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Vlad the impaler (Dark prince: The true story of Dracula)

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

The story begins in 1446. Romania has been occupied by Turkey, and is required to pay the Turkish Sultan a yearly tribute. Dracul (Dan Badarau) is a prince of Romanian decent who has been allowed to occupy the Romanian throne, but he has grown tired of Turkish rule and resists paying the tribute. As a result, Vlad Dracula (Sebastian Lupea) and his younger brother Radu (Niels Brinks) are kidnapped and held hostage by the Turkish Sultan.

Their father is later murdered - buried alive - but it is uncertain by whom. The Sultan holds the boys prisoner for many years, and develops a particular attachment to young Radu. When the grown Vlad Dracula (Rudolph Martin) is finally released nine years later, he vows to avenge his father's death, to unite his people, and to liberate his brother Radu (Michael Sutton) from Sultan Mohamed (Claudiu Bleont).

Persons of interest

  • Rudolf Martin .... Vlad the Impaler
  • Jane March .... Lidia
  • Christopher Brand .... Bruno
  • Peter Weller .... Father Stefan
  • Roger Daltrey .... King Janos
  • Michael Sutton .... Radu
  • Razvan Vasilescu .... Aron
  • Radu Amzulescu .... Inquisitor
  • Claudiu Bleont .... Sultan Mohamed
  • Claudiu Trandafir .... Prince Karl
  • Dan Bordeianu .... Vlad III (age 18)
  • Victor Ungureanu .... Vlad III (age 8)
  • Dan Badarau .... Dracula's Father
  • Sebastian Lupea .... Teen Vlad Dracula
  • Niels Brinks .... Teen Radu
  • Eugen Cristea .... Andrei
  • Orodel Olanu .... Orodel
  • Thomas Baum .... Screenwriter
  • Joe Chappelle .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Oh. You mean it's a costume drama, not a vampire flick. Not at all.

If you're hanging out for pasty-looking guys in need of a good orthodontist, you'd better watch Dracula 2000 at the movies instead (releases 12 April 2001). What you get with Vlad the impaler is an historical examination of the man behind the myth. Uhhh... I am having difficulty thinking up what you need to know about this film because there's not really a lot that you do need to know. It has dark, gloomy castles, swordplay, romance, political machinations and gory details, just like you'd expect. If it wasn't based on truth it would be a pretty ordinary flick, but since there is some grounding in reality (despite the obvious artistic license) it's a rather interesting look at someone who is only portrayed as a bad guy.

I like bad guys who have a bit of depth.

It is also good to see Vlad portrayed by actual Romanians rather than Anglos. The dark, brooding quality that Dan Badarau brings to the character is as much a product of genes as it is of talent. One strange piece of casting is Roger "I used to be a rock star but now I'm an actor" Daltrey as the King of Hungary. How did that happen? Was someone a big fan of The Who?

Oh well, if you're a die-hard "suck my neck" fan, you'll already know a lot of what Vlad the impaler has to say, but if all you know is what you saw in Bram Stoker's Dracula then you have a lot to learn.

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Medium level violence, adult themes)

Surveillance time

91 minutes (1:31 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental: 11 April 2001

Cinema surveillance images

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