Lead Actors: Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gordon,
Producer: Joseph M. Caracciolo |
In which we meet Vlad the Impaler, played well by a dark and brooding Luke Evans, whom you may recognize as the Dragon Killer from The Hobbit.
Vlad was a child-slave turned warrior for the growing Turkish army in the middle ages. And although he had been taken from the comfort of his own home and sent to foreign lands to fight foreign wars, he excelled. Vlad The Impaler became one of the best soldiers of that time and gained a reputation for himself.
Fast forward to when the Turks gave him his freedom when he was a full adult. He left military service and started a quiet, peaceful kingdom on a mountainside with a monastery as the center of this community.
There, he locked up his uniform and his legendary, murderous sword, and started a life and a wonderfully peaceful kingdom, over which he ruled as Prince. Ironically though, he does not develop a military for his small kingdom. A huge mistake in retrospect - also a good ad for any Republican candidate..
Vlad DOES finds himself an outrageously beautiful local girl to marry, Mirena, played by the illustrious Sarah Gadon.
This makes it that much easier for a Turk General, Mehmed, played by Dominic Cooper, to stop by one day, take his taxes from Vlad, and then ask for 1000 of their boys to train as soldiers, a barbaric tradition Vlad had thought was over.
Most importantly, they ask for Vlad's son. This turns out to be a tough demand. Vlad had promised Mirena that their son would never be forced into becoming soldiers.
This, in essence, requires Vlad to revert to beast mode and kill about six of the Turk's recruiting officers. This, he knows, will provoke a response.
So, logically, he climbs a mountain, goes into a cave, and asks the help of a monster he encountered earlier who seems to have a knack for killing Turks. If it seems as if this plot summary is jumping ahead of itself, this is pretty much how it happens in the movie.
The monster is, of course what we know today as Dracula. He convinces Vlad to drink his blood, and this gives Vlad otherworldly strength and speed. Vlad eagerly accepts and destroys the Turkish Army, but creates bigger problems for himself and most notably in his eternal spiritual life.
Who Would Like it and Why Who Might not Like it and Why
People who enjoy alternative versions of the story of Dracula. Myself, I was asked to play a Vampire Slayer this Halloween, and I researched the legend.
Like most legends, this one has a thousand different interpretations, and the monster Dracula has taken on a thousand different forms. Even in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a recent Judd-Apatow- produced comedy about breaking up, we see one man's interpretation of Dracula as a flawed romantic protagonist and Van Helsing, the hunter, as the antagonist.
Basically, in the last 150 or so years of cinema Dracula has taken all shapes.
This story had a very human beginning, and we see that sometimes a monster does not start off a monster, sometimes they start off a human-which is interesting in and of itself.
There was a tragically beautiful scene as (SPOILER ALERT) Mirena falls off a cliff and Vlad uses his special powers to try to catch her but is a second and inch to late as she plunges slow motion to her death.
Three Mike and Ikes