DARK PRINCE: THE TRUE STORY OF DRACULA (2000) Reviews and overview

 

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‘More vicious than the myth’

Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula is a 2000 historical horror television film directed by Joe Chappelle (Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Hellraiser: Bloodline; Phantoms) from a screenplay written by Thomas Baum.

The film is about Vlad III, “the Impaler”, the historical figure who may have inspired Bram Stoker‘s Dracula. It is also known as Dracula: The Dark Prince and Dark Prince: Legend of Dracula.

The movie stars Rudolf Martin, Jane March, Christopher Brand, Peter Weller (Naked Lunch; Robocop), Roger Daltrey (The Legacy; Vampirella), Michael Sutton, Razvan Vasilescu and Radu Amzulescu.

Plot:

Vlad is a dispossessed noble, and a patriot who fights the occupation forces of the Turks hoping to avenge the murder of his father by Romanian nobles and the capture of his brother by the Ottoman sultan. The King of Hungary (Roger Daltrey) becomes Vlad’s ally and, with his support, Vlad and his men attack the occupying Turks and turncoat Romanian boyars, and seizes the throne of Wallachia, in the film called simply (and anachronistically) “Romania”…

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Reviews:

“For such a familiar story, Dark Prince has all the excitement of something brand new. These characters can easily become caricatures, growling for gore and calling down vengeance from heaven. But the excellent cast and ferocious battle scenes make for one of the best war movies to hit TV in a while.” Maxim

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Dracula: The Dark Prince is a welcome extension of the Dracula brand. Unlike the multitudes of generic rip-offs that come out annually, this low-key effort finally puts a new spin on an old myth.” Apollo Movie Guide

“It plays hell with the facts and reduces its potentially gripping subject to cheesy soap operatic melodrama. … It’s not awful, but it is awfully ordinary. For the real goods, find McNally and Florescu’s Dracula: Prince of Many Faces: His Life and Times instead.” The DVD Journal

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“The combination of above-par acting, interesting storyline, and lovely Eastern European scenery make this USA Network production worth watching.” TV Guide

“It’s obviously fluffed up but at the same time, it’s a bit repetitious, with countless battle scenes that don’t offer much closure. In the end, we’re left with the notion that Vlad the Impaler was (and remains) a national hero, not a demon walking among the dead. And that might put a crimp in your enjoyment of the Bram Stoker stories.” Filmcritic.com

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Choice dialogue:

Vlad Tepes: “The Pope and the sultans stink alike!”

Cast and characters:

Rudolf Martin … Vlad Dracula the Impaler
Jane March … Lidia
Christopher Brand … Bruno
Peter Weller … Father Stefan
Roger Daltrey … King Janos
Michael Sutton … Radu
Razvan Vasilescu … Aron
Radu Amzulescu … Inquisitor
Maia Morgenstern … Woman at Fountain
Claudiu Bleont … Sultan Mohamed
Claudiu Trandafir … Prince Karl
Dan Bordeianu … Vlad III – Age 18
Victor Ungureanu … Vlad III – Age 8
Dan Badarau … Vlad Dracula’s Father
Sebastian Lupea … Teen Vlad Dracula
Niels Brinks … Teen Radu
Eugen Cristea … Andrei
Orodel Olanu … Orodel
Mircea Stoian … Bald Noble
Serban Celea … Turkish Emissary
George Grigore … Orthodox Priest
Laura Cret … Lady in Waiting
Roxana Marian … Maria

Trailer:

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