Plot: What’s it about?
Father Uffizi (Jason Scott Lee) is still on the trail of the vampire menace, doing whatever he can to snuff out their kind. He puts his own life on the line, to drive stakes through the evil hearts of the undead creatures, but not everyone agrees with his methods. Cardinal Siqueros (Roy Schieder) has heard all the stories of Uffizi’s campaign against the vampires and in his mind, enough is enough. Although Uffizi acts in the name of good, the Cardinal feels he would be better used in other avenues. After all, the vampire hunts have taken all of his time and effort, which could have been put to use elsewhere. So he is asked to stop his hunts and focus on more grounded duties, like the other priests. Of course, Uffizi takes the news hard and decides that no one, not even the Cardinal is going to stand in his path. So he forsakes his calling of the cloth and hunts on his own, but what kind of force drives him to be so obsessed with the vampires?
Dimension has become the sequel machine for horror cinema, dishing out endless sequels for franchises like Hellraiser, Children of the Corn, The Prophecy, and now, Dracula. Dracula 2000 was a fun, mindless horror movie, which was followed by Dracula II: Ascension, a not so fun, but still mindless horror movie. Now we have Dracula III: Legacy, but will it be able to remain mindless, yet restore fun to the series? Patrick Lussier and Joel Soisson both return in creative roles, while Wes Craven once again accepted a paycheck to attach his name and hell, even some of the cast is back this time around. I have to admit, Dracula III is better than I expected, thanks to some wicked atmosphere. Yes, this is direct to video, but man, the locations are dynamic and the overall mood is the stuff you wish every horror movie could have. The dark visuals have such an authentic feel, thanks in no small role to the on location shoot. The rest of the movie is passable at best, but you owe yourself a rental, if just to soak in the wicked gothic visuals. Dimension’s disc is well handled too, so perhaps the days of bare bones releases on these sequels are in the past.
Video: How does it look?
Dracula III: Legacy is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Although not one of Dimension’s best transfers of late, this effort is quite good and for a lower budget production, I’d say this presentation is more than solid. The flaws include speckles on the print, some softness, and spots of edge enhancement, but these remain minor in all cases and as such, I can’t see too many viewers being let down here. I found colors to be warm and error free, while contrast is bold and accurate at all times, no detail loss in the least. As I mentioned, this visual effort has some small problems, but still stands as a good looking treatment.
Audio: How does it sound?
A Dolby Digital 5.1 track is used and it makes great use of the material’s potential, so this mix is alive and kicking, from start to finish. All the cheap scares and sharp musical cues arrive in perfect form, so you’ll be jarred just as intended, which is important in this movie, to be sure. The bass is deep and frequent too, as is creative use of the surrounds, so you’ll be quite impressed & immersed within the picture. The story might have your attention drifting, but the audio will make sure you stay focused. The dialogue is clean and sharp too, so all the one liners are as clear as a bell. This disc also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, and French, in case you need those options at some point.
Supplements: What are the extras?
An audio commentary track is up first, as Soisson and Lussier are joined by special effects man Gary Tunicliffe. The trio provide a more than solid session, with numerous tidbits on the ins and outs of the shoot, as well as the expected anecdotes. Not the best track I’ve heard in recent weeks, but a solid one and for fans, it is more than worth a listen. You can also check out two brief interview featurettes, or scope out a deleted scene and an alternate end sequence. This disc also includes the original treatments for all three Dracula movies, as well as some cast audition reels.