If you thought that nothing new could be done with the classic vampire tale, or that it had all been done before by Hammer pictures, you couldn't have been more wrong. The original Bram Stoker novel gets the Francis Ford Coppolla treatment, to bring us what is probably the most enjoyable re-telling of the classic tale to date.
For those not familiar with the story, the film starts with young lawyer Jonathan Harker (played by action movie star Keanu Reeves) who has travelled to a small village in the country of Transylvania to assist a local noblemen in the sale of his castle.
However, this is no ordinary castle, and the owner is no ordinary nobleman. For this is the castle of the Evil Prince Vlad Dracula, a blood sucking vampire (no wonder the local peasants were so damn scared), and after seeing a picture of Harker's girlfriend Mina Murray (played by Winona Ryder), he finds himself being forced to spend an extended stay in the castle, whilst the count packs himself off to jolly old England to seduce her and turn her into one of his kind.
Fortunately Harker manages to escape and gets back to London where he enlists the help of vampire killer Dr Van Helsing (played by British veteran Anthony Hopkins), and so the battle is on to try and prevent the count from vampirising the lovely miss Murray , who has already been busy working on some of her friends.
If you like classic vampire pics (although I'm not sure they had gun slinging Texan's in London during that period), you will love this one. Gary Oldman's portrayal of the evil count is excellent, being both charismatic and menacing at the same time. Anthony Hopkins is wonderfully eccentric in his role as Dr Van Helsing, and Winona Ryder is excellent no matter what film she stars in. Richard E. Grant also puts in an appearance as an unfortunate doctor who gets his arse bitten off by one of Mina's vampirised friend's.
Best Line, Dr Seward asks Van Helsing if he wants to autopsy Lucy, to Which he replies "No, not exactly, I just wish to cut off her head and take out her heart".