Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula – USA, 2000

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‘More vicious than the myth’

Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula is a 2000 horror-war television film directed by Joe Chappelle (Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Hellraiser: Bloodline; Phantoms) from a screenplay by Thomas Baum.

The film is about Vlad III Dracula, “the Impaler”, the historical figure who gave Bram Stoker‘s Dracula his name. It is also known as Dracula: The Dark Prince and Dark Prince: Legend of Dracula.

Main cast:

(Robocop), Michael Sutton, Roger Daltrey (The Legacy; Vampirella)

Plot:

Vlad is a dispossessed noble, and a patriot who fights the occupation forces of the Turks hoping to avenge the murder of his father by Romanian nobles and the capture of his brother by the Ottoman sultan. The King of Hungary (Roger Daltrey) becomes Vlad’s ally and, with his support, Vlad and his men attack the occupying Turks and turncoat Romanian boyars, and seizes the throne of Wallachia, in the film called simply (and anachronistically) “Romania”…

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Reviews:

“For such a familiar story, Dark Prince has all the excitement of something brand new. These characters can easily become caricatures, growling for gore and calling down vengeance from heaven. But the excellent cast and ferocious battle scenes make for one of the best war movies to hit TV in a while.” John Walsh, Maxim

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Dracula: The Dark Prince is a welcome extension of the Dracula brand. Unlike the multitudes of generic rip-offs that come out annually, this low-key effort finally puts a new spin on an old myth.” Ryan Cracknell, Apollo Movie Guide

“It plays hell with the facts and reduces its potentially gripping subject to cheesy soap operatic melodrama. … It’s not awful, but it is awfully ordinary. For the real goods, find McNally and Florescu’s Dracula: Prince of Many Faces: His Life and Times instead.” Mark Bourne, The DVD Journal

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“The combination of above-par acting, interesting storyline, and lovely Eastern European scenery make this USA Network production worth watching.” Judy McGuire, TV Guide

“It’s obviously fluffed up but at the same time it’s a bit repetitious, with countless battle scenes that don’t offer much closure. In the end we’re left with the notion that Vlad the Impaler was (and remains) a national hero, not a demon walking among the dead. And that might put a crimp in your enjoyment of the Bram Stoker stories.” Christopher Null,  Filmcritic.com

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Choice dialogue:

Vlad Tepes: “The Pope and the sultans stink alike!”

Trailer:

Wikipedia | IMDb

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