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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Dracula II: Ascension: SE
Dracula II: Ascension: SE
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // R // June 17, 2003
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted July 13, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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CineSchlock-O-Rama
Short Takes

Building on the gruesome spiritual warfare of the Prophecy series, another new franchise, surprisingly borne on the wabbly legs of Dracula 2000, lurches ahead with a gooey sequel that sheds the tired sensuality of the genre in favor of fearless vampire killin'. So well, in fact, that it edges slightly ahead of its progenitor and adeptly whets appetites for a potentially killer third foray, which was filmed at the same time for about $36 in Romania. CineSchlocker fave Gary Tunnicliffe must've got all but the last buck of that for a deliciously demented array of the FX slinger's signature severed heads and other grisly goodies. Keeping Gary in pub money is holy hiney kicker Jason Scott Lee, no kin to Bruce, who plays a rogue Catholic priest prone to decapitating just about EVERYONE he meets if they're the least bit pale or have bleeding gums. Father Uffizi expertly does so with his slick hand sickle or an Indiana Jones-esque whip with razorblades that easily encircle the necks of wouldbe neck noshers. All with the blessing of the big man upstairs, of course! Those who actually REMEMBER the plot of the original will likely be found scratching their heads as this continuation smartly sidesteps all but the ingenious Judas Iscariot origin of Dracula. Sure there's still lame devices such as stealing a toasty vampire corpse for experiments in eternal life, or at least a cure for neurological ailments, and the tried-and-true turncoat monologue that interminably details his motives. Forget all that. Watch Mr. Lee strut around in slow mo lopping heads between ethereal sessions in which he strips to his skivvies and flogs himself for being a bad, bad boy. Bring on the sequel! CineSchlockers may hyperventilate at the mere sight of buxom Brande Roderick, especially when she tumbles into that great big bathtub o' BLOOD!!! Somehow 2001's Playboy Playmate of the Year must never have known the heights her acting pursuits would take her given that, as Miss April 2000, she cited Audrey Hepburn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts and Angelina Jolie among her screen idols. Four breasts. Eight corpses. Gratuitous phone scare. Pussycat slurping. Limey spazzing. CGI shenanigans. Franchise flashbacks. Gratuitous Roy Scheider. Vampiric sun stroke. Jason London's morgue monkey Luke doesn't know the half of it, "WE BAGGED US A VAMPIRE!!!" (2002, 84 mins, 2.35:1 anam, DD 5.1, Crew commentary [featuring Mr. Tunnicliffe], Deleted scenes, Audition footage, Trailers.)

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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.
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