There was a little thing called New York Comic Con last weekend, so my movie-going time was somewhat limited. I couldn’t see the One Direction movie, you guys! Slightly more up my alley as a fan of genre cinema, I couldn’t see Dracula Untold. That turned out to be a good thing, because most reviews (including TK’s) have it pegged as a festering pustule of suck.
So no. I didn’t have two hours of my life to waste seeing Dracula Untold. What did I have? A trio of friends whose knowledge of really bad horror films—no, really bad horror films—verges on the encyclopedic. They are an invaluable resource. I knew what I had to do.
To protect the identities of those who have intentionally sat down and watched Vampire Dentist, I shall refer to my friends by the following code names:
Bartholomule Boxhead, aka Barty
Barnabus, aka Barney
I Don’t Want to Pick a Name, I’m Really Hungry!, aka Ethel
Dracula 2000 (2000)
Director: Patrick Lussier
Starring: Gerard Butler, Jonny Lee Miller, Omar Epps, Justine Waddell, Christopher Plummer
I explained to my friends that I wasn’t looking for regularly bad films. I was looking for the shit de la shit. So what about Dracula 2000 fits the bill? It boils down to the plot, explained Barty: This version of Dracula (Gerard Butler) is actually Judas, who tried to hang himself after betraying Jesus, only God didn’t want him to get into heaven, so he turned him into a vampire. That sounds… pretty stupid. There was also a sequel, Dracula II: Ascension, but “no one saw it,” claimed Barty. “I saw it,” countered Ethel, wanting recognition for her suffering. “I can’t remember much, because I blocked it from my memory. But I saw it.” The only good thing about Dracula 2000, she told me, is “Vitamin C.”
“Vitamin C. She was a pop singer from the ’90s,” Ethel patiently told me, a person who only listens to completely unembarrassing music.
OH MY GOD. VITAMIN C.
Yeah, her. Under her real name, Colleen Ann Fitzpatrick, Vitamin C played Lucy, BFF to Mina (or Mary). Oh, and in this version of the Dracula mythos Mina’s a descendant of Van Helsing (Christopher Plummer), who used Dracula’s blood to keep him alive, which means Mary has vampire powers. Ethel concluded her dissertation on Mary and Lucy: “And they’re both Tower Records employees.”
There was a third movie, Dracula III: Legacy, but at this point smoke (from the fires of justice) were starting to come from Ethel’s ears, so I decided to redirect the conversation to…
Vampire Dentist (2006)
Director: Christine Whitlock
Starring: It doesn’t matter. No one you’ve heard of. Look at this poster. Look at it.
I have been subjected to the Vampire Dentist rant before. I have heard the review that Ethel read that made her intrigued enough to watch it: That everyone should see Vampire Dentist so for the rest of their lives they can look back and say “At least I’m not watching Vampire Dentist.” I was ready. So. Vampire Dentist. Take it away, Ethel.
“One of them has broken-off Popsicle sticks as fangs.”
Oh-kaaaay. Let’s backtrack. Who is this vampire? “The son of some powerful vampire,” Barty told me. “I’m not sure if it’s Dracula or not.” Well… why is he a dentist?
Ethel: “Because he wanted to be a dentist!”
After a few moments of confused gesticulations on my part, I was able to ascertain that the vampire dentist is just like a normal dentist, only he works at night and sees only vampire patients. I don’t know why I was expecting something different, but I was.
What about the plot? Well, there isn’t one, Barty told me: “Characters come in and out. They must’ve just filmed with whoever showed up that day. One of the main characters disappears halfway through the movie and never shows up again.”
Barney pops his head in from the kitchen: “Did you tell her about the finger drills?”
Oh, did they. The Vampire Dentist has these finger claws that you sometimes see people wear—“like Bugles, but metal”—and he uses one of them to drill his patient’s teeth… Esther was practically hopping up and down at this point… “and he makes drill noises with his mouth!”
So is this supposed to be funny, or did it just kind of… stumble across the bonkers? “Who knows?,” Barty asked, leaning back on his hands and pondering the meaning of life. “Who really knows?”
Director: Wait for it.
Starring: Kristanna Loken, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Rodriguez
Vampire Dentist set a pretty high(/low) standard for bad vampire movies. Why does BloodRayne deserve to be in its less than august company? What makes it so bad?
“Uwe Boll directed it.”
This is the least obscure movie on this list, having been made “before people knew how bad Uwe Boll is,” Barty explained. Then the conversation devolved into a discussion of the merits of BloodRayne: The Third Reich and Blubberella (Barney: As one would expect, “there are so many bad fat jokes”), the latter a spoof of the former filmed at the same time with mostly the same cast. Oh, except Boll played Hitler in Blubberella, and someone else played him in BloodRayne: The Third Reich, so there’s that.
But back to BloodRayne. Barty describes the defining characteristics of Boll’s vampires: “You just have to stick your penis in them, and then they don’t want to eat you anymore. That works with guy and girl vampires.”
Hollywood Vampyr (2002)
Director: Steve Akahoshi
Starring: Trevor Goddard and Nora Zimmett playing characters named Blood and Fatal. No, really.
I know you’re shocked that a movie with the title Hollywood Vampyr (“vam-PYEEEEUHHHHH”) would be on this list, but stay with me. The film’s most egregious sin, explained Ethel, is that it’s just boring. At least by the standards of distributor Brain Damage Films, which also did “a clone horror where Ron Jeremy shows up and gets his dick cut off while he’s driving, then he crashes into a gas station, and everything explodes.”
That one’s Hell’s Highway, by the way. If you’re curious.
American Vampire, aka An American Vampire Story (1997)
Director: Luis Esteban
Starring: Trevor Lissauer, Johnny Venocur, Adam West
Barty: It has Adam West in it!
Me: What’s bad about that?
Barty: …It has Adam West in it.
And finally: The Mystery Movie
Our Google fu could not help us discover the title of what sounds like an utter gem of a movie, though to be fair neither Barty, Barney, nor Ethel could remember things like actors or a director, all of whom I’m sure have gone on to have absolutely stellar careers. Here’s what we have: A doctor gets infected with vampirism when he comes into contact with some weirdness in a vial. He has trouble with the sunlight—as vampires tend to do—until he kills a homeless man and takes his black clothes, after which he’s completely fine. “He becomes a vampire and starts wearing New Rocks,” proclaimed Barty. “And I’m like, dude, he’s wearing New Rocks.”
Goth boot/bad vampire movie enthusiasts, do us a solid. Correctly identify this movie, and I will never write about Vampire Dentist ever again.
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