Tagged: William Houston

Dracula Untold

Summary: Vampire mythology combined with the true history of Prince Vlad tell the origin of Dracula.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 4th October, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Gary Shore

Screenwriter: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Bram Stoker (characters)

Cast: Joe Benjamin (Mihai), Mish Boyko (Andrei), Paul Bullion (Nicolae), Dominic Cooper (Mehmed), Charles Dance (Master Vampire), Luke Evans (Vlad), Sarah Gadon (Mirena), Jakob Gierszal (Acemi), Dilan Gwyn (Governess), William Houston (Cazan), Noah Huntley (Captain Petru), Paul Kaye (Brother Lucian), Ferdinand Kingsley (Hamza Bey), Thor Kristjansson (Bright Eyes), Joseph Long (General Omar), Zach McGowan (Shkelgim), Diarmaid Murtagh (Dimitru), Art Parkinson (Ingeras), Arkie Reece (General Ismail), Ronan Vibert (Simion)

Runtime: 92 mins

Classification: M




Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Dracula Untold review on www.filmreviews.net.au



Nick Gardiner: You can check out Nick’s Dracula Untold review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #99



David Griffiths:

Somebody had to stand up and take the vampire genre back to the good old days. Call me cynical and old fashioned but as a seasoned fan of vampire flicks I was kind of getting tired of seeing my favourite beastie being portrayed by a pretty boy Englishman who sparkled in the sun while fawning over a frowny, sullen chick named Bella. Well the man who was up to the task of injecting a little bit of gore back into the genre is first time feature director Gary Shore who has somehow managed to find the right balance to make Dracula Untold a pretty good popcorn movie with just enough of a body count to keep the cult fans happy.

Dracula Untold takes vampire fans right back to the beginning, past Bram Stroker right back to the original myth of Transylvania’s favourite saviour, Vlad The Impaler (played here by Luke Evans). Vlad has brought peace to his homeland for a decade, but this is interrupted by the arrival of Turkish warlord Mehmed (Dominic Cooper) who once again demands that 1000 Transylvanian be turned over to his army, a fate that Vlad himself had been through as a child.

While Vlad tries to negotiate to continue the peace Mehmed makes it personal when he demands that Vlad and his wife, Mirena’s (Sarah Gadon) son Ingeras (Art Parkinson) be the 1001st child handed over. This results in Vlad eagerly trying to find a new source of power to overcome the Turks… a dark force that he has previously faced in the mountains.

There is little doubt that many people heading in to see Dracula Untold will be expecting something light and fluffy but instead Shore delivers up a film that sits someone in the realm of Forsaken: Desert Vampires and John Carpenter’s Vampires and that is certainly not a bad thing. There are a couple of easy to spot flaws in the plot but that is easily put to rest with some pretty impressive battle scenes and an air of suspense once you realise that this isn’t exactly a film that is afraid to bump off some of the main characters.

To the screenwriter’s credit they also go back to basics. There is no mucking around with fancy plotlines etc Dracula Untold is a simple story of good versus evil with a healthy subplot revolving around family versus duty for Government members. The screenwriter does take the film to the darker side though, the decision for Vlad to use evil against evil is an interesting take the hero myth and a welcome move away from the squeaky clean image that a lot of heroes seem to have these days. The biggest weakness for the script though is the film’s finale, the scene set in modern times, which I’m not sure actually has to be there unless the producers behind the film are setting it up to be another Hollywood franchise.

The darkness of the screenplay and plot is also brought to the fore by Gary Shore’s directional style. Some may criticise the dark style of the film, but for me it actually worked. Transylvania is in dark times and for a majority of the film the hero can only operate once the sun has gone down, hence filming in low light makes perfect sense and isn’t too much of a distraction for the audience. It’s actually a visual style not too dissimilar to the styles used in other medieval films like Season Of The Witch and Kingdom Of Heaven. As a first time feature director Shore actually handles the film pretty well and uses the countryside of his home, Ireland to good effect. As a result of how Dracula Untold turns out Shore is now a director that I am pretty keen to see what project he picks up next.

The big winner out of Dracula Untold is Luke Evans. Questions were raised when it was recently announced he would star in the reboot of The Crow despite proof he likes the Gothic feel with his work on The Raven and his blockbuster appeal due to The Hobbit franchise. Evans’ version of Vlad The Impaler is pretty much a screen test for The Crow. The dark brooding hero, fuelled by revenge, if he wanted to show his worth to his critics out there he couldn’t have picked a more perfect vehicle, the good news is he does a pretty decent job as well. While Evans shines though his co-stars are not given a hell of a lot to work with. Dominic Cooper plays a smarmy one-dimensional bad guy while Sarah Gadon could easily have done more if she was given more characterisation as well.

Dracula Untold is a fresh view of the original Dracula story. It is a fairly decent action film with a Gothic edge. Some of the popcorn brigade may be a little off put by the high body count and the few scenes of gore but in my book they are a definite plus. The great news is that Dracula Untold (much like Hercules earlier this year) isn’t the turkey that many expected and the vampires don’t sparkle.



Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2.5)


IMDB Rating: Dracula Untold (2014) on IMDb


Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Dracula Untold′: For our full Dracula Untold review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #99 . You can also read Dave’s Dracula Untold review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.


