Dracula III: Legacy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. A spotty presentation for a brand-new movie, the picture looked good but with too many issues to be terribly strong.
Sharpness usually seemed fine. Wider shots tended to take on a little softness, mostly due to the image’s main problem: edge enhancement. Noticeable haloes appeared throughout the movie. This led to a mild lack of definition, but usually the film stayed reasonably concise. Light instances of jagged edges and shimmering occurred, and the flick occasionally betrayed a somewhat rough “digital” look. Source flaws were infrequent, as I noticed only a few specks.
Like all modern vampire movies, Legacy went with a stylized palette. Much of it seemed fairly desaturated, though some reds stood out at times. The colors were acceptably distinctive but not special. Blacks were fairly deep and dense, but shadows tended to appear a little too dim. The low-light shots could be more opaque than I’d like. All of this added up to an unexceptional but acceptable transfer.
When I examined the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Dracula III: Legacy, it boasted a number of strengths but was harmed but one definite weakness: edgy speech. The dialogue often sounded reedy and brittle. While this didn’t affect intelligibility, it made the package rougher than I’d expect from a modern film.
Otherwise, audio quality was solid. Music appeared bright and dynamic, with good reproduction of the score. Effects packed a nice wallop. Those elements came across as tight and concise, and they also provided nice range and definition.
In addition, the film offered a pretty good soundfield. The various vampire sequences meant we got lots of chances for the mix to use all five channels. It did so effectively, as creatures zipped around us and weapons created strong movement too. Dracula’s voice popped up in various spots to good effect. Elements were appropriately placed and they meshed together smoothly. Without the speech problems, this mix easily would have merited at least a “B+”, but the crackly dialogue became too much of a distraction.
Legacy comes with a surprisingly broad roster of extras. We open with an audio commentary from director Patrick Lussier, producer Joel Soisson, and special makeup designer Gary Tunnicliffe. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific chat. And a lively discussion it is. We learn about the choice to make Dracula II and III simultaneously, casting and the actors’ work, issues connected to filming in Romania, visual elements and effects, cinematography, story topics, and general production tidbits. Lussier takes the lead and chats at a mile a minute much of the time. The others contribute good notes as well, though it remains the director’s baby. They cover the flick well and make this a fun and entertaining conversation.
Next comes A Conversation with Patrick Lussier on the Mythology of Vampires. This chat lasts four minutes and 37 seconds and covers various legends. He goes over ideas through history, topics connected to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and some adaptation subjects. He runs through things too quickly for much depth, but Lussier offers a decent little piece of background.
We follow this with A Conversation with Gary Tunnicliffe. It goes for eight minutes, four seconds. Tunnicliffe covers his makeup and prop work on the film, the challenges of being in Romania, and acting in the film. He provides some nice details and anecdotes through this light and chatty discussion.
Four Cast Auditions run a total of 13 minutes, 31 seconds. We get try-outs for George Grigore, Ilinca Goia, Claudiu Bleont, and Alexandra Westcort. All of these add up to a fun look behind the scenes.
Up next we find one Deleted Scene and an Alternate Ending. The former fills two minutes, 26 seconds, while the latter occupies one minute, 19 seconds. Called “Flat Tire”, the deleted scene shows yet another shot of the interminable search for Dracula. The alternate ending provides a happier conclusion. Neither is very interesting.
Original Treatments gives us text materials. We find the original proposals written for all three Dracula movies. For fans who want to compare the initial ideas with the final product, this is a very cool addition.
In the Trailers, we get promos for Dracula 2000 and Dracula II: Ascension. No ad for Legacy appears.
We also find at least one Easter Egg. From the first “Special Features” page, click up from “Feature Commentary” and hit enter. You can then watch a four-minute and 48-second compilation of location scout footage.
The DVD opens with some ads. We get promos for Sin City, Cursed and Hostage. These also appear in the disc’s Sneak Peeks area along with trailers for Hellraiser: Hellworld and The Prophecy.
Just what we don’t need: another bad vampire movie. Unfortunately, Dracula III: Legacy is nothing more than a forgettable and tedious excursion in occasional blood-sucking. The DVD’s a decent affair, however, with acceptable to good picture and audio plus a surprisingly rich set of extras given the film’s direct-to-video status. None of these redeem the forgettable feature, unfortunately.