The Sins of Dracula (2014) (DVD Review)
Directed By: Richard Griffin
Starring: Sarah Nicklin, Jamie Lyn Bagley, Johnny Sederquist
Rated: UR/Region: 1/Widescreen/Number of disc: 1
Available from Scorpio Films Releasing
As the star of his church choir, there’s nothing that brings Billy more joy than the opportunity to sing for an audience. However, as his desire to perform grows, the stalwart youth finds that waiting until Sunday to get his fix just simply isn’t enough. Going against the advice of his pastor, Billy follows his girlfriend into the world of secular entertainment, joining the local community theater troupe. There, Billy is introduced to a whole new world, where his fellow thespians dabble in drugs, sexual perversion, and table-top game-play. Yet, for all the newly minted depravities Billy encounters, none could prepare him for the darkest truth of them all: The theater group is actually a front for a Satanic cult intent on raising Dracula from the grave! A tongue-in-cheek tale that satirizes the Christian scare films of the 70s and 80s, The Sins of Dracula is a story of sex, sacrilege, and sin. It’s a world where Sondheim is Satan, Broadway means blasphemy, and where taking the stage just might mean curtains…for your eternal soul.
While I’ve never been THAT much of a Dracula fan, The Sins of Dracula just so happens to have a few things I am a fan of. The director, Richard Griffin, stars such as Sarah Nicklin and Samantha Acampora, and it just so happens to take place in the great decade of the 80s (1983 in the house!). Which, I being born in that decade means I can appreciate the nostalgia tone this one has. That all being said, I liked The Sins of Dracula, but I don’t think I loved it. It could be because I’m not that into the whole Dracula thing as noted or it could be because I’ve seen Richard Griffin do other films that were so good, I’ve started having really high expectations. Whatever the reason, it isn’t his best film I’ve seen, but it isn’t the weakest one by any means either. It has some wit going for it and the characters have their own gimmicks, leaving the way for more comedic moments and when most comedic moments happen, they are at least legit funny (Which is really important). The plot reminds of Castlevania 2 in some ways, but instead of a Belmont trying to resurrect Dracula just so he can kill him again, we have a crazy theater leader trying to do awful things to resurrect Dracula just because he digs the guy and he’s into evil. Needless to say, you shouldn’t go into this one expecting a whole lot of stuff too serious, but the inner battle between our religious leading man and his urges to have sex before marriage might be a bigger conflict than his battle with Dracula is when all is said and done. Still, it makes for a fun watch and that is really all you could ask for, because it is better to be fun and silly than dull and boring any day of the week.
Michael Thurber plays Dracula in a different way, going with silent and creepy over charmful, dreary, and other styles we’ve seen before. I think it works for him and it does seem at least different, but our charismatic theater/satanic leader comes across more as the main bad guy in a lot of ways than Dracula himself does. I think given the way things are presented and the tone of the film, things ultimately end up in a fitting fashion, even with the odd curves the story throws in our direction from time to time, especially regarding some of our lead’s religious friends, who are highlights in some ways and little odd and out of left field in other ways. Everyone does what they need to and the film is a whole lot of fun and that is certainly good if you want to watch something you can just take in and enjoy without giving too much thought to it. I mean, there is some witty things about it, but this isn’t George Romero tossing in some dark and gloomy moral to the story, this is Richard Griffin with some playful stuff that can make some valid points here and there if you want to take the time to look THAT much into it. If not, well, it is still anything but dull.
– Commentary Track with Director Richard Griffin and Writer Michael Varrati
– Commentary Track with Stars Sarah Nicklin and Jamie Dufault
– Bonus Short Film ‘They Stole the Pope’s Blood!’
– Exclusive Easter Egg