As the wizened Van Helsing, Christopher Plummer speaks in a standard, fakey sort-of-German accent, at least until the moment he has to intone the name of the evil one. Believe me, you have never heard it pronounced quite like this. It comes out something like, ”Dthhhhac-you-leeyah.” This Van Helsing is no fearless vampire killer. He’s a macabre freak who literally shoots up on Dracula’s blood, which he retrieves from the bodies of live leeches that are crawling all over the evil one’s corpse. You might, in other words, think about skipping the extra butter-goo on your popcorn this time.
There are other freaks in Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000 as well, notably a trio of female vampires who manage to suggest that the au courant role model for girl bloodsuckers has gone from diaphanous lesbian to lascivious dominatrix. But after all of that buildup, Dthhhhac-you-leeyah himself (the blandly Euro Gerard Butler) turns out to be a rather innocuous figure. With his long black coat and incisory overbite, he’s like Neo in The Matrix played by one of the Bee Gees. Standing before a Virgin Megastore in New Orleans, he watches a porno-demonic thrash-metal video and says, ”Brilliant!” Poor Drac! He’s now even less threatening than MTV. Produced by Wes Craven, Dracula 2000 is one of those desultory F/X-and-no-script potboilers that seems to restart itself with every new scene. It’s reassuring, though, to know that dry-ice fog never goes out of style. C- — OG
Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000 STARRING Christopher Plummer Gerard Butler DIMENSION RATED R 99 MINUTES