By Bron Schultz
I have always loved all things Vampire, at an early age I read every Vampire book I could find, including a penny dreadful I found in my father’s study. The myth and lore fascinated me. Discovering Bram Stoker’s Dracula sealed my love of the dark eternal beings. Much later, on a trip to the London attraction, “The Dungeon”, I learned the origins of the myth in the true story of Vlad the Impaler and the German poem that, through mistranslation claimed that Vlad dipped his bread in the blood of his victims.
Although I absolutely loved Coppola’s, Dracula, starring Gary Oldman, this was the first time I ever considered that a Vampire could be ugly, yet retain his hypnotic charm. I was more comfortable with the other worldly beauty of Interview with a Vampire, although I didn’t rate any of the following movies based on Anne Rice’s novels. Twilight was an abomination of the lore and myth, there really is nothing more to say on that subject.
With all of that behind me, I was excited but hesitant at the idea that finally a movie would go back to the roots of the history and the myth. I am glad to report that the excitement was well founded and the hesitation unnecessary! I really enjoyed this movie, as a movie and as a Vampire fan.
Vlad is hunky and gallant, a tough soldier who has spilled rivers of blood on the battlefield – but he’s also a family man who kisses his wife passionately and looks into the eyes of his son and laughs from the heart.
His back story is that of the historical Vlad III. In the 1400s, thousands of Transylvanian boys were enslaved by the Sultan of the Turkish Empire, tortured and moulded into ruthless soldiers. Vlad was the most ruthless of them all but has since left the Sultan’s army and returned, as Prince, to Transylvania to rule in peace. The Sultan’s son has succeeded him and is now demanding all the sons of all the principalities in his kingdom for his vast armies, as he plans invasions across Europe. Vlad had promised his wife and his subjects that he would not let the boys under his rule meet the same fate as he and those of his generation
He is vastly outnumbered and desperate. What do heroes do when backed into a corner? Make a deal with the highest stakes, of course! Here the story crosses, seamlessly, into the myth and legend of the original Vampire, played by the deliciously evil Charles Dance. Vlad makes a deal with eternal consequences but the solution does not come easily. Vlad wrestles with himself, the consequences of his decision, the superstitions of those he rules and what has to be done to save those he loves.
Action and Vampire fans – rent this if you love proper vampire movies with kick-ass action and epic battle scenes. Romantics – believe it or not, this is also a great romance movie as, at the root of it all Vlad makes the eternal sacrifice for the lady he loves, and will pursue for eternity.
Dracula Untold is now available on PVR until 16 March 2015 and online until 06 May 2015.