Vlad (2003)
By: Devon B. on September 24, 2008  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Eagle Entertainment (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 4:3. English DD 2.0. 101 minutes
The Movie
Director: Michael D. Sellers
Starring: Billy Zane, Brad Dourif, Paul Popovich, Kam Heskin, Francesco Quinn
Screenplay: Michael D. Sellers
Country: USA
External Links
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I live in a bit of rural area, and while that's great in terms of not having assholes everywhere, it does suck when you go to the local video store and the only horror movie you haven't seen is a Billy Zane movie about Dracula. Some people might say it's better to just not hire said movie, but those people are smarter than me. I really should've been steered away when I picked up the DVD and saw the cover, which makes Billy Zane look stupid, which is no small feat. I think I also got that great GWAR song about Dracula in my head, and for some reason thought the movie might live up to that. It doesn't. If the movie hadn't been called Vlad, I might well have avoided it, but I just kept going "He's Vlad, Vlad, Vlad the Impaler…" and distracted myself so much I ended up at the bench hiring the damned thing.

The movie begins with Indie's sidekick John Rhys-Davies narrating. That's the high point. The story of Dracula is again rewritten, this time putting great emphasis on some heirloom amulet in the Drac family, so I've decided this movie should've been called Dracula's Family Jewel. Anyway, some shit goes down in Vlad's time, and then we go to present day where four people are working on their thesises in Romania. There's a local lady in the group, and she shows us she has the Family Jewel before taking a bath (apparently in her panties). She begins having flashbacks to Vlad's lifetime, and there's this order of Drac's people searching for the Family Jewel because they think it has great power. It all succumbs into the usual Dracula wants the girl nonsense. Boooooooooooooooooooooring.

Dracula's Family Jewel is down there with other shitty movies like Dracula Rising and Die Hard Dracula. The whole production exudes cheapness. The medieval props look shoddy as all fuck, like the cowl (which has what appear to be shoelace eyelets on it) that looks like it came from the $2 shop. This cheapness makes a line about the Family Jewel possibly being an "excellent replica" very odd. The jokes are appalling, but there is some unintentional humour. In one scene, a character reveals she was named after her great aunt, who died at the age of 21 and everyone in her family was worried that she would die young. That's the whole story. What's the response? "That's amazing." Seriously, the amazing bit is that that story was even in the script because NOTHING HAPPENED.

Low budget idiocy like Dracula's Family Jewel is what put me off vampires in the first place, and I have no one to blame but myself for subjecting me to it. I hate me; I'm a jerk.
The film is presented at 1.33:1. There're spicks, specks, dirt and ghosting. The print's a bit dark, and is honestly not much above VHS quality.
Audio is a two channel track. It's a bit loud, and I could never quite get it in synch. This is not always the fault of the DVD, as some of the sound is distracting and inconsistent with the action on screen, like when a sword falls on some grass and clangs.
Extra Features
Well, according to the slick, the features are: "Trailer" "PAL" "Dolby Digital Stereo" "Music on Main Selection Menu" and "Aspect Ratio 4:3." Wow, Eagle Entertainment really went all out encouraging people to get the DVD over the video.
The Verdict
Unless you want to hear Brad Douriff and Billy Zane doing silly accents, don't bother. You'll get more entertainment cleaning out your toilet, and it would probably be less shitty, too.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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