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[whitespace] Jeri Ryan
Bite Me: Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager's Seven of Nine) gets to play the bad girl in a bad movie, 'Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000.'

Flatula 2000

Wes Craven's name can't save this retelling of the vampire myth

By Sarah Quelland

WITH HORROR GURU WES CRAVEN at the helm as executive producer, director Patrick Lussier's modern take on the ancient vampire legend should have been smart, scary, sophisticated and penetrating. But, much like 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula (which starred Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves), Dracula 2000 is all style and little substance. High-tech treasure hunters break into a heavily secured vault in search of riches but instead find an antique coffin that confines the most famous bloodsucker of all time. Figuring the silver casket must be worth a fortune, the team takes its stolen bounty from London to New Orleans. The historic bayou city is ripe for the vampire myth, particularly since novelist Anne Rice has made it her chomping grounds, but Dracula 2000 lacks the intrigue and romance found in most of Rice's books. The pace is slow, the characters forgettable and the story inconsistent at best.

Though Joel Soisson's screenplay offers some interesting ideas by crediting Dracula's immortality to events occuring during the time of Christ, it fails to fully explore his deep yearning for the mortal world and need for a kindred spirit--which is a tremendous failing since that's a big chunk of the plot. Inevitably, the cast is filled with hot newcomers, including Gerard Butler (Mrs. Brown) as Dracula, Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting) as Van Helsing's assistant and Justine Waddell (Mansfield Park) as the object of Dracula's lustful affection. Colleen Ann Fitzpatrick (a.k.a. pop star Vitamin C), Star Trek: Voyager's Jeri Ryan and Danny Masterson from That '70s Show also star. But unlike some of the worst-rated horror fare, this plodding dud isn't even campy enough or gory enough to be entertaining.

Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000 (R; 100 min.) directed by Patrick Lussier, written by Joel Soisson and Patrick Lussier, photographed by Peter Pau and starring Gerard Butler, Christopher Plummer, Omar Epps, Jeri Ryan, Jonny Lee Miller, plays in Milpitas at Great Mall Century 20; in Morgan Hill at the Granada; in Mountain View at Century Cinema 16; in Newark at Cinedome 7; in San Jose at Century Capitol 16, Century 24 and Century Capitol Drive-in.

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From the January 4-10, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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