The cellphone reception in Dracula's castle is pretty bad, but it can't be as frustrating as trying to fathom the plot of this woefully muddled horror film. Three bickering rich-kid couples and their nerdy guy friend have come to Romania for a fun-filled week in the mountain home of that 15th-century party guy, Vlad the Impaler (aka Dracula). After some illicit castle sex, the seven begin meeting gruesome ends, including one's forced gorging on baked chicken by ash-covered, indigenous demon people. Director Derek Hockenbrough and co-writer Steve Snyder (who also serves, quite capably, as cinematographer), have a nice feel for the traditional, cobwebby trappings of the haunted-house picture, but they waste their cool set on an overly complex plot involving the seven deadly sins, an unholy resurrection and the sacrificing of not one virgin but two. There are gory flashbacks to Vlad's rise to power and, as befits his name, more than one impaling, but sadly, there's no sign of the one thing this movie really needs—a vampire.
Derek HockenbroughDiana Busuioc, Christian Gehring, Christina Collard