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Film / Vlad

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A 2003 horror movie with Billy Zane, Brad Dourif and Francisco Quinn as the titular character.

In 1447, Vlad II Dracul of Wallachia is betrayed by Iancu de Hunedoara of Transylvania, who orders his execution before his sons Vlad and Radu. Before his death, he hands over his medallion which belongs to the Order of the Dragon, a monastic order from which he belonged to him, and he now passes it over to his son. Vowing revenge on the people that betrayed his father, Vlad becomes a monster that would kill and torture thousands, being transformed into an immortal and cursed creature, a vampire.Fast forward to present day, and four foreign exchange students are sent to Romania in order to write their respective thesis on Vlad the Impaler. What they don't know is that their dean responsible for sending them is also a Order of the Dragon member, and it's revealed that one of them possess Vlad's medallion, which inadvertently displaces him from his time period, bringing him into to the future alongside a mysterious maiden named Ilona. With Vlad now unleashed into modern times, the students must seek the Order's help to find a way to defeat him.

Vlad contains examples of the following:

  • Aborted Arc: Early into the story, Adrian is intercepted and nearly captured by a group of men that are implied to be enemies to the Order of the Dragon. Though it appears they are related to Vlad in some way, they never appear again beyond this point.
  • Advertised Extra: Despite being featured in the posters and billed alongside Billy Zane, Brad Dourif's character appears only at the beginning and once during the middle of the story, only to never appear again.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Father Ilie expresses this sentiment towards Vlad when confronting him. Instead of showing contempt or hate, he has pity for how he was betrayed by all those closest to him except for his wife, who took her own life after hearing of false news of his death and he ended up being damned by God. However, Vlad shows this sentiment is unwarranted and proceeds to run Ilie through with his sword.
  • Ancient Order of Protectors: The Order of the Dragon.
  • Bathing Beauty: Just before their travel to Romania, Lindsey takes a bath which is an excuse to have fanservice.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Dracula is vanquished when the medallion is returned and Ilona is sent back to her time period. However, Justin, Adrien and Ilie are dead, though the latter appears as a knight in Ilona's timeline, seemingly reuniting with her.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Justin tells his colleagues that he laments living in modern times where England is an old people's place, and wishes he had lived during the same time as King Arthur and helped drive away the Saxon invaders.
  • Buried Alive: Vlad's father and elder brother. Unlike most conventional examples, they are not placed inside a casket and buried, they jump in a ditch together and their enemies slowly buries them alive by throwing the dirt back in.
  • Damsel in Distress: Ilona nearly gets killed by Vlad during her original timeline just before she is transported to the future. Later on, Alexa is kidnapped by Vlad, who turns her into his bride.
  • Dead Guy on Display: Mircea is killed and his body is impaled for the heroes to find later on.
  • Dead Star Walking: Billy Zane is the highest billing actor in the movie (his name is on the poster after all) and his character dies halfway through the movie.
  • Death of a Child: Lindsey has a vision of Vlad's baby child being graphically trampled by Ottoman horsemen while chasing him.
  • Dracula: Its a given, but he is more like his historical counterpart than the classic literary vampire in this movie.
  • Game Face: Whenever Vlad snarls at his enemies, his face turns bat-like for a short moment.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Though his backstory is fleshed out in the opening, Vlad just kills most people he comes across indiscriminately and no reason for doing this is given besides being driven by hate of all things after all the misery he endured.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The students' guide Mircea betrays them to become Vlad's follower. Big mistake, as he ends up being killed by Vlad.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Ilona and Vlad end up being flung into the future. The former is only capable of communicating in Romanian and Old English and the latter spends most of the movie in chainmail armor and fights using his sword.
  • Hidden Depths: During a camping scene, Justin reveals he always wanted to be a knight, which is surprising for someone who has been established so far as a jerkass.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Justin is crass, unlikable and rude to others, never missing an opportunity to act like an idiotic dick or being bigoted against the local Romanians. With that said, he shows his softer side towards Ilona.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: Alexa screams with pleasure while Vlad bites her.
  • Mr. Exposition: Father Ilie is a Order of the Dragon member who provides some much needed explanation regarding Vlad and how to defeat him.
  • Neck Snap: Vlad kills two main characters by breaking their necks with his bare hands, Adrian and Justin respectively.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: Once Ilona ends up being transported to the present, the students lead to her to the nearest doctor they can find. Unfortunately said doctor is a veterinarian.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: At first glance, Vlad looks like a straight example (having superhuman strength, teleportation, turning into mist, wolves, bats, mind-control, etc), however he doesn't display the typical weaknesses. Sunlight doesn't appear to harm him (but then again, his literary counterpart wasn't either, only merely weakened), and nobody ever mentions wooden stakes, garlic, crosses or the like. The only way to defeat him is to return his medallion back to his tomb after a fairly complicated ritual has been performed.
  • The Punishment: Its said that God cursed Vlad for his cruelty, and ended up turning him into a immortal killing machine with unholy powers.
  • Timeshifted Actor: Catalin Rotaru plays a young Vlad in the opening, while Francisco Quinn plays him as an adult.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Lindsey's grandfather. During World War II, he found Vlad's tomb and stole his medallion, disrupting his rest and unleashing him into modern time. He realizes this and hands his medallion to Lindsey so she can return it.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • A mysterious group attacks Adrian at the start of the story, but they are never alluded to again.
    • Same thing with Radescu (Brad Dourif's character) who instructs Adrian to take his own van so he could evade the men pursuing him, and he never appears again in the movie.
    • The veterinary staff in the building where the students spend the night. They are evacuated after Vlad attacks them and we never know what ultimately became of them.
  • The World's Expert (on Getting Killed): Adrian is established as the most experienced in action than the students, since he is a Order of the Dragon member and he actually tries to fight Vlad in hand-to-hand combat. He becomes the first named character to die via a Neck Snap.