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The Sins of Dracula (DVD)

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    mandymanslaughter
    Junior Member

  • Sins of Dracula, The



    Released by: MVD Visual
    Released on: March 24, 2015
    Director: Richard Griffin
    Cast: Michael Thubber, Jamie Dufault, Sarah Nicklin, Steven O'Broin, Carmine Capobianco, Jesse Dufault
    Year: 2014
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    The Sins of Dracula is low-budget horror movie through and through, brought to us by director Richard Griffin. Griffin has received some praise for his indie flicks such as Creature from the Hillbilly Lagoon, Necroville, and The Disco Exorcist. However, I'm not sure that I'm drinking the Kool-aid here. The film is fun and innovative at times, but for the most part is churning out the same old fallback techniques and tropes of typical indie horror.

    The film takes place in a local theater where a group of misfits band together to belong and express themselves through various plays. Their director, Lou Perdition (Steven O'Broin), and his assistant welcome a newbie to the cast, a religious zealot Billy (Jamie Dufault) whose girlfriend brings him in. Shannon (Sarah Nicklin) is determined to open her boyfriend's eyes to how to world really is outside of his church, and he is thrown into open mindedness quickly when getting to know the stereotyped characters in the group. There's the gay guy, the ultra-artistic moody dude, the nerdy girl who plays D&D, and the drugged out weirdo. All of the kids are thrown off guard though when Lou has a different, original play for their next presentation.

    Behind the original screenplay is a hidden agenda. We quickly learn that Lou has demented intentions for this group of misfits; and yes, Dracula and vampires are involved. Vampires have been overexposed the last few years, so it really takes a discerning eye to bring something new to the table. Unfortunately, The Sins of Dracula ignores that need to reinvent the wheel. The two attempts seem to lie in the commentary on religion and the turn to comedy. The tagline, “They never had a prayer” is ominous and a clue to the religious focus. Billy is so sheltered and blinded by his faith that he needs to hash out sexual decisions with Jesus for five-minute segments. The purposeful subjection of young minds to Christian propaganda seems to be under attack here, but the message is at the same time overwrought and cryptic.

    That brings us to the comedy. The acting itself is not half bad; there is some comedic timing that works here and some playing of stereotypes without being too obvious and over the top. Some jokes soar, but the vast majority of them fall flat. There are a few stabs at gore and depravity that are jarring only in their being out of place. For the most part, eye rolls and headshakes take place of laughs and appreciative giggles. The Sins of Dracula does produce a few atmospheric moments and a few outstanding performances, but overall it just doesn't quite work.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The DVD is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen, and actually looks really good for being low budget. The colors are vibrant and the image is crisp. There are no obvious flaws in the transfer. There is some decent detail in close-up shots, and some experimentation with lighting that may be a homage to Argento's blues and reds. Skin tones are a bit washed out in the dark theater scenes but for the most part true to life.

    The audio track of The Sins of Dracula DVD is Dolby Digital 2 channel. Dialogue is clear and the music score is well mixed. There are some dynamic spots with screams, but overall the track is nothing out of the ordinary with
    no audible issues.

    As far as extras go, there are a few:

    -Writer/Director Commentary: Michael Varrati and Richard Griffin discuss some inspiration for the film, both in story and in look. Some obvious inside jokes featured in the movie are explained.

    -Sarah Nicklin/Jamie Dufault Commentary: The two actors discuss their characters and their sex scene

    -They Stole the Pope's Blood
    : a short film which plays out more like a mock trailer. Believe it or not, there are some better laughs here; albeit it is more over the top and obvious it its humor.

    Bottom Line:

    The Sins of Dracula really, really wants you to like it. Yet it might not be a reasonable request. At the core the film is a comedy, and with so few comedic successes it's hard to say it delivers. There must be credit given where credit is due, as the acting is good for the low budget premise. Overall, this is another vampire story that doesn't need to be seen.




















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