And yet another tale of the Prince of Darkness, Dracula, comes to us from co-writer and helmer of this straight-to-digital effort, Dracula: The Dark Prince, Pearry Reginald Teo, who impressed me earlier this year with his belatedly released The Evil Inside. Compared to Teo’s previous efforts, the low-budget The Evil Inside showed much promise, that I expected the director to build upon. I’m not saying his style is faultless, but he certainly showed he is capable of bringing something new to the table. After watching his latest effort, Dracula: The Dark Prince, I’m not so sure anymore, but, the tale itself was what impressed me less than his handling of the film.

Dracula: The Dark Prince
Directed by
Pearry Reginald Teo
Luke Roberts, Jon Voight, Kelly Wenham
VOD Release Date
15 October 2013
Ed’s Grade: C

Dracula: The Dark Prince is just another wheel-spinning take on a tired and overdone genre. The Prince of Wallachia, Dracula (Luke Roberts), has just walked in on his much beloved wife dead on the floor, with his trusted men blaming the Turks. They try to kill the prince but fail, and now Dracula turns his back on the church, swearing a blood oath to the Darkness. 100 years later, Dracula meets a beautiful demon slayer named Alina (Kelly Wenham), who was kidnapped by his large henchman, the Darth Vader-like, Wrath, and is convinced (surprise, surprise) she’s the reincarnation of his dead love.

Dracula tries to show Alina what a good guy he really used to be, but her companions are coming to rescue her and try to kill him with their secret weapon, The Lightbringer. One of them is the famous vamp hunter, Van Helsing (hammed up by none other than Jon Voight), and accompanying him is trainee demon hunter Esme (Holly Earl), reluctant hero Lucian (Ben Robson), and the large, non-drinking, Andros (Richard Ashton).

Teo’s Dracula: The Dark Prince, does have lots to like, in particular the attention to detail that has gone into this production, but, sadly, this isn’t enough to make this film less forgettable as vampire fare. While I really did enjoy the highly stylised touches and costumes, it simply couldn’t help lift it from eventual obscurity that is almost assured.

I found the acting adequate and the direction able, and I thought the animated intro extremely good, but to tell another tale of vampirism without giving us something original to get our fangs into just didn’t bode well for the seasoned vamp-fan, of which I count myself among their number. Newbies to the genre should like the film, or casual horror fans, but, I found it too watered down for anyone serious about their bloodthirst in film. It was also reminiscent of the wonderful Underworld franchise, but only the aesthetics came close to matching those films, and not a lot else.

by Ed Blackadder