Son Of God


From the award-winning producers of the record-breaking miniseries The Bible, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, comes Son of God, the larger-than-life story of The New Testament, to be released by 20th Century Fox. Son of God is a major motion picture that brings the life of Jesus Christ to the big screen like never before.

Told with the scope and scale of an action epic, the film features powerful performances, exotic locales, dazzling visual effects and a rich orchestral score from Oscar®- winner Hans Zimmer. Award-winning actor Diogo Morgado portrays Jesus as the film spans from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 29th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Christopher Spencer

Screenwriter: Richard Bedser, Christopher Spencer, Colin Swash, Nic Young

Cast: Noureddine Aberdine (Jospeh of Arimathea), Jassa Ahluwalia (Young David), Nonso Anozie (Samson), Fraser Ayres (Barabbas), Rick Bacon (Herod Antipas), Said Bey (Matthew), Paul Brightwell (Malchus), Andrew Brooke (Antonius), Anas Chenin (Lazarus), Joe Coen (Joseph), Paul Marc Davis (Simon The Pharisee), Louise Delamere (Claudia), Roma Downey (Mary, Mother Of Jesus), Matthew Gravelle (Thomas), Greg Hicks (Pilate), William Houston (Moses), Langley Kirkwood (King David), Sebastian Knapp (Paul), Paul Knops (Adam), Simon Kunz (Nicodemus), Darcie Lincoln (Eve), Leila Mimmack (Young Mary), Diogo Morgado (Jesus), Sanaa Mouziane (Martha), Patrice Naiambana (Balthazar), Gary Oliver (Abraham), Daniel Percival (John The Baptist), Amber Rose Revah (Mary Magdalene), David Rintoul (Noah), Adrian Schiller (Caiaphas), Stewart Scudamore (Ramesses), Darwin Shaw (Peter), Idrissa Sisco (Simon of Cyrene), Conan Stevens (Goliath), Joe Wredden (Judas)

Runtime: 138 mins

Classification: M


Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Son Of God review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81



David Griffiths:

One of the surprises of 2013 was the succsess of the television mini-series The Bible. Despite the popular belief that there is no room for religion in modern day society the visionary mini-series ended up becoming one of the most watched television events in history. While the DVD continues to sell strongly the producer of the mini-series Mark Burnett has decided that now would be a good time to bring the ‘Jesus’ part of the series to the big screen with Son Of God.

Told through the eyes of John (Sebastian Knapp – Forest Of The Damned 2, High Plains Invader) the films follows Jesus (Diogo Morgado – Born To Race: Fast Track, TV’S Revenge) from his birth in a lowly manager, through to the recruitment of his disciples and the fact that his miracles end up with the leaders of the land feeling threatened by him. So much so that they recruit the Governor, Pilate (Greg Hicks – Burton And Taylor, Snow White And The Huntsman) to have Jesus crucified.

The biggest problem with Son Of God is that it never seems to run smoothly, you can tell that it is footage that has been taken out of something much bigger. It never really gels together like a film should instead it’s like where you are listening to a band’s greatest hits CD rather than listening to an actual album.

Son Of God never really gets to the crust of who Jesus Christ was. Instead of becoming a deep exploring character study into one of the most interesting people to have lived in world history it simply just skims the surface showing the major miracles that Jesus performed rather than delving a bit deeper and finding out what it was actually like for him growing up wearing the tag ‘son of God.’ Likewise his friendships and relationships are never fully explored and you get about as much feeling for his character here as you would driving past a Church and glancing at a depiction of him on the building’s wall.

To his credit director Christopher Spencer (Spying On Hitler’s Army: The Secret Recordings, Falklands’ Most Daring Raid) does give Son Of God a little bit of edge. Firstly he doesn’t hold back on the violence that is clearly depicted in the Bible. There are some people meeting some grisly endings at the hands of Roman soldiers whether it be a swift sword through the stomach or a rather confronting child murder committed when it is decided that a cart is hindering Pilate’s journey. Then he makes the brave decision of giving Mary Magdalene (London Life, TV’S Foyle’s War) are much larger role in Jesus’ social circle than most filmmakers would have dared to. A brave decision but a worthy tribute to one of the Bible’s most interesting characters.

As a film Son Of God doesn’t really give its cast much of a chance to shine. Diogo Morgado is just kind of so-so as Jesus, when really this should of been a role that announced him to the world. No actor who gets to play any of the disciples really gets a chance to shine and while Sebastian Knapp and Joe Wredden (TV’S The Musketeers, TV’S MI-5), who plays Judas, get more screen time they again are not really given anything meaty to work with. The one actor who can hold his head high though is Greg Hicks who works well with what he is given and does his best to his portrayal of Pilate a memorable one.

Son Of God is held back by the fact that it’s low budget never allows for the huge CGI effects that are needed at time, even during establishing shots of the cities at hand. The film is also held back by the fact that it is a mish-mash of scenes from a television series. Still it does have its moments and gets its message across strongly. Worth a look but could have been oh so much better with more gifted filmmakers at the helm.


Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2)


IMDB Rating:  Son of God (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Son Of God′: For our full Son Of God review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81