Did you know that Vlad the Impaler, one of the most notorious sadists in history, was really a great guy? Well, I didn’t until seeing “Dracula Untold” made me wonder how long the noble blood sucking monster fetish would go on.
Dracula starts with the county celebrating ten years of peace and harmony under the benevolent rule of the Impaler (Luke Evans). Turks (bad guys) crash the party and demand 1,000 of the county’s sons, including Vlad’s, as tribute. Bastards! To defend everything sacred, Vlad makes a deal with a cave demon (Charles Dance) to become a monster. Of course, someone with Vlad’s sunny disposition wouldn’t be predisposed to evil. He tells us that when he impales a village on spikes, he’s setting an example, perhaps saving ten others. An act of kindness!
As a badass vampire, Vlad has three days to use bat power to kill the Turkish Sultan (Dominic Cooper). And, if he can resist drinking blood that long, Vlad reverts to being just a run-of-the-mill Impaler.
I actually found Dracula to be a fun movie, in a ‘kill lots of Turks’ kind of way. But the recent, “vampires are just people with long canine teeth,” thing is tired. If you want to explore a character like Vlad’s, show him impaling an entire village on spikes, while he ruminates over how he’s protecting his throne. And, good God, stop having medieval tyrants acting as if they care about their subjects! Not all monsters are good guys behind the fangs.
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