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For the 2006 film, see Bram Stoker's Dracula's Curse
Dracula's Curse
Directed by Roger Young
Produced by Roberta Cadringher
Paolo De Crescenzo
Ferdinand Dohna
Michele Greco
Paolo Lucidi
Written by Roger Young
Starring Patrick Bergin
Giancarlo Giannini
Stefania Rocca
Muriel Baumeister
Hardy Krüger Jr.
Kai Wiesinger
Music by Harald Kloser
Thomas Wanker
Editing by Alessandro Lucidi
Running time 104 min
Country Italy
Language English

Dracula (alternately titled Dracula's Curse and The Kiss of Dracula[1]) is an Italian TV movie made in 2002. It is based on the 1897 novel of the same name by Bram Stoker, though it updates the events of the novel to the present day.



Plot summary

At a ballroom of a hospital charity party in Budapest, the successful American lawyer Jonathan Harker (Hardy Krüger Jr.) suddenly proposes to his girlfriend Mina (Stefania Rocca). He wants to marry her within the week. Their friends Lucy (Muriel Baumaster), Quincy (Alessio Boni) and Arthur (Conrad Hornby) have been invited by Jonathan and have just arrived for the wedding, all without Mina's awareness. Meanwhile, they meet the promoter of the party, the psychiatrist Dr. Seward (Kai Wiesinger). Later in the same night, Jonathan is called by a rich client, Tepes (Patrick Bergin), who hires him to prepare the inventory of the wealth of his uncle, the count Vladislav Tepes (Patrick Bergin), in Romania. Jonathan travels to the Carpathian Mountains in his Porsche, has an accident and finally arrives in the count's old castle.

Vlad Tepes, here calling himself Count Vladislav Tepes, decides to leave his castle and move to the west. He says he feels tired from Rumania's decline and the seclusion of his life.

In Budapest he discusses some illegal business with Harker. He also wants Jonathan's help in turning his collection of paintings, jewels and his gold deposits to cash. Jonathan's friends businessman Quincey Morris, specialising in money swindles, and Arthur Holmwood, a British diplomat who is in a debt, offer to help. Though Jonathan and Arthur have their doubts about the deal Quincey convinces them that money is all that matters and its one true power that makes the world go around.

Patrick Bergin as the title character

Dracula gets very interested in those young people—the men, hungry for money and power; Lucy, who wants to sleep in many beds, in many cities, have new experiences and live for ever; and Mina, who wants to change the world and end human suffering. Throughout the film Dracula tries to seduce all five of them into his own world, make them wish to become vampires. Focusing again and again on how hypocritical morality is and promising them the loss of their consciences, he says survival of the fittest is the proper way and even the strong cannot save the weak. He also references God's slaughters in the Bible to prove that humanity was created in his image, the image of a killer.

There to stop him is the researcher of the occult and Seward's teacher Dr. Enrico Valenzi the one who believes that Dracula can be defeated when he faces a strong will empowered by faith. But throughout this film he raises more and more self-doubts and his will is almost broken by the end.

Its Mina, half-way through her transformation to a vampire, that manages to make Dracula trust her and kills him as he holds her in an embrace.The films end with Mina still having the vampire's mark and how that affects is remain a question.

Deviations from the novel

This list is not exhaustive, but intended to convey a sense of the differences between the film and the novel:

  • The setting is shifted to the early twenty-first century and Hungary.
  • Mina kills Dracula.
  • Dracula actively tries to recruit the men as well as the women as vampires, evidently with some kind of Armageddon in mind.
  • Abraham Van Helsing is renamed Enrico Valenzi.
  • There is no chase to Romania.
  • Dracula disguises himself as a young man named Vladislav Tepes and tells Harker that his uncle (Dracula as an elderly man) wishes to buy Carfax.
  • Renfield's name is changed to Roenfield, and he survives
  • Dracula is explicitly identified as Vladislav Tepes
  • The Demeter is renamed the Tug.


Critical reaction to the film has been mixed to negative. David Johnson of DVD Verdict offered a positive review, saying: "Everyone involved commits to doing an okay job, and the production values and general atmosphere help shed the burden of the film stock and sad-sack effects. Bergin's Dracula is effectively crusty and malicious, and Muriel Baumeister has a good time hamming it up as the infected Lucy."[2] Others were less positive: The SF, Horror, and Fantasy Film Review wrote, "While the film does an excellent job in updating Dracula to the midst of New Europe's nouveau riche, director Roger Young lets the show down considerably in the second half. ... The script does get caught up in some pretentious natterings [and] the performances are particularly uneven."[3]

Noel Megahey of DVD Times said, "It's [the] awkwardness in the script and the dialogue that weighs heavily on the film, although the film actually does operate half-way successfully when it moves into the non-verbal action sequences. What really sinks the film in the end, though, is not the weakness of the special effects, but the performances and the delivery of the pan-European cast that struggles through their semi-dubbed English-language lines."[4] David Hall of said, "There have been far worse cinematic incarnations of Stoker's tale than this — but it must rank as one of the dreariest adaptations ever — a toothless bore shorn of any frisson of eroticism, with nary a drop of blood in sight."[5]


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