(I originally put this up on Horror-Writers, but decided to post it here as well. I was talking to a couple people that write for the site, and they were talking about how bad Dario Argento’s Dracula was. So I watched it and wrote this.)
On numerous occasions, Shawn has proclaimed this movie “the worst movie ever made”. I believe Chassity has backed him up on these claims.
I took these bold proclamations as a personal challenge. I sat through Blood Gnome – a movie about knock-off Ghoulies in the world of S&M – in its entirety. I refused to believe that Dracula 3D could be worse. It was directed by Dario Argento, for God’s sake. I’ve never been a huge fan of the man, but at least his films have a visually interesting aspect to them.
And so, with half a bottle of Scotch at my disposal, I hit play and prepared myself for the onslaught of Dracula 3D in 2D.
May my non-existent children forgive me.
My confusion started early, and set the stage for what was to come. I swore the music playing over the credits was the same music used in Mars Attacks. Was I to infer that Dracula was actually an alien? I assumed the answer was an emphatic “yes”. Dracula – THE Dracula – had given up pork. I was left to wonder when (not if) Tom Jones would be showing up. Dracula turning into a mantis. It’s not unusual, indeed.
Within the first five minutes, I witnessed a busty young lass take off her clothes and get railed in a barn by a local (married) farmer. In my experience, there's nothing a woman likes more from her married lover than hurried, dirty sex in a barn. At least throw on some Marvin Gaye, man. They had a tiff afterwards (something about him being married, the cross she was wearing, and their differing opinions of the style in which As I Lay Dying was written, I believe), which led to her running through the woods from an owl and becoming Dracula’s newest plaything, while a man with a shotgun smiled and nodded his approval.
At this point, I had come to believe that I had contracted the flu. Nothing else would explain these images currently being burrowed into my brain.
Not long after that, Jonathan Harker – who looked absolutely nothing like Neo – arrived at Dracula’s castle and noticed the lack of Dracula’s reflection in a mirror. “Must be a trick of the light,” he said. “Or proof that your parents haven’t conceived you yet,” I replied, cackling into my glass. At this point, I went to the nearest mirror and was shocked to find that I also lacked a reflection. I chalked it up to the Scotch, and not the madness this film was inflicting on me. While it was still too soon to know for sure, I felt as though I were already past the point of no return. Soon, I would be pulling off the legs of those closest to me and hearing terrible, disjointed music blared out from the heavens.
Or was that Yellow Brick Road? At this point, it was impossible to tell. I ditched the glass and decided to drink straight from the bottle. The night was getting away from me. Dracula had already claimed another victim, though I was not ready to admit it to myself just yet.
Naked ladies were everywhere now. There was one, desperately trying to suck the life of out Jonathan’s bloody hand, stealing pictures of his wife, and engaging in some passionate necking. There was another, being bathed as part of a sexy bathtime routine by her best friend. There was another, descending the walls of Dracula’s castle on Rapunzel’s hair. And still another, being thrown to the ground by Dracula and hissing at him while he bit into Jonathan’s (obviously) delicious neck.
Naked ladies and bad CGI dogmen are the only things that make sense to me anymore. They are my currency, and I am their master.
At this point, I began to question the decisions of any director who thought it would be completely appropriate to film his daughter getting a sexy naked spongebath. I may be in no position to judge, but that’s pretty weird.
I watched Renfield running bloody through the streets and wondered if it were him or me. Had I somehow joined the characters onscreen, like some sort of Brea Grant-less Midnight Movie? I checked myself, and found no blood. It couldn’t be me, then. So why was I howling at the moon? And how did my clothes end up in tatters? I looked to my bottle and found it was almost full. Nothing makes sense anymore.
I watched a sick Lucy Kisslinger in bed and found one way we are similar: we both wear sheer nightgowns in front of our fathers. Her father seemed more open to it than mine. Perhaps the Buffalo Bill voice was a bit too much.
“I dreamt a wolf tore a woman to pieces,” a frantic and increasingly helpless Mina Harker proclaimed. I tipped back the bottle, drank deep and replied, “And I was that wolf. And I was that woman. And I was the ground on which it happened.” I drank again and saw nothing but the wolf. And he was hungry like he should be.
I recall flashes of activity: of life and death and blood and hope and love and loss. And all of it washed over me like a waterfall.
I saw Dracula appear in a cloud of flies and lay waste to the establishment.
I saw wolves running around Mina and wondered aloud how Argento got those wolves to ignore the helpless woman on the ground while filming, and whether the first five Minas were torn to shreds.
I saw three cockroaches that I believe were supposed to be Dracula, but I was never quite sure.
I saw Rutger Hauer.
I saw a giant praying mantis climb a staircase and kill a fat man. I laughed harder than I should have, which frightened my dog. She looked at me and asked, “What are you doing with your life that you are here, right now, watching this?” but her lips never moved.
When the end finally came, it was swift and unrelenting. I wasn’t sure if it was actually the end, or just the end of my already fragile mind. I opened the DVD player and found that there was nothing in there. Did any of this ever actually happen?
I pinched myself. I was me. I am me. I am one. I am a rock. I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar.
I looked up. The TV was blank. I got out of the chair to find that two days had passed.
I checked the mirror.
I had a reflection.
I had survived, though I have no idea what kind of life I am capable of anymore.
I left the bottle of Scotch next to my chair and walked outside into the great wide open. I drank all of it in. Every single inch. I saw a bug fly by and smiled knowingly.“I’ll see you again, Count. I'll see you real soon.”