As I was saying to you last week, the campaign #RomaniaInMovies continues with a list of mistakes made in movies about Romania. And since Dracula movies are a big hit even nowadays, we start with Dracula's Daughter. A 1936 American vampire horror film produced by Universal Studios. It stars Otto Kruger as Dr. Jeffrey Garth, Gloria Holden as Countess Marya Zaleska - Dracula's Daughter, Marguerite Churchill as Janet and Edward Van Sloan as Professor Von Helsing.
The movie tells the story of Countess Marya Zaleska, Dracula’s daughter, herself a vampire. After his father’s death, she thinks that if she destroys his body she will become human and be free of his influence. When she can’t, she talks with Dr. Jeffrey Garth who is a psychiatry.
Accordingly, to the Romanian myths and legend, there is a little bit of truth about his daughter’s existence. It is known that Vlad the Impaler had 5 children, Radu, Vlad Tepelus, Mihail, Mihnea I cel Rău (Mihnea the Wrongdoer) and Zaleska. On the other hand, the movie tries to imitate the story of Bram Stoker’s "Dracula's Guest", but has no resemblance to the original source material.
Next on our list is another Dracula movies, Dracula 2000 built upon Bram Stoker's 1987 novel Dracula. It is a 2000 American horror film directed by Patrick Lussier. It stars Gerard Butler as Count Dracula/Judas Iscariot, Christopher Plummer as Abraham Van Helsing, Jonny Lee Miller as Simon Sheppard and Justine Waddell as Mary Heller.
The movie starts with a team of very well equipped thieves, entering a high-security room, hoping to steal works of art of inestimable value. When they got there they see a very well protected room hiding a crypt, which wasn’t opened for 100 years. Here lies Dracula that will unleash his terror again on the modern world.
The movie has no connection with the novel or the legends about Vlad the Impaler. Even though the film received negative critical reaction and it was a critical and commercial disappointment, two direct-to-video sequels were produced.
Dracula II: Ascension is the sequel to Dracula 2000. It is a 2003 direct-to-video American-Romanian horror film, directed by the same Patrick Lussier. It stars Stephen Billington as Dracula/Judas Iscariot, Jason Scott Lee as Father Uffizi, Jason London as Luke, Craig Sheffer as Lowell and Diane Neal as Elizabeth Blaine.
The story continues with a new challenge for Jason Scott Lee, Jason London and Craig Sheffer involving Dracula. When a stranger comes with a proposal to offer them 30 million dollars to get Dracula’s blood and to sell it to auction, they can’t refuse. Elizabeth Blaine, working at the New Orleans morgue, receives Dracula's 'corpse' from her friend and co-worker Luke following the events of Dracula 2000. While Elizabeth is examining the body she pricks her finger on Dracula’s fang, but she doesn’t he isn’t human. This event will transform her into a vampire. As you probably guessed there is no resemble with the original story about Dracula and same goes for Dracula III.
Dracula III: Legacy is the sequel to Dracula 2000 and Dracula II: Ascension. It is a 200 horror movie, directed by the same director and played almost by the same cast.
Father Uffizi (Jason Scott Lee) and Luke (Jason London) arrive in Romania, to his castle in the Carpathian Mountains, to find and rescue Elisabeth, now a news reporter, to chase away once and for all the vampires.
Last, on our list of Dracula movies, it is Dracula Untold, a 2014 American dark fantasy & horror movie directed by Gary Shore. It stars Luke Evans as Vlad III Țepeș, the man who becomes the mythological Dracula, Sarah Gadon as Mirena / Mina, wife of Vlad, Dominic Cooper as Mehmed II and Art Parkinson as Ingeras (in English: Angel), son of Vlad / Dracula.
The Romanian History gets a new makeover from Hollywood with Dracula Untold, that says the story of Vlad the Impaler exploring his tragic events that turned him into the most fearless vampire of all times. The story begins when Vlad was mortal and describes the turbulent family relationship with Mehmet Sultan. To save his family, Vlad sells his soul to the devil.
There are some parts that follow the legend of Vlad the Impaler, but there are also deviations.
Hotel Transylvania finds his way in this list of Dracula movies too, because Sony Picture’s animation is purely fictional and it’s a lot of fun to watch with the family. Dracula has not a hotel, he didn't have a daughter named Mavis and the list can continue.
Even though every movie doesn't follow by the book the stories that surround the life of Vlad the Impaler this doesn't mean that you shouldn't watch them, on the contrary. Watch them and tell us what you think :)
Next week the campaign will end, but before that, we will talk about some of the most famous movies shot in Romania. Stay close :)