Dracula Untold (2014)

Dracula Untold
Director: Gary Shore
Writer: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
Based on: Bram Stoker‘s novel (in the loosest sense of “based”)
Cast: Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Art Parkinson, Charles Dance, Diarmaid Murtagh, Thor Kristjansson

When Vlad (Luke Evans) was a child he was enslaved by the Turks, despite being a prince, to ensure his father’s allegiance. He was raised to be a soldier and became such a good one that people nicknamed him The Impaler and he is finally allowed to return home. But when the Turks call for slave soldiers again, Vlad cannot consent – which means war. To be able to defend his family and his country better, Vlad makes a deal with a monster (Charles Dance) in a cave: for three days he will have the strength and abilities of a vampire while still alive. If he can resist the temptation to drink human blood in that time, he’ll even return to being human. But will three days be enough to defet the Turks?

I know going in that Dracula Untold was going to be the kind of film where I’d need vodka, so I wisely packed it. Rarely have I been so glad about my foresight because I needed every damn drop of it. In short, the film was really, really bad.

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Svartur á leik [Black’s Game] (2012)

Svartur á leik
Director: Óskar Thór Axelsson
Writer: Óskar Thór Axelsson
Based on: Stefán Máni‘s novel
Cast: Thor Kristjansson, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Damon Younger, María Birta, Vignir Rafn Valþórsson, Egill Einarsson
Part of: /slash Filmfestival’s slashing Europe [The /slash Filmestival needs help! Please support genre movies in Austria, if you can.]

Reykjavik, 1999. After a drunken brawl, Stebbi (Thor Kristjansson) gets arrested. Coming out of the police station, he runs into Tóti (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson), a childhood friend. Tóti promises Stebbi help with the charges against him, in return for a favor. Said favor throws Stebbi quickly and deeply into the Icelandic drug trade, which Tóti tries to take over together with Bruno (Damon Younger).

Svartur á leik is a very straightforward film. Maybe it’s even a tad too straightforward: I just kept waiting for a bit more twistiness or a kind of edge. Nevertheless I really enjoyed myself.

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