Rev. Warlock DRACONIS BLACKTHORNE (dblackthorne) wrote,
Rev. Warlock DRACONIS BLACKTHORNE
dblackthorne

Dracula: The Dark Prince

Spechtreum

Dracula: The Dark Prince
{XXXV A.S. Directed by Joe Chapelle. Starring Rudolf Martin, Jane March, Christopher Brand, Peter Weller, Roger Daltrey, Michael Sutton}

This film attempts to portray Vlad Dracul in a more realistic manner, as far as specific events are concerned, such as:

1. Rounding up traitors with the pretext of a drunken celebration, and then when all are pretty well enebriated, lighting the entire edifice aflame, thus ridding himself of possible antagonists to his reign.

2. Dining at The Field of The Impaled, while dipping his bread in a goblet filled with blood and wine. Enemies turning back to their countries fearing the man who is capable of such a fearsome spectacle.

3. The oft-times neglected fact that he also impaled women and children at times, depending upon their offense, in this case, for being "adulterous". In this sense, he was influenced by Judeo-christian moralism.

4. Another truism related that one could veritable leave gold on the streets, and it would not be stolen, for fear of the punishment. Criminals were often seen impaled and immolated on the streets, which acted as a perfect deterrent. He actually displayed elements of Lex Talionis - as a result, crime was just about nil.

5. Driving spikes into the skulls of Muslims who refused to remove their turbans. They should "keep their traditions in their own country".

As far as the characterization is concerned, the mane-haired Vlad Tepesh {Rudolf Martin} is presented herein in a more or less romantic manner, sans moustache, and often wearing leather. 'Mina' as "Lidia" {Jane March} remains sheltered, and goes insane upon her realization of the actual events occurring in the kingdom, who then begins to superstitiously adorn herself with a rosary and calls Vlad a "monster" {"Voevod"}. Upon her suicide, he has all the mirrors in the castle covered, thus the mythological connection with the vampire "unable" to view his own reflection. She is survived by Vlad Jr., who displays great potential for leadership through his own ruthlessness.

He encounters his traitorous younger brother on the battle field, and graciously spares his life instead of dispatching him, which he should have done, as well as his step-father, both of whom eventually prove to be major obstacles, from framing him, which lands him in prison for awhile, to attempts at assassination. Upon regaining the throne, he strikes a deal with Catholic King Janos {Roger Daltrey}, proclaiming that it does not matter to him under what banner he fights, so long as his rule continues, and thus, his own interests prevail.

He seemingly resurrects on a couple of occasions, which lends to the legend of physical Vampiric immortality, whose "soul" is unable to enter heaven or Hell, and is "condemned" to roam the earth in a state of the 'undead'; to which he remains thankful to the murderous priest, who himself meets his end via a heart attack - veritably scared to death. Quite a pleasing concluding scene, instead of the typical stake in the heart.

Because of his indestructability and military genius, he is accused of being an antichrist by the Orthodox clergy, which seems to amuse him, when all he wanted to accomplish was the glorification of his country and the preservation of his kingdom, both at which he succeeds.

I rather enjoyed this presentaion, where Vlad The Impaler relishes in his role as tyrant to his enemies, and savior to his people, who still hail him as a national hero, and expect his symbolic return in some form.

Overall, Dracula: The Dark Prince is an aesthetically-impressive film, as Dracula / Vampiric presentations tend to be quite elegant from environment to accoutrement to deportment, and is probably the closest adaptation to actual events in the life of this remarkable historical figure, certainly an unforgettably mighty warrior. who remains an inspiration.

4/5

Tags: film review, spechtreum
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