Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Sexy Female Vamps of Wes Cravens Dracula Trilogy

In the year 2000 Horror movie director Wes Craven who is most famous for being the father of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" did what very few film makers have done before and that's modernize the original story of Dracula.  Dracula 2000 if anything acted as a "reboot" of the Dracula folklore set in modern day Louisiana.  In the story Abraham Van Helsing (being kept alive for centuries via injecting himself with Dracula's blood collected through leaches) had Dracula's body locked in a tomb hidden in his antique shop in London.  Unfortunately a group of thieves which included their scout Solina who was working with Dr. Van Helsing while casing the joint, believed the casket with all the security around it contained some type of wealth so after loosing a man to the booby traps decided to take the whole thing instead of opening it to find out the contents.  Eventually while on a plane headed to America they open it up and accidentally re awaken Dracula (via one of the crooks getting cut and bleeding in Drac's corpses mouth).  From there it's up to Dr. Van Helsing and his assistant Simon to find Dracula and put him back where he came before he does more damage including finding Dr Van Helsing's daughter Mary who he has a connection to because of her fathers blood ritual to stay alive.

This movie spawned two straight to DVD sequals, 2003's Dracula II: Ascension and 2005's Dracula III: Legacy. While a connection is made at the beginning of Dracula II that connects it to the first film (it takes place immediately after the results of the end of Dracula 2000 with Dracula's body going to the coroners office.)  The DVD movies follow a different path with the story revolving around a vampire hunting priest named Father Uffizi as opposed to Dracula himself who becomes a bit of a background character. 

Vampiress Cast

Dracula 2000 (2000)

Jennifer Esposito (Solina)
Solina may have seemed like just an ultra hot personal assistant at first but by night she was part of an international theft ring.  She was sent to case out Dr. Van Helsing's antique shop from the inside and gave the go ahead that he was hiding something "big".  Little did she know that her move would set off a chain reaction of events that would lead to the greatest vampire of all time being released into the United States or that she would become the first of the modern day Brides of Dracula. 

Jeri Ryan (Valerie Sharpe)
After the coffin thief's plane crashed in a Louisiana swamp, Valerie was the unfortunate reporter sent out to the crash site to cover the story.  Oddly enough her and her cameraman seemed to be the only crew left at the site at the time she was reporting.  More than likely it has something to do with how easily distracted she was with things like how much cleavage she was showing.  Ironically her concern at the time she was attacked by Dracula was how many mosquito's there were in the swamp trying to suck her blood.  A few moments later, she becomes modern Dracula bride #2.

Colleen Fitzpatrick (Lucy Westerman)
This is a Dracula movie after all so you have to have a "Lucy" and Dracula needs a third Bride so why not combine the two.  The actress formerly known as 90's pop singer "Vitamin C" rounded up the bride crew as the best friend and room mate of Mary Van Helsing.  Dracula being the intelligent guy he is decides that the easiest way to get to Mary is through her hot yet extremely desperate for love (aka easy) friend.  Once Drac makes the moves on her, she's more than happy to rat out her friends whereabouts and even helps with capturing her.   It's not all that bad as she really just wants her buddy to live forever with her.  Maybe even in a sort of lesbian sort of way if you go by one of the deleted scenes (below). 

Dracula's Brides in Action

Justine Waddell (Mary Heller-Van Helsing)
Mary is the estranged daughter of Abraham Van Helsing.   She knows of him but hadn't had contact with him since she was younger.   Because of Abraham's method of using Dracula's blood to keep himself alive she too has Dracula's blood running through her veins making her a bit of an obsession for him.  Eventually she does give in to him letting him turn her but only to use her new found abilities to save Simon who she had fallen for and who had gotten captured by Dracula's brides. 

Dracula II: Ascention (2003)

Jennifer Kroll (twins of evil)
In the opening scene of the straight to DVD film we are introduced to the new hero of the franchise Father Uffizi as he's following (not very fast though she is running and stumbling) a young woman in a gown straight out of a hammer horror film.  As a matter of fact this whole scene is in homage of the British studio that brought us the original "Twins of Evil" as just when it looks like he's going to take her out her twin jumps through a window and attacks.  They would have gotten away with it to had they not flirted instead of biting leading to their decapitation. 

Brande Roderick (Tanya)
 Our first (technically second but we'll get to that later) victim of our new Dracula is Tanya who is played by former Baywatch beauty and Playboy Playmate Brande Roderick.  Tanya was part of the genius crew of grad students who once it was found out they had the charred body of a vampire (Dracula) decided to take it and revive it for studying.  During their little experiment which included holding Dracula's corpse in a bathtub full of blood he gets up and pulls her in with him (biting her in the process).  After her friends bury her in the back yard of the abandoned mansion the experiment was held at she decides she doesn't want to stay buried and a bikini clad Tanya attacks a cop and Father Uffizi while they're investigating what went down at the mansion.   Long story short.  Uffizi wins. 

Daniela Nane
 Daniela plays the first victim of grad student Kenny who sneaks way too much of Dracula's blood and fully turns into a vampire because of it.  Once Father Uffizi arrives to her apartment she's in a corner distraught that she had fed on her cat.  As he begins his pre-vampire killing ritual she fangs out (resembling a cat herself) prior to him decapitating her.   For this she is listed in the credits as "Cat-Woman".

Diane Neal (Elizabeth Blaine)
Neal plays Elizabeth in both Dracula II: Ascension and Dracula III: Legacy. Elizabeth is the medical school grad student that works at the coroners offense who receives the body of Dracula in the first place.  As she's doing her investigation into the unknown bodies demise she accidentally gets her finger pricked by one of his fangs which comes out when her finger gets close to it immediately infecting her.  The rest of the movie she is hiding the fact that she is turning (though very slowly) while also dealing with how her boyfriend was only using her to help him find a cure for his debilitating disease (through vampire blood) and that all her friends are greedy and eventually get killed by Father Uffizi.  In the end her only ally is Dracula himself and she chooses life as a vampire over the whole burning to death in the sun ending that the Father tried to trick her into doing. The only other surviving friend "Luke" has a thing for her though and spends the third film looking for her.  He eventually finds her and must choose whether to leave her the way she is or destroy her.   

Dracula III: Legacy (2005)

Illinca Goia (Marta)
Marta was one half of a Russian vampire couple who was chasing Luke at the beginning of the movie.  This is where we find out that Luke has been working as sort of a vampire hunting apprentice to Farther Uffizi.  She meets a horrible demise via being run over by a train as the Father uses her to try to find the whereabouts of Dracula and Liz. 

Carmen Stimeriu
Carmen plays a mother in the Romanian town that the movie takes place.   The town has been ravaged by civil war and vampires and she was a victim of the latter.  She meets her doom at the hands of Father Uffizi just as she's about to take a bite out of her own child.

Anne-Maria Caragea
In yet another homage to Hammer Horror Anne-Marie plays a vampire acrobat ala "Vampire Circus".   Even cutting her in half didn't stop her from coming after Father Uffizi's throat. 

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  1. You forgot someone

    1. I know. I debated on whether or not to reference the final scene of the third film mainly because nothing really develops on her end. I'll probably end up adding her anyway.

  2. Nicely researched and presented. Keep up the good work.

  3. Great job, as usual.

    Unfortunately, the vampiress talent really took a downward turn after Dracula 2000 but it would be extremely difficult to match the hotness of those original three. Jerry Ryan was a great choice and they were lucky to get her, Vitamin C was inspired casting (her cut lesbian scene was fantastic) and I wasn't originally a fan of Jennifer Esposito (worst fangs of the trio) but she was excellent. Also loved the Hammer references, especially the gowns.