DRACULA: THE ORIGINAL LIVING VAMPIRE (2022) Reviews of The Asylum’s mockbuster

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The classic tale as you’ve never seen’
Dracula: The Original Living Vampire is a 2022 American mockbuster horror film about Amelia Van Helsing‘s battle with evil Count Dracula. The Asylum production is obviously intended to cash in on Marvel’s Morbius movie.

Directed by Maximilian Elfeldt (War of the Worlds: Annihilation; Apocalypse of Ice; End of the World; Avengers Grimm: Time Wars) from a screenplay written by Michael Varrati (Aquarium of the Dead story; End of the World; Flesh for the Inferno; Seven Dorms of DeathThe Sins of Dracula; Tales of Poe and lots of Christmas films).

Produced by Paul Bales and David Michael Latt. Executive produced by David Rimawi.

The movie stars Jake Herbert, Christine Prouty, India Lillie Davies (Call the Midwife TV series), Ryan Woodcock, Stuart Packer (It Came from Below) and Michael Ironside (Scanners).

Detective Amelia Van Helsing is on the desperate hunt for the killer responsible for a string of grisly murders targeting young women. Matters only worsen when all evidence leads to the seemingly untouchable Count Dracula. And when Van Helsing‘s girlfriend vanishes, she is forced to question the very existence of monsters in a final showdown with the enigmatic vampire.

Our view:
It’s difficult to work out whether the tone is intended as an unfunny mild spoof – with all of its period incongruities and awkward dialogue – or is simply just awful. The latter seems more likely. The ‘mystery’ element that the protagonists focus on is redundant because the audience already knows Dracula is responsible. And a couple of attempts to add friskiness to the proceedings merely come across as lame rather than titillating.

Performances are poor and the actors’ accents vary so much there’s little chance of the viewer becoming engaged due to the distraction. Meanwhile, the score plays persistently in the background even during dialogue scenes (an issue with Full Moon productions). It’s all so ‘off’.

Worse still, Jake Herbert is too young and has zero presence as the legendary Count Dracula. The Asylum’s mockbusters occasionally work as trashy fun but in this case, it’s one in name only and it’s advisable to seriously consider whether you want to invest any time watching this overly talky oddity.

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

Other reviews:
Dracula: The Original Living Vampire has a vibe to it perfect for watching with friends; the actors nail a level of seriousness in their performances that can hook an audience, even if they are aware of an overall tonal silliness. It is neat to see such a remix of the classic vampire story.” 2.5/5 Bloody Disgusting

“It’s an extremely embarrassing display of bad dialogue and is absolutely chalked full of terrible one-liners that I’m sure were meant to sound cool and funny, but they end up falling flat every time […] Every single scene in this movie feels like it was just kind of filmed on the spot without any prior planning […] And don’t even get me started on how awful this iteration of Dracula is.” Caillou Pettis Movie Reviews

Dracula as a straight whodunit makes no sense. At exactly the one-hour mark, Amelia and Jonathan finally finger Count Dracula as a vampire and an accompanying music sting hilariously bellows a loud “dun!” like it’s a surprise reveal or something. Cinematography seems decent enough, except Dracula still looks like a syndicated TV movie circa 1994…” 25/100 Culture Crypt

” …beyond the issue with when this was trying to suggest it was set, there is precious little atmosphere and the dialogue is distinctly average at best. The actors aren’t brilliant for the most part – unfortunately, Jake Herbert just hasn’t the presence needed for Dracula and the later makeup when he vamps out is poor. Michael Ironside phones in his performance…” 3.5/10 Taliesin Meets the Vampires

“The script can’t decide if it’s a comedy full of groan-inducing one-liners or a serious vampire film […] It doesn’t help that Jake Herbert is one of the most incredibly bland Draculas I’ve ever seen […] Ultimately, Dracula: The Original Living Vampire is a talky misfire that’s not funny enough to work as a comedy but never frightening enough to work as a genre film.” 1.5/5 Voices from the Balcony

YouTube reviews:


Release date:

In the US, Dracula: The Original Living Vampire will be released theatrically in select locations from January 28th to February 3rd and On-Demand on January 28th 2022.

Cast and characters:
Jake Herbert … Count Dracula
Christine Prouty … Amelia Van Helsing
India Lillie Davies … Mina Murray
Ryan Woodcock … Jonathan Harker
Stuart Packer … Captain Renfield
Michael Ironside … Doctor Jack Seward

Technical details:
1 hour 27 minutes

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