BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA’S GUEST. 2007. LIONSGATE PRESENTS FRIGHT CLUB. BASED ON THE WRITINGS OF BRAM STOKER. WRITTEN, DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY MICHAEL FEIFER. STARRING WES RAMSEY, ANDREW BRYNIARSKI AND KELSEY MCCANN. CATERING BY MICHAEL. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
Far be it from me, a humble reviewer, to have a pop at anyone’s efforts and achievements, but this is a pretty bad film. It might even be the worst film I’ve ever seen. If it’s any consolation to the film-makers, however, I still kind of liked it. It was fun to watch, though I’m kind of surprised that Bram Stoker hasn’t yet climbed out of his grave to take his name off it and slap the director in the kisser with a wet kipper. That’s how bad it is, I’m sorry to say. Don’t believe me…? Read on for a bit.
Elizabeth Murray is a beautiful but annoying English girl of indeterminate accent. For reasons known only to herself, she’s in love with a big red-headed beardy ‘Oirish’ lummox by the name of Bram Stoker. His degree in engineering perfectly qualifies him to work in the area of real estate. Yes, I know that that doesn’t make sense, but it’s in the fillum. Trust me. I’m Oirish…
Any-hoo, Elizabeth’s father, Admiral Murray, orders the pair to separate for a year so Lizzie, for reasons I couldn’t quite fathom, runs away to London. At least, she tries to. At the train station, she is kidnapped by the worst, oddest-looking Dracula ever. His outfit looks like it was cobbled together from charity shop cast-offs. His fangs are ill-fitting and so when he talks, he has to keep running his tongue around them to check that they haven’t fallen out. They also make him sound ‘spitty,’ I’m sorry to say.
He takes Lizzie to his ‘castle’ in ‘Transylvania.’ The funniest thing about the film was perhaps the way in which they indicated a change of country to the viewer. When we were in ‘London,’ for example, they showed us the word ‘London’ and a picture of buildings in a place that my friend assured me is most definitely not London. And she should know. She’s actually been to London once, for an overnight stay. So there, haha…
Anyway, Dracula’s ‘castle’ is no more in ‘Transylvania’ than it’s in my bloody back garden. In fact, some of the scenes look like they’re actually filmed in someone’s back garden, or maybe a quiet corner of a public park. There are even two sheds in one scene that definitely look like they belong in someone’s backyard, or up someone’s allotments. (Why does that phrase, ‘up the allotments,’ always sound dirty to me? Maybe I just have a dirty mind. Snigger…)
And the inside of Dracula’s ‘castle’ looks like the interior of a public building, the kind that you’re allowed to take tours of for a small fee between the hours of ten and four-thirty, every Monday to Saturday. I even thought I saw the staff lockers a few times, and it looked like the cast and crew only had permission to film in just the one corridor. The basement area in which Dracula ravishes Lizzie and ‘plants his seed’ in her womb is realistic enough, except for the fact that I know they didn’t have duvets in the nineteenth century…
When a stricken Bram Stoker finds out that his beloved Lizzie’s been abducted by the Count, he hotfoots it over to ‘Transylvania,’ passing through various ‘countries’ on the way. He even bumps into some French revolutionaries en route, a bunch of guys who clearly didn’t get the memo about the French Revolution having been done and dusted for a century or more.
Still, if those soldiers’ costumes were just sitting there in the wardrobe department going to waste, they’d have been foolish not to put ’em to good use. Ditto the family pet masquerading as the ‘killer’ wolf. Well, if he’s there and he’s not doing anything else for the day, why spring for anything pricier and more realistic…? It makes good fiscal sense, to my mind.
Shall I put you out of your misery? Lizzie’s dad turns up at Dracula’s ‘castle’ to attempt to save his uppity offspring and also to settle old scores with the Count, with whom he has a long and ‘surprising’ history. I won’t tell you the ending on the off-chance you actually want to dig out the film and watch it for yourself. It’s great fun to watch, I won’t deny that.
My friend and I laughed ourselves silly at the poor- and sometimes baffling- editing, the hilariously mixed-up accents, the terrible acting and swordfighting and the worst Dracula in the history of cinema. Check out the sex scene between the Count and Lizzie. I mean, does the Count, that legendary lover as immortalised by the late Sir Christopher Lee, actually know what sex with a woman involves…? It honestly doesn’t look like it.
I feel bad now for having slagged off this film. The writer, producer and director Michael Feifer clearly invested a lot of himself in it. He may even have brought the sandwiches. In the credits, it clearly said: ‘CATERING BY MICHAEL.’ See…? Who the heck am I to poke holes in what might well be someone’s life’s work? For that reason, yes, I feel bad. I’m sorry, Michael Feifer. Please forgive me…
Maybe I should let you guys make up your own minds. On the positive side, Kelsey McCann who plays Lizzie is lovely to look at and the park where they shot one of the scenes is very nice. On the downside (again), the DVD box clearly said the film was only 87 minutes long but it felt much longer. Much longer.
Also, the two people featured on the cover are not even in the film. I just thought I’d mention that. It’s probably not all that important but it’s still true. Perhaps I should sign off now. I’m just digging myself deeper into this hole with every word I write. This film is… a film, and it’s probably available to watch someplace. That is all…
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:
1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’
2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY
3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA
4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
5) CANCER BALLS
6) CATCH OF THE DAY
7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.
8) FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
9) THE DEVIANTS
10) VISITING DAY