As part of my promised bloody trail into all things Dracula this year, I have finally had time to review my list of Dracula flicks to catch up on. While searching for Dracula (1992) on Netflix the other night (which I didnt find) I was offered Dracula Untold (2014) in the search results, saw the main lead was Luke Evans, one of my favs, so decided to press play.
I have always enjoyed Luke Evans performances, he is such a natural multi-talented actor that I was intrigued how he would portray, Vlad Tepes, better known as Vlad the Impaler.
Luke brought the human side of Vlad out in this story, rather than the monster we know from history. Written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (both have writing credits for Gods of Egypt, Lost in Space, The Last Witch Hunter), I was totally glued throughout.
During my own research of Vlad the Impaler, or Vlad III. I can see that most historians state that he learnt his brutal warfare, especially impaling, from the Ottoman Empire, where he was hostaged as a child. This was referenced in the film, especially with Vlad III’s son part of the requested 1,000 boys from Mehmed, Vlads old friend from his childhood, now leader of the enemy.
I enjoyed the references back to the actual historical events/facts within the film and the fact that it explored too this other side, a husband and father living in the world he was born in and responding to that environment. Bats littered the skies as Vlad would fly and fight his enemies, the fight scenes were so beautifully shot and executed.
Whether or not Vlad was the monster as documented in William Wilkinsons’ An Account of the Principalities of WALLACHIA and MOLDAVIA: With Various Political Observations Relating to Them (which I have bought and planning to read). Or was Vlad, as I stated above, a product of his times, doing anything he felt right at the time to survive. This film creatively dives into the man beyond the cape and inspiration for Bram Stoker.
A big shout out to Charles Dance (Master Vampire), he delivered the devilish, fearful creature in what we expect every Dracula film to be and Dominic Cooper as Mehmed, a badass badguy,
I’ll continue to hunt down Dracula (1992) for my next review….