Dracula II: Ascension Reviews
Starring:Stephen Billington,Craig Sheffer,Jason Scott Lee, Jason London,Diane Neal,Khary Payton,Brande Roderick,John Light,Roy Scheider,and David J. Francis
Directed By: Patrick Lussier
Hello kiddies your pal the crypt-critic here with another disappointment of blood, that you won't want to sink your teeth into. If you remember I wrote a review for Dracula 2000 a film that most would say is terrible but I loved the hell out of it, it was one of those fun and bloody vampire movies I could really sink my teeth into. It's sequel however Is just lame, nonsensical, not that much fun and all around a load of shriek.
The sequel to Patrick Lussier's Dracula 2000 begins with a group of medical students discovering the body of the infamous count Dracula. Soon, the students find themselves in r=the middle of a bizarre and dangerous conflict when a man offers them 30 million dollars for the body so that they may harvest his blood. All in the while, the kids find that they are being targeted by a Vatican-sanctioned Vampire killer who will stop at nothing to destroy count Dracula once and for all.
This plot is stupid no one who found out that their dead body was a vampire would ever do something as stupid as help people to try and harvest it's blood. This is what makes this quite unrealistic or even a good fantasy/horror story to begin with, it has stupidity written all over it. This is not that original at all. The story could have been worse though it's not like a jumbled mess,but it's just real sad that they could have made this a lot better. It does flow with the events of the first film but with more uninteresting characters which is what brings it down.
The characters are not believable, no one in the right mind would do these things, plus they don't act like mad scientist's so the stupid/dangerous things there doing is just stupid. The were naturals though they kept the minimum when it came to being intelligent morgues and college kids but their actions is what makes them ultimately suffer. No one does stand out though I mean sure the vampire-killer may be cool but he's barely in the movie. Why couldn't it be about him?
The setting is quite typical in some locations you got the abandoned house but where lacking the darkness of being in a graveyard at night I mean come on, being in a graveyard with killer vampires in a film is quite frightening and fun. The little lab in a abandoned shop/house doesn't set the mood or at least not in this film cause you don't feel scared. The music is non-exsistant in this film. The special effects are lame in this movie, I mean terribly lame, they look like toy's.
The movie does not work well, altogether it all feels like it's trying to capture on the money made from the first movie but just fails with making an interesting cohesive story that adds from the first movie. The movie does not elicit any type of response from fun,fright,or sheer terror from me and it won't from you.
Dracula II: Ascension is a disappointing sequel with an uninteresting story with stupid characters, that does not bring anything new or enjoyable to the table. I give this piece of shriek a two out of five.
Jason Scott lee is an interesting choice for the hero and succeeds while the film around fails. The rest of the cast are hammy and definitely not worthy. The budget script doesn't allow any worthy storytelling.
Lussier is less comfortable with the low budget compared to the first film. He's lack of direction is actually quite boring and nothing to write home about. I liked where the first film worked but even that struggled from poor storytelling.
The screenplay isn't worthy of the screen time. The characters are one dimensional and have no direction. The ending works only as a lead into another sequel which you'll watch just to see an ending which this does not have.
The first film had some redeeming qualities but I'm hard pressed to find much of anything here.
Jason Scott Lee looks out of place in this as a priest/vampire slayer. Was bemused that vampires have to count bits of sand or dirt and the whole knot thing.
The fight scenes seem disjointed and irregular. Was bemused at one beheading and another guy getting his face ripped off only to come back to life resulting him getting a bottle of holy water in his trap.
Has an ending which has an anti-heroistic tone and allows Wes Craven the option of following it up,would perhaps be better to start afresh.
Leading the study is Professor Lowell (Craig Sheffer), the boyfriend of Elizabeth, and who is currently confined to a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy. Perhaps, this vampire corpse may be the key which leads to a cure not only for Lowell's sickness, but for all of mankind's illnesses. What they may discover in this vampire being could have the potential to make physical disease a thing of the past...
The students decide to "revive" the vampire, but little do they realize that once you start playing with fire, you can't extinguish the flames... The students discover that not only can this vampire come back to life; this vampire could very well be Dracula himself...
Father Uffizi (Jason Scott Lee) has been sent from the Vatican on a mission: to vanquish Dracula and his armies of darkness once and for all. But the only way to destroy Dracula is for Father Uffizi to grant him absolution. Because you see, Dracula in his previous life was the one and only Judas. (And please, don't ask me what this is all about -- I didn't write the story to this movie, I'm only reporting what I saw.)
Dracula II: Ascension is the much anticipated, long awaited sequel to Dracula 2000. Okay, I admit it . . . I'm outright lying. How many of you have even heard of, let alone seen, Dracula 2000? If you have heard or seen this movie, please raise your hands. I thought so...
The problem with Dracula II: Ascension is that it's both poorly written and very lethargic. We are never emotionally invested in these characters, with the possible exception of Father Uffizi. We don't really care about the characters' fates and quite frankly, the longer we watch this movie, the more we simply want to get it over with. The production values are outright cheap. The majority of the movie looks like it was filmed in an abandoned building. This film doesn't really have much atmosphere to spare either. Basically, this movie is a chore to watch. I would say that there is some decent gore in this film. This film has a fairly cool double decapitation sequence as well as numerous other beheadings. There is an insane bloodbath scene where a bathtub of blood revives Dracula and the usual chaos ensues. Finally, there is a rather gruesome moment where Dracula rips off a victim's face. The poor victim comes back to life and you see a close-up of the inside of his face in gory detail as he attacks the remaining survivors.
Jason Scott Lee (best known for his memorable performance as Bruce Lee in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story) does a decent job and plays a credible lead hero. I like that there was some effort made to have Uffizi not an outright hero, but not a complete antihero either. The twist with his character is that Uffizi himself has been infected by the vampire curse and each day, he exposes himself to the sun, screaming in agony as his skin burns in hopes that the sunlight may get rid of his vampire curse. But he is never completely successful and each day, he struggles not to succumb to this curse. As for the rest of the cast, I really just didn't care about their performances. While I think the majority of them tried very hard to make the best out of this low-budget and boring movie, I get the sense that most of the actors are doing this simply for the paycheck and are trying to get this done and over with. You'll also notice that Roy Scheider's name is fairly prominent in the film's promotional advertising, but his cameo appearance lasts for a laughable five minutes at most.
Dracula II: Ascension is ultimately hampered by its extremely low budget and crude production. Despite the sincere efforts of both the cast and the crew, Dracula II: Ascension is simply unable to overcome its limitations. To be frank, this film is not really enjoyable even for cheap thrills. Just skip this one. Besides, I doubt you'll even come across this movie unless you're actively seeking this one out...