A space ship cruising through the galaxy encounters a mysterious cargo ship apparently adrift in space. The crew investigates, hoping to lay claim to its cargo and acquire the ship. However, once aboard the ominous vessel, their own ship mysteriously disengages, leaving them to fend for themselves and battle none other then Count Dracula or Orloff as this creature calls himself.
Not a bad start. I mean it follows any number of typical sci-fihorror plots. The genres have been around enough that even the most original story will inevitably invoke comparison to some other film. But, when you start with a fairly typical horror convention, the legend of Dracula and vampires in general, and combine it with a fairly typical sci-fi convention, a crew happening upon something and becoming marooned to battle whatever they're forced to confront, the filmmakers better have some clever up their sleeve to imprint their own mark on the familiar genre staples.
Director Darrell Roodt, who also wrote Dracula 3000 with Ivan Milborrow, is primarily responsible for this utter failure. So, no, Roodt and Milborrow have nothing up their sleeves but their arms.
This film begins ominously enough, with a very poorly delivered voice over by Caspar Van Dien, essentially providing enough exposition to explain who the crew on his ship are. I should also point out that Van Dien's character is named Van Helsing. And, oh so very cleverly, this Orloff character is from planet Transylvania in the Carpathian System. No kidding. I mean, come on guys, we get it. And, again, don't be goofy and use such names unless you got something special in store.
So, after Van Helsing's introduction of the crew, we have, essentially, a film about this crew trapped in a space ship with a vampire lurking about.
I'm a very forgiving viewer when it comes to low budget films. Occasionally, they can be brilliant, see Raimi's first two Evil Dead films. Dracula 3000 had a decent budget, enough for some decent special effects and for the salaries of 3rd stringers like, Van Dien, Erika Eleniak, Coolio, etc. However, unlike, the EVIL DEAD flicks, there is no talent behind the camera. In front of the camera, the talent is marginal, but I'm going to give the actors some benefit of the doubt. It really seems like they don't know what to do. The best actor of the bunch, Alexandra Kamp-Groenveld, gets killed off quickly and the ever-enjoyable Udo Kier is reduced to being an exposition vehicle for the viewer as the deceased captain we hear and see via a video journal. Grant Swandby is also okay as the Professor, but it's hard to take seriously a scientist in the year 3000 who wears glasses and rides a wheel chair. And, yes, it's a WHEEL chair as in there is nothing futuristic about it. As for the rest of the actors, well
.I'm sure Coolio really tried to be scary after getting turned into a vampire, but, well, I don't think irritating qualifies as scary in most people's book. Tiny Lister and Erika Eleniak don't really provide much either. Lister is never really more then the IL' big brawny black stereotype. Eleniak actually appears unhappy throughout the film and never tries very hard. Eleniak is a pretty girl, even in her mid thirties, but looks a little worn out and uninterested for the movie's duration.
This brings us to Count DraculaOrloff played by Langley Kirkwood. To be honest, I can't recall who exactly the vampire is supposed to be. He introduces himself as Orloff but at some point he acknowledges himself as Count Dracula as well. Go figure. In any case, you will be absolutely astounded by just how lame this vampire is. Have you ever scene those cheesy horror show hosts local networks would have on their creature feature time slots? Yes, it's that bad. Langley Kirkwood, the actor playing Orlock, must have found it almost impossible to concentrate in such a ridiculous outfit. I'm sure he's still getting hassled by his friends.
There isn't much to the plot. The vampire is the last of it's kind and wants to go to Earth, for some reason, and also, there is some lip service about wanting to defeat Caspar Van Dien's character, Van Helsing. Most of the crew get turned into vampires, including Van Helsing, and the crew use conventional machine guns and pistols to try and defeat them before they figure out the old stake in the heart routine. Yeah, that's right, bullets, and yes, the year 3000. Keeping in that baffling vein, one of the main areas the crew hole themselves up in while battling the vampires, or vampire, since there is really never more then one threatening them, is filled with old Soviet posters and insignia and such. What the? There are also references to Godreligion being antiquated systems. But these references only confused me. Did the Soviet Union make a comeback? Is there some point Roodt and Milborrow want to make with this? It never really goes anywhere, seems dumb and the posters, etc. just look cheap.
On the positive side, the film is competently shot and edited. The cinematography is nothing spectacular, but it's clearly done by professionals and, I had no problem with the special effects. The ships look like ships in outer space. Although, as I write this, I recall how god awful the corpse of the captain looks when the crew discover him. What were they thinking? Why didn't someone say something? See how difficult it is to say something positive about this film without falling back on the negatives? I guess, ultimately, that's the thing. Whatever positives you try and grant this sci-fihorror debacle, you become overwhelmed by it's lack of quality.
Review by kasserine from the Internet Movie Database.