HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary Blood And Money
Year: 2002
Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Zhang Wei-Qiang, Tara Birtwhistle, David Moroni, CindyMarie Small, Johnny A. Wright, Stephane Leonard, Matthew Johnson, Keir Knight, Brent Neale, Stephanie Ballard, Sarah Murphy-Dyson, Carrie Broda, Gail Stefanek, Janet Sartore, Jennifer Welsman
Genre: Horror, MusicalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: It is the eighteenth century, and in Victorian England there is a new arrival to the land, though his influence is not seen as beneficial to the nation as what this Count Dracula (Zhang Wei-Qiang) is here to do is spread his curse of vampirism. One of the lunatics in the nearby asylum, Renfield (Brent Neale), somehow in his feverish madness knows exactly what the Count is up to, but for others it will take longer to latch on - in fact, it will take the seduction of eligible local beauty Lucy Westenra (Tara Birtwhistle) for the menfolk to do something.

As vampires made a comeback in popular fiction at the turn of the millennium, often the grandaddy of them all, Dracula, would pop up in the most expected places, and generally not being hugely impressive in the process. However, director Guy Maddin, a notably idiosyncratic talent from Canada, opted to bring the venerable character to the screen in the form of dance, and in the process created one of the most vivid incarnations of the villain seen for many years. He had been asked to capture Mark Godden's Royal Winnipeg Ballet staging of the tale by a Canadian TV company, and the results were impressive enough to be taken to the cinema.

Tonally the production struck a balance between the genuinely strange and the campy, perhaps recognising that was the best way to translate a plot which had become pretty hoary over the decades since the book was such a sensation. If you wanted your Dracula taken seriously, you sort of had that here, yet if you preferred to laugh at author Bram Stoker's prejudices and repressions, then you could take that away from this as well, and in truth the mood seesawed up and down with those two poles adopted as the touchstones of how to update this successfully for the modern audience.

Not only that, but Maddin employed further distance from his material by making this a silent movie, with only the strains of Mahler symphonies and the odd sound effect providing the soundtrack. There were subtitles which appeared in colour over the mostly black and white imagery, mainly in the form of breathlessly over the top dialogue spoken by the characters (though unheard by us), or observations presented in the comically aghast style of what Stoker would have thought about the situation. In truth, it often seemed as if the film could not make up its mind exactly how sincerely either they should take it, or indeed how sincerely the audience would.

At least the plot adhered fairy closely to the book even as it commented upon it, though here the action dives straight into Lucy being vampirised and subsequently vanquished at the hands of Dr Van Helsing (David Moroni) and her suitors - the business with Jonathan Harker is left to a flashback halfway through. Maddin and his company evidently saw the source as the trigger for much fun at the Victorian era's expense, so this Dracula was expressly an immigrant (played by a Chinese dancer), and the themes of money and greed which the bloodsucker metaphorically embodied were well to the fore: many coins spill and notes flutter. The visuals were very much in the Maddin technique, so if you appreciated this before you'd know what to expect, but ballet fans would find much to enjoy, even if the dance becomes more sexual than they may be used to. As a novelty, this Drac was engaging, as a retelling, it was welcome in a market flooded with vampires not as distinctive as this.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2767 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: