Thursday, 4 September 2014

Cinema's Finest Moments #6

Johnny Alucard dies like a bitch (Dracula A.D. 1972)

I'm about to enter into my final year of studying English at a degree level, and as such, it's highly unlikely that by this time next year I'll be bragging about my rewarding job, beautiful children, and contortionist wife. No, for a student of the arts, education never really ends and maturity never really takes hold, that's why our kind will always be found setting up face-painting stalls at festivals, clustered around a circular pub table on the newly gentrified side of town, and dropping oxycodone in skeletal apartments and garbling about Greg Norton's moustache.

But at least we know our role in the cosmic narrative. Yes sir, we do.

We're not one bit concerned with becoming MMA cage fighters, Ebola researchers, or Stalinist double agents. We just, like, need time to work on ourselves, man. Would you judge a turtle by its ability to soar through the skies? Would you slap a child across the hand if it couldn't say its ABCs, despite being bereft of a tongue? Have you ever in your life wondered what it would be like trying to break into the modelling industry with a set of spare tyres worthy of redneck monster truck derby? You more than likely answered no to most of those questions, that's because they're all foolheaded and improbable, and we don't deal with foolheaded and improbable. We know our role.

Johnny Alucard didn't know his role in the cosmic narrative. No, he most certainly did not. And that's why he doth got himself deaded.

 Dracula A.D. 1972, as you might discover with time and sleepless inquiry, is set in 1972, 100 years after Lawrence Van Helsing's final encounter with the king of vampires. We're introduced to a trendy and throbbing London beatnik scene, one in which our central characters all participate within, including the all too doomed Johnny Alucard. However, unlike most of the young cast, young Alucard isn't as satisfied with simply dropping acid and crashing parties as his 'group' are. He's after something with a bit of a bite.

I apologize wholeheartedly, that was fucking abominable. 

The Alucard bloodline have been subservient to Count Dracula for centuries, and Johnny is no exception, but Johnny wants something in return, where his predecessors went listlessly sufficient. Having, I imagine, spent most of his young life preparing to conjure up the dreaded Count so that he can wreak his bloody vengeance upon the Van Helsing house, Alucard wants only one thing in return for his assistance; the satanic powers of the vampire. A true case of the turtle attempting to spread its wings. Then again, playing the support act to Christopher Lee would be akin to opening up for Metallica at a BBQ and rodeo show.

As the film unfurls before us, Alucard is granted his unholy gifts, and he even shows some promise to begin with. Not that it does him a lot of good, because even with all of his paranormal abilities, he still ends up having lumps taken out of him by a gaunt old man. Now, this is a pain that Christopher Lee knows all too well himself, the old fogey whoopery, but at least Dracula was a persistent and fearsome foe, not a wuss with a switch blade and a turtle neck.

In the end, Alucard, the promising young torch-snatcher that should have been, ended up horribly killing himself in a slapstick and completely avoidable manner. You see, Alucard kissed Death's ring finger the moment he decided to purchase a trendy London apartment with a stunning open roof bathroom. Having first pulled the curtains from the ceiling and exposing himself to sunlight, he then tumbles into his bathtub and fortuitously switches the shower on with his flailing arm. Sunlight and water aren't to vampires what they are to the cactus in your bedroom window, and Alucard had managed to set both combustible elements upon himself within the space of three seconds. Like a bitch.

And that's why you should always follow your dreams, no matter how blind your journey and no matter how unrealistic the expected payoff. 

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