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Dracula - The Dark Prince
Dracula - The Dark Prince
Actors: Rudolf Martin, Jane March, Christopher Brand, Peter Weller, Roger Daltrey
Director: Joe Chappelle
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
R     2002     1hr 32min


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Movie Details

Actors: Rudolf Martin, Jane March, Christopher Brand, Peter Weller, Roger Daltrey
Director: Joe Chappelle
Creators: Avram 'Butch' Kaplan, Donald Kushner, Matt Earl Beesley, Peter Locke, Teresa Garber, Vlad Paunescu, Thomas Baum
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Live / Artisan
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/23/2002
Original Release Date: 10/31/2000
Theatrical Release Date: 10/31/2000
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 32min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The real story of Dracula...
Monty Moonlight | TX | 08/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Or so they would have us believe. This film is strongly influenced by the Bram Stoker novel in mood and menace, but it is still highly entertaining and quite well done. Meant to be a historical drama about the real life of Vlad the Impaler, Dracula: The Dark Prince takes us to Romania in the 1400's, to see what made the man the legend he is today. The story is told from Vlad's point of view, as he recounts the story of his life before an Orthodox Ecclesiastical Court in defense of his crown. We first see Vlad as a child, training for battle with his father and younger brother, Radu. But soon after, Vlad's father is killed by the noblemen of his own country, who are constantly looking after their own interests above anything else. His brother kidnapped and brainwashed by a perverted Turkish Sultan, and himself believed to be long dead, Vlad eventually raises an army to help him take back the throne that rightfully belongs to him from the noblemen and their hand picked NEW prince. Once back in power, Vlad and his beautiful, new, young wife commence to having a son. Simultaneously, Vlad takes his revenge on the noblemen of his country who were responsible for the death of his father and so many others. With that matter taken care of, Vlad focuses on his main interest, dealing with the accursed Turks that have plagued him all his life. This brings up the problem of his younger brother, who is now one of them, and matters are not helped by the failing mental state of Vlad`s wife, who is disturbed more and more as she discovers the brutality of her husband`s style of government.
While the film does mention and even depict Vlad's more legendary and gruesome exploits, those that were less likely to be true were presented only as rumors amongst the people and noblemen of Romania that the Prince himself always denied. The film doesn't really take much of a fantasy angle, it simply drops hints here and there to remind you that this is the man known as Dracula. True, in the end the possibility that Vlad did become one of the undead is left open, but even the act that many have claimed ruined the reality of the film could easily be interpreted as the hallucination of a dying man. Overall, this is a pretty good film for what it is, and I recommend it to all fans of Dracula, real or imaginary."
Sheri Richardson | Formerly San Jose, CA US, now in the Wilds of OR U | 08/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Correcting Amazon's listing, this DVD is not widescreen but full screen, presented in its original 1.33:1 format. Digitally mastered. Audio: English 5.1 digital surround and Dolby 2.0. Subtitles: English and Spanish. Special features include: Select filmographies for director and cast; trailers for this and other features; menus and scene selection; photo gallery.DRACULA: THE DARK PRINCE (a.k.a. DARK PRINCE: THE TRUE STORY OF DRACULA, from USA Networks) stars Rudolf Martin, Jane March, Roger Daltry, and Peter Weller. Shot on location in Romania with a largely Romanian crew.The DVD's cover art has very little resemblance to the feature. This is not a vampire movie, though at times it's dark and bloody.Martin (Vlad III) and March (Lidia) have many truly sublime moments in DARK PRINCE. The performances overall are well worth wading through the production's few awkward moments. Michael Sutton (Radu) and Christopher Brand (Bruno) add welcome depth with their supporting roles, as does Weller (Fr. Stefan) certainly.March's Lidia is almost distractingly modern in her distain for Dracula's methods, until considering noble daughters might well have been shielded from such political realities. It's Martin's portrayal of the medieval ruler that lingers, however. Coldly ruthless, commanding, born and trained to rule, weary of the necessary dancing with the Roman and Orthodox churches. Yet humanity shines through when he smiles at his infant child.Well done finale, worth the price of admission."
The Voevod returns...
Draconis Blackthorne | The Haunted Noctuary | 01/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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."
Bad DVD cover, Great Film.
sramkee | 04/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I hate that DVD cover, it makes it look like this film is some sort of cheesy B movie. But it isn't, this movie is well filmed, well acted, a complex well written script, beautiful scenery (shot totally in Romania, you can even see the castle where the real Vlad was born, in the background), great music, and just a great film period. I personally feel that this film should have been given a bigger budget and released in the theatres. It most certainly would have done a great job at the box office. Everything was prefect, all it would have needed was extra funds for larger and bloodier battle scenes and that's it. Even though I liked the music, with a bigger budget they maybe could have hired someone like Elliot Goldenthal (interview with the Vampire)Or Danny Elfman (Sleepy Hollow)to give it a darker sound. But oh well, even with the low budget the movie is still very good and although it may not be completely historically accurate it's much better than most of the Dracula films out there that is based soley on the Bram Stoker created character and not Vlad himself. And to be honest the guy who plays Vlad in this movie is creepy as *** and he isn't even a vampire! When I first saw this movie on the USA network, I didn't know the name of it cause I only saw it near the end but I thought it was pretty good and couldn't wait for them to air it again, but that didn't happen and I figured I missed my chance. Then when I went to the video store I saw that DVD cover and was in the mood for a campy Vampire flick (misleading cover) and figured why not, esp. since I love vampire movies anyway. I was shocked when I started to watch and discovered that it was the movie I saw a long time ago and thought I would never see again. (unless USA network decided to ever show it again)Bottom line this movie is completely different than I expected it be. Rudolf Martin was perfect for this role. He's the best Dracula I've ever seen on film. He also appeared in a Buffy the Vampire slayer episode as Dracula but they didn't do him justice. Rudolf Martin oozes dark sex appeal as Vlad the Impaler, a ruthless tyrant to some but a national hero to most, who tries desperately to free his country from Turk oppression. Even though it's a made for TV movie it certainly pulls no punches with Vlad's brutal acts. Rudolf Martin adds a level of complexity to the character that is easy to just play evil. In one scene you see him brutally murdering people and impaling their bodies and in the next you see a man who is a loving husband and father to his wife and son.Jane March even shows that she can act in a movie AND keep her clothes on *gasp*! I loved watching her slowly go mad as she sees the acts her husband has committed. I know some people who saw this movie got thrown off by the Bram Stoker like ending, but I say it adds to the film,I see it as a small tribute to all the Dracula films we know and love and the man that actually inspired it all...Vlad Tepes himself. And compared to the other films who only want to show the capes and fangs while chasing after some big breasted teenager this is near perfect, showing the life and times of Vlad Dracula. Just rent the movie and see for yourself."