Saturday, April 23, 2005

Virginia-Made Dracula Movie Premieres in Charlottesville

This arrived in the arts and entertainment publicity email box that I keep at (in my role as Entertainment Editor for The Metro Herald). It was totally unexpected, and I'm interested to learn who the "local actors" are who are appearing in this new movie. Here are the key details:

For Immediate Release:

Darkstone Entertainment and Lander Creative present the Independent Movie Premiere of John Johnson’s “Alucard”

April 30, 2005 at 6:00 PM at The Dickinson Fine and Performing Arts Center at Piedmont Virginia Community College.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door and include admission to the premiere celebration which will be held at the Gravity Lounge (103 South First Street, Charlottesville, Virginia) immediately following the showing of the movie (the movie run time is 3 hours and 52 minutes).

Call to order tickets: 434.296.7915. MasterCard and Visa accepted.

Movie Details: Never one to be limited by convention or rules of form in his filmmaking, Charlottesville’s John Johnson set out to make an epic Digital Video version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Where most filmmakers have seen a story of emotional and sexual futility and gothic horror, Johnson saw a story of heroism and sacrifice. Johnson was shocked that he could not find a version of the story that did not explore these central themes of Stoker’s novel. 53 sets, 75 actors, 168 pages of script, more than one chase by sea and horse, and redressing of Swannanoa (to be the home of the villainous Count Alucard), complete this four-hour epic that is the most loyal version of the story ever crafted.

As much as the film is a testament to Bram Stoker’s seminal novel, the movie is also a testament to the energy and enthusiasm of independent film. Without studio support, Johnson mounted horseback chases, boat chases, sword fights, a dark and menacing castle, and anachronism that takes the viewer off guard. In one scene a laptop might remind the viewer of the twenty first century relevance of Stoker’s story and in the next, a horse drawn carriage will take you to a place of timelessness. This is a story that you thought you have known since the first time you hid under the covers as a child from the Count. Come see the darker side of Dracula that cinema has shunned for decades.

Filmmaker’s Bio: JOHN JOHNSON shot his first film, “Zap,” when he was 8 years old. A self-taught filmmaker, by the time John graduated high school, he had completed 50 No-Budget films: 5 feature lengths, 1 (20 episode) television show, and 44 shorts ranging from 2-47 minutes long. His show, “FearFighter: Save the Legion,” aired on WADA, a local affiliate of PAX TV in Charlottesville, VA.

John is now an award winning filmmaker and the Head Chairman and Founder of Darkstone Entertainment, an independent film company based out of Charlottesville, VA. His short film, Darkness, won the Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film at the Vision Film Festival in 2003. John’s feature film, Shadowhunters, completed in 2004, was recently licensed to Maxim Media Marketing for international release and Brain Damage Films for domestic home video/ DVD distribution. John currently has three feature films in post-production, Alucard, a retelling of Bram Stoker’s gothic novel Dracula, Skeleton Key, a horror comedy, and Deceptors, an action fantasy film.

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