving bishop who wants Uffizi to stop his bat-chasing missions? Is this really the best job Jason Scott Lee can get? (Please, Jason, say it ain't so!) And does the cliffhanger ending indicate that everyone involved thinks it's a good idea to keep this series going? "The King Is Dead, Long Live the King," proclaims a closing credit. OK, then will somebody please kill the new king in a hurry?
Aka Dracula 3.
Make it stop!