17th Mar2021

‘The Curse of Dracula’ DVD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Jurij Drevensek, Marko Mandic, Tanja Ribic, Katarina Stegnar, Jonas Znidarsic, Niklas Kvarforth, Sasa Pavlin Stosic, Luka Cimpric, Ziga Födransperg | Written and Directed by Tomaz Gorkic

The Curse of Dracula, aka The Curse of Valburga, is a Slovenian horror comedy that is loosely linked with the famous vampire. Valburga being the apparent cousin of Dracula and his mansion in Slovenia is the location for a tourist tour where things don’t go quite as planned.

I don’t think I have seen any other Slovenian movies, let alone Slovenian horror movies but Slovenia is a country I have visited and really liked. Much of The Curse of Dracula is filmed in the capital city of Ljubljana but you couldn’t really tell. And it’s a shame that the filmmakers couldn’t make use of the many beautiful places in the country including the lakes and surrounding forests that are briefly mentioned.

The most clear and obvious influence on The Curse of Dracula is Adam Green’s slasher Hatchet. At times, it almost feels like a carbon copy with the characters (the two female porn stars and their director the most glaring) and the fact they are taking a tourist tour in which they will soon be attacked on and most likely murdered. And if you are going to be influenced by a movie like Hatchet you better have some entertaining death scenes and gore.

Thankfully, the gore is by far the best part of the movie. Thought and as much budget as possible seems to have gone into all of the practical and VFX effects. The blood looks realistic, as do the injuries and wounds. Even when giant circular saw blades are stuck in characters head, it looks perfectly gruesome. This circular blade is the weapon of choice for one of the killers and many of the deaths. It’s an original weapon but, probably because of the low budget, it isn’t used to its full potential and the death scenes do become a little bit samey. It was a 100% the right choice for the director to focus on the gore and kills because without these becoming so effective the film would have very little going for it.

There are some laughs here and there. While a lot of the jokes feel very much forced, there are times when it works and it gets a few laughs from me. The elderly couple in which the ongoing joke is that the ladies tiny handbag is a bottomless pit of canned beers, is surprisingly funny. But when the focus is on anything but that joke with the couple, it becomes much less interesting and not very funny at all.

Performances are decent from the main cast. Everyone understands that they are in a low budget comedy horror but still takes their roles seriously. They are there to create an occasional laugh and be entertaining victims. For the most part, that’s exactly what they do.

Director Tomaz Gorkic is definitely one to keep an eye on (I will be checking out his excellently titled previous movie Killbillies). Although The Curse of Dracula’s Cousin would have been a much better title in my opinion, The Curse of Dracula should keep slasher fans entertained. It’s not original and it’s not created any new slasher icon but at only eighty minutes long, it’s worth a go.

The Curse of Dracula is out now on DVD and Digital from Danse Macabre.

One Response to “‘The Curse of Dracula’ DVD Review”

  • Patrick McKenna

    I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. It’s a little indie gem, and surprisingly funny. Humour is very subjective, but this was right up my street.
    I actually purchased this by mistake, and then purposely didn’t read any reviews in advance. And as anyone who’s seen this quirky movie will testify, the ending is a perfect teaser for a sequel.
    All in all a worthy effort. 4 raw steaks out of 5.