movie, movie review

February 8th, 2017 Movie – Dracula: Sovereign Of The Damned

dracula-sovereign-of-the-damned

Now this is a movie I was highly interested in owning. See, I wasn’t alive during the main portion of Marvel’s “Tomb Of Dracula” comic run. However, I wound up going back and reading most of the issues due to the reemergence of three of the characters (Blade, Frank Drake, and Hannibal King) being brought back to be part of the Ghost Rider portion of the Marvel Universe. Then, a while back I was reading a list of “forgotten/unknown” Marvel movies and saw that there was an animated movie based on “Tomb Of Dracula.” Well, that was a movie I had to own so I bought it and now that brings us to today’s movie, Dracula: Sovereign Of The Damned.

The plot: Having been chased out of Transylvania by a group of vampire hunters, Dracula has made it’s way to Boston. In the city, he happens to stumble upon a Satanic cult that is offering a woman to act as a bride for Satan and Dracula pretends to be Satan and takes the woman, Delores, and flies off into the night. Taking Delores to the mansion he calls home, Dracula intends to turn Delores into a vampire so she will be with him forever but as he gets close, he finds himself entranced with her and unable to harm her so he flies off to get blood elsewhere. Dracula kills two women and a news story with an interview of the drunk who witnessed the attack is shown at the bar that Frank Drake is at. Frank receives a call from a woman, who asks him to meet her at the park and when he heads there, he meets Quincy Harker and Rachel Van Helsing. Quincy explains that they are direct descendants of Jonathan Harker and Abraham Van Helsing, and are sworn to continue the fight against Dracula and after some trials, manage to convince Frank to help them, as he is a descendant of Dracula. Meanwhile, the leader of the cult wonders why Satan has ignored them since accepting Delores and summons Satan, who tells him that Dracula was the one who took his bride. The cult leader wants to go after Dracula but Satan tells him to wait, as he has something planned for Dracula. While the cult wonders what Satan has planned, Frank, Quincy, and Rachel go hunting for Dracula, using a dog named Delijah, who is sensitive to the smell of evil. After months of searching, Frank believes that they have been wasting their time but Quincy believes he has narrowed down the area where Dracula is hiding. Meanwhile, Delores has given birth to Dracula’s son, Janus, and Dracula tells Delores the truth about who he is. Delores tells him that she knew the moment they met that he wasn’t Satan and believes that the bond of love they have will be enough to defeat Satan. Dracula then tells her who he was before he became a vampire, and how his actions in defending his homeland caught the attention of Satan and when he died, Satan brought him back as a vampire. He also tells her how he had learned of the cult, and wanting revenge against Satan for what he did, he planned on stealing the bride and turning her into a vampire but his love for her stopped him. Satan appears before the cult leader and tells them their moment for revenge is at hand. The leader sends out a carrier pigeon to Delores, with a message reading that they wish to give Janus a proper baptism so that he can receive Satan’s protection. Delores is worried that the cult leader will use the opportunity to get revenge on them but Satan says he will protect them but thinks they should go as the protection they are offering to Janus might be useful. As they head to the cult’s lair, they are spotted by Frank and the others, who plan on killing Dracula but are curious about Delores and the baby. When the reach the church that the cult gathers in, they realize that it is a trap as steel shutters engraved with crucifixes slam shut over the doors and windows. With Dracula weakened by the crucifixes, the cult leader tries to shoot him with silver bullets but ends up shooting Janus instead. In a rage at the death of his son, Dracula kills the cult leader and begins destroying the church. Frank and the others arrive and fight with Dracula, but he easily defeats them. As he goes to kill Quincy, Delores pleads with Dracula to stop the killing as it won’t bring their son back and Dracula flies off alone and rages into the night. In New York, a female vampire has been killing people and Frank considers going to investigate but Quincy says that he feels Dracula is still in Boston. They follow Delores as she goes to Janus’ grave and watch as she prepares to kill herself but she is stopped by a voice from heaven and a light from the sky falls upon Janus’ grave. In a cave in the mountains, Dracula sees the light and realizes that Janus is being brought back to destroy him so he flies down to stop it. Dracula arrives at the cemetery but is unable to prevent Janus from being brought back to life and transformed into an adult in order to destroy Dracula. As Dracula leaves, Delores pleads with Janus not to kill him but Janus says that that was his purpose for being brought back and flies off after him, while Quincy and the others approach and speak with Delores. Janus finds Dracula as he is about to feed and fights with him, showing that he has some powers to use against him, but Dracula manages to use his own powers to escape. When a dark cloud envelopes Delores and takes her from their home, Dracula sees this and follows after her, eventually finding her in the ruins of the cult’s church. Once there, they are confronted by Satan, who uses his powers to turn Dracula mortal but before he can kill him, Delores uses her hidden powers to chase Dracula away. Mortal now, Dracula heads to New York to try and find Layla, the female vampire in the area, and have her change him back to a vampire. When he gets there, he finds Layla and asks her to change him but she refuses, attacking him briefly before flying off. Quincy and the others see the fight and Rachel wants to kill him since he is powerless but Quincy says they have no right as he is mortal now. Dracula decides to head to Transylvania to regain his powers and unearths one of his vampiric minions but she refuses, saying that she serves a new master now. As more undead rise up to destroy him, Dracula is forced to run and takes shelter in a house with three children. As the undead break into the house, Dracula grabs a cross and uses it to fend them off and save the children. He then goes to face Torgo, who has become the new lord of the vampires and, due to the mark of the cross that was burned into his hands, he is able to defeat them. Returning to his castle, Dracula finds that he has regained his vampiric powers but is confronted by Quincy, who pierces Dracula with a silver spoke from his wheelchair. As Dracula pulls out the spoke and goes to attack Quincy, Quincy activates a bomb on his wheelchair, destroying both Dracula and Quincy, as well as the castle. Janus returns to Delores to tell her the news and as she embraces him, Janus is transformed back into a baby for her to raise, while the ruined castle of Dracula is said to be haunted by his ghost.

This was a pretty interesting movie, since it was basically an animated comic book. The voice acting was pretty decent, but over the top at times. The story was essentially taken straight from the comics, at least the ones I remember, but several of the names were changed from the comics, such as Delores and Layla instead of Domini and Lilith. The animation was pretty typical of the late 70’s/early 80’s Japanese animation, which actually worked as it made it seem like it was essentially the comic book pages coming to life. I wish it had some of the other characters from the comic in it but all in all, this isn’t a bad movie to watch.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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