Dacre Stoker/ Ian Holt: Dracula: The Undead – a spoilerful review

The “Official Sequel” to Bram Stoker´s classic horror novel. Set 25 years after the events of “Dracula” (which has suddenly taken place in 1888 and not 1993/7) The band of heroes is killed one by one, as Quincey Harker finds out his family´s secret. Is Dracula behind everything? Or some other, more sinister evil might? And what does it have to do with the theatrical play “Dracula”, directed by a certain Bram Stoker?

Spoileralert

The book´s writing style is totally different to the original: there are no diary entries (although the “Prologue”, the summary of the events of “Dracula” pays hommage to this style), but personal views by the protagonist and antagonists. The villain is already shown in the beginning, it´s Elisabeth Barthory. And Dracula also appears (it´s the one everyone suspects to be Dracula, by the way), and they link Dracula with Jack the Ripper

Stoker II and Holt were influenced by the various versions and variations of the Dracula myth while writing the book. They tried to put everything together to please everyone, and in my opinion that is the book´s big failure. They should have rather stuck to the original material, instead of throwing everything into the pool (of the undead).

So what are differnences to “Dracula”? The time period part one is said to have taken place. It´s just a simple number, but it lies heavy in the context, that can´t be taken aside.

Then, the fact that vampires burn in the sun. WAIT! you will shout, “Vampires CAN´T survive in the sunlight”. Actually, that´s a misbelief. In Stoker´s novel, Dracula can walk in the sun. In fact, the sunburning myth did not exist until the 1920s. It was created by F. W. Murnau. Yes, that´s right, before “Nosferatu”, there was no implication that Vampires die in sunlight. The sunburning was created to impress the viewer visually

Then we have the rational explanation for Vampirism: Vampirism is a disease! Wow, that is totally new and was never given before (except in “I am Legend” (in began with this), Blade Trilogy, Daybreakers, Dracula II-Ascension, … ). Vampiric powers are rooted in increased brain power (yeah, the 10% brain usage cliche!)

And the most important change: The Love story between Mina and Draccula! In Stoker´s novel, never ever was there anything about a loving bond between Mina and Dracula, and again, this was changed by Hollywood (Nosferatu was again the first to present some kind of love story, but most prominent/ popular is Francis Ford Coppola´s “Bram Stoker´s Dracula”(1991))Since then, there has always been some kind of tragic Love story, that was never in the original novel.

The book itself has a lot of (dumb and over the top) action scenes, and is built like a movie (oh what a surprise: Ian Holt is script writer: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1976130/ ; a quite bad one I can assume)

It´s interesting to see how the characters have developed in the last 25 years, they all suffer a kind of “Dracula´s Curse”, but most of them are quite annoying, especially dumbass cop Inspector Cotford, who does nothing useful in the story. Mina is still in love with Dracula, Jonathan is a drinker, Seward a drug addict, Holmwood a mean man, Van Helsing an attention seeking old idiot, and Quincey Harker is dumb, naive and you wish him thousands of painful deaths. Ufortunaltly, he is Dracula´s son, and therefor to e kept alive. Dracula is the good guy (yeah, he is the good guy, as he was in the first part too), and tries to stop his evil relativ Barthory from taking over the world. nice retcon, isn´t it?

Mot of the questions stay unanswered, but there are some implications for ANOTHER sequel.

It´s quite entertaining, but nowhere near to the original. To be honest, “Dracula- The Undead” looks more like a fan fiction book than an official sequel.

3,5/10

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