Abraham Van Helsing (Christopher Plummer) tells numerous people throughout this film -- including his faithful assistant, Simon (Jonny Lee Miller) -- that despite the fact he had Dracula entombed in a sealed metal casket full of leeches, he couldn't figure out a way to kill the immortal blood-sucker. Hey, I know it's frequently cloudy in London, but how about finding a sunny day, rolling the casket out into Hyde Park, opening the damn thing, and letting the sun burn the immobile vampire into a crispy critter? Is Van Helsing that stupid?
Instead, he has Dracula locked away in a vault. Naturally, it's just a matter of time before somebody breaks into the vault. Van Helsing doesn't exactly hide the fact he's got something worth looking at down there. If he'd just stored Dracula up in his attic, or in his backyard, nobody ever would have thought to go there and search for something valuable. Unfortunately, he's got a vault that's screaming "break into me" and so a few industrious thieves including Solina (Jennifer Esposito) and Marcus (Omar Epps) do.
Dracula ends up in New Orleans searching for Mary (Justine Waddell), who's Van Helsing's daughter. Apparently, since Van Helsing has been keeping himself vital with Dracula's blood, Mary and Dracula are related -- or something like that. Why Van Helsing decided to have a daughter AND keep Dracula alive is anybody's guess, but apparently he didn't forsee any problems on the horizon. A whole bunch of people, including Jeri Ryan from "Star Trek: Voyager," get bitten and turn into vampires. Though this film had plenty of opportunity to give Jeri some reason to disrobe and display her talents, director Patrick Lussier opts for a stake through the heart, which is a horrible, horrible letdown. Why else do bad actresses appear in B-horror films other than to jiggle various fleshy deposits?
We discover in the end that Dracula is Judas, betrayer of Jesus, and I don't feel bad revealing this plot twist because it doesn't make any sense at all, and the film gets so preachy it nearly made me puke. If there's a message in the movie, it's that films such as this ought to go straight to video and not inflict their ungodly torture on us all.
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