With a blend of the “road movie” action style and a touch of classic “Hammer Films” style, Dracula 3: Legacy completes director Patrick Lussier’s trilogy in the gory fun style needed for the genre.
The film delivers more action than the second movie and brings Dracula out from New Orleans back to his European countryside roots. It also expands on the story behind the vampire slayers Father Uffizi (played again by Jason Scott Lee) and Luke (played by Jason London).
The movie uses a flashback sequence in the opening credits to remind the audience what happened in Dracula 2: Ascension, and then quickly moves into the action as the two slayers hunt a vampire in a train station. From there, the two take a trip through Romania following the trail of Dracula and the huge body count that he leaves in his wake.
Uffizi, stripped of his priesthood title, hunts Dracula for a cure to his own curse and Luke searches in hopes of saving his love Elizabeth. As they travel, the two are joined by a news reporter and find themselves stuck in the middle of a civil war.
Along with combining the horror and road movie styles for the film, Lussier also returns Dracula, played by Rutger Hauer, to the shadows and myth that was used in some of the classic vampire movies – such as the Hammer Films of the ‘50s that starred Christopher Lee.
The director saves Dracula’s first appearance for well into an hour of the movie, but it works in the film and corrects some of the over exposure of the character in the second film.
Once he comes into the film, Hauer does a great job in the role and maintains a sort of sinister feeling without coming off as overacting the part. He seems to enjoy the role which makes his torture of the slayers that much more fun to watch.
Lee also does a good job in the film as the main vampire slayer and cursed priest. You have to love how he uses that sword and whip to cut vampires in half. He does an excellent job at playing a character on the edge of good and evil.
Hauer is sinister and fun in Dracula 3
I also liked how Lussier brought the story back to Romania and his use of vampire gypsies – such as the vampire that walks on stilts. As a fan of the classic Dracula movies, I felt this was a great way to complete the trilogy and give a nod to past films.<!–page–>
Dracula 3 Main Menu
There are some problems in the movie, but they don’t take away from the overall enjoyment. It is slow at times, and some of the acting could have been better.
Jason London’s Luke character comes off as whiny at several points in the movie, and by the end you really don’t care if he makes it out alive.
The movie also spends a lot of time on the characters getting to Dracula’s castle, and some of the rebel war scenes could have been skipped since they don’t really help the movie’s pace or story. Lussier adds lots of action and gore to the film to keep the pace moving along, but it still could have been shortened.
The DVD comes with several special features including a conversation with Lussier about the vampire mythology; cast auditions, a deleted scene and alternate ending; and the original treatments for all three films – Dracula 2000, Dracula 2: Ascension, and Dracula 3: Legacy.
The conversation with Lussier is really interesting and the director talks about how they combined several different vampire myths (from all over the world) into the three movies. He also talks about his reasons for having Dracula return to Europe for the third film; how Stoker’s version of the character is based on history and myth; and the twist of connecting Dracula to Judas from the Bible.
Dracula 3 Special Features Menu
Overall, Dracula 3: Legacy, which is a straight to DVD release, is a fun “popcorn” movie to watch and entertaining. It isn’t as good or slick as the first film, but has a lot more to offer than the second film. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to any fan of vampire movies. It doesn’t have much scare to it, but the combination of the two genres works well.