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The story of Dracula is one of the best horror stories of all time but the story of the historical figure, Vlad the Impaler, on which Dracula is partly based, is at least just as good and interesting. This movie presents itself as the true story of Vlad the Impaler, or Dracula as they say but the movie has neither the quality, story or resources to really be considered to be the definitive story about Vlad the Impaler, or Dracula's origins.

But most important thing; it isn't really being historically accurate in the first place. It doesn't do the true story of Vlad much justice and while watching this movie you're being left puzzled as to why he is still considered to be a national hero by the Romanian people. You can blame it on the budget really. Because the movie didn't had lots of money to spend, it sticked more to some of its melodrama and talking moments, while ignoring all of the important battles fought and the monstrosities committed by Vlad the Impaler.

The movie seems to be afraid of it that we might start hating on the main characters. It's the reason why it makes Vlad look like a reasonable family man, while he in fact was a cruel, sadistic man, responsible for the death of tens of thousands, also mostly innocents. It might also be because of the miscast Rudolf Martin, who looks far too gentle and sophisticated for the main role of the villain-hero Vlad. He never comes across as a strong, powerful leader, that strikes fear into people's hearts.

It's also quite puzzling as to why if this movie wanted to tell the true story of Vlad the Impaler, why does he end up becoming Dracula by the end, while of course in fact the historical person Vlad had nothing to do with the character Dracula. Perhaps they were planning or secretly hoping on doing on sequel, telling the Dracula tale with some of the same actors out of this movie.

But there is really more wrong with the story, or rather said the way the story gets told. It's a quite short movie and this can be seen back in its way of storytelling. The movie too often makes sudden jumps, especially toward the end. It's quite ridicules at times, for instance when Vlad bans his wife from his castle. 2 minutes later he is asking her for forgiveness and 5 minutes later again they are living together again happily, like nothing ever happened. Or when Vald gets captured and set free again, in the time-span of maybe just 2 minutes. This approach completely ruins some of the movie its potential good dramatic or powerful moments.

However when taking into consideration that this is a low-budget TV production, I have to say that it's really not a bad one. Sure it tells a kind of weak story but the movie at least never becomes a bad or uninteresting one to watch. I have seen far worse, that's for sure!

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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