Dario Argento’s “Dracula 3D” isn’t the complete fiasco that virtually every single person who’s seen it is claiming it to be.
Sure, long stretches of it are mind-numbingly boring. Sure, the actor who plays Count D is possibly the least charismatic bloodsucker in the history of cinema. And yeah, a good portion of it is shot so flatly that it’s impossible to detect any 3-D whatsoever.
But every so often there appears on screen something so magically weird, so batshit crazy, so jaw-droppingly “huh?” that I couldn’t help but forgive the film its myriad flaws.
For instance, there’s an eye-popping moment when Dracula transforms himself into a 9 FOOT TALL BRIGHT GREEN PRAYING MANTIS. Top that, Bram Stoker! Plus, it’s got enough old-school gore and gratuitous full-frontal nudity to keep you from falling asleep during the dull bits.
Oh, and Dracula also turns into one of those CGI owls from “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” at one point.
Best of all, there’s Rutger Hauer as a near-catatonic Professor Van Helsing, pounding giant wooden stakes through vampire chests without using a hammer. His hands are so painfully bloated that he simply whacks ’em with his palms! Seriously, I hope they had a team of doctors on set, because Hauer looked like he was one single malt scotch away from full cardiac arrest.
Factor in a few random axe murders, some guy getting his head split in half by a shovel blade, Renfield portrayed as a hulking mongoloid and a non-stop theremin score borrowed from a Simpson’s “Tree House of Horror” episode and you’ve got an unexpected winner, in my humble opinion.