1897 England: The schooner Demeter is nearing England. The crew is dead,
and the captain is lashed to the wheel. Dracula has arrived.
2000 London: Matthew Van Helsing [Christopher Plummer], an aging collector of antiques, and his
protegee Simon Sheppard [Jonny Lee Miller] are discussing the purchase of a medieval crossbow
that Matthew means to add to his personal collection in the Carfax Museum.
Among the artifacts on public display, Carfax Museum also houses a
heavily-protected vault, and no one knows what it contains. It must be
pretty valuable, though, so another employee, Solina [Jennifer Esposito], has arranged to
break into the vault and steal whatever is in there.
While Matthew sits in his office at the end of the day, Solina and
her companions (Marcus, Trick, Nightshade, Dax, Charlie, and J.T) break
the computer codes and make their way to the main vault, passing numerous
vampire skulls and crosses along the way, only to find...a coffin. No one
would think to look for treasure in a coffin, they reason, so this must be
it. In searching for a way to open it,Eddie and Dax are impaled by spikes causing an alarm to go off in in Matthew's office. "It's not possible!" Matthew whispers to himself, arms himself with a gun that
shoots silver bullets, and goes down to the vault to find that the coffin
is gone, the thieves having removed it through a hole they've blasted in
the vault's wall. "God help us all!" Matthew exclaims.
When Simon comes into work the next day, he finds Matthew preparing
to travel. But Matthew won't reveal where he is going, so Simon follows
him...all the way to New Orleans.
New Orleans: Mary Heller [Justine Waddell] is awakened by a dream in which a vampire is
attacking her. Mary has been having this dream for all her life and finds
them troubling enough that she is receiving counseling from her family
friend, Father David [Nathan Fillion]. She thinks the dreams have to do with something that
happened to her mother before she died, and she thinks Fr David might know
what it is. But Fr David isn't talking. On the other hand, Mary's
roommate, Lucy Westerman [Colleen Fitzpatrick] thinks that all Mary needs is a real man in her
bed. But it's Mardi Gras, and Mary vows not to let it bother her.
Meanwhile, the thieves are transporting the coffin on a cargo plane.
Still trying to open it, Nightshade cuts himself. His blood is sucked into
the coffin and the lid opens to reveal a body, a bunch of leeches, and a
crucifix set with a ruby. As Nightshade searches the coffin for more treasure,
Dracula [Gerard Butler] awakens. One by one, the thieves are drained of their blood, and
the plane ultimately crashes in a swamp near New Orleans, the pilot lashed
to his seat. While newscaster Valerie Sharpe [Jeri Ryan] is covering the crash,
Dracula emerges from the swamp and makes her his second vampiress (Solina
Matthew and Simon go to the townhall where the bodies from the plane
crash have been taken. By now, they're all vampires. Matthew and Simon
manage to destroy some of them, but Solina and Marcus escape. As Matthew
and Simon drive away, Matthew finally fills Simon in on what's happening.
Stoker's Dracula is real, he says, and Matthew Van Helsing is really
Abraham Van Helsing, kept alive by injections of Dracula's blood, which he
has been filtering through leeches. Van Helsing has been keeping Dracula's
body ever since he bested him in 1897. Unlike other vampires, who can be
destroyed by piercing their hearts or cutting off their heads, Dracula
cannot die, and Van Helsing intends to remain alive until such time as he
can learn the secret to Dracula's origin and find the way to end him. So
far, all he has managed to learn is that Dracula hates God and is repulsed
by all things Christian. He also reveals that he (Van Helsing) has
fathered a daughter, Mary Heller, and that Dracula has come to New Orleans
to find her. The two decide to go looking for Mary, Van Helsing to her
house and Simon to the Virgin Megastore where she and Lucy both work.
Dracula is apparently following the same plan. He comes to Virgin
looking for Mary, but Lucy tells him that she isn't there. Lucy takes
Dracula home to wait for Mary. Dracula seduces Lucy and turns her into
vampiress #3. When Simon arrives at Virgin, Mary has returned. Simon tries
to tell her about her father. As they leave the shop, Simon is attacked by
Marcus. "Never ever fuck with an antiques dealer," Simon warns Marcus just
before beheading him. Meanwhile, Van Helsing arrives at Mary's house, only
to find Dracula waiting for him. "You can't have her!" Van Helsing
exclaims, but Dracula refuses to listen. "You stole life from my blood and
passed it to another," he hisses. "She's MY Mary now." With that, Dracula
kills Van Helsing by tossing him into a mirror.
Mary goes home to find her father dead and the three vampiresses and
Dracula awaiting her. She escapes into Simon's arms. Looking for a sacred
place to spend the night, they go to a church. While in the parish
library, they research Dracula's background, learning only what they
already know about his despise of all things Christian--holy water, the
cross, the Bible. Only his dislike of silver remains unexplained.
Suddenly, Dracula appears. Mary flees into the church cemetery while Simon
attempts to divert Dracula with an open Bible. Dracula *is*
diverted...right into the cemetery where he explains to Mary, "I have
walked the earth for centuries in search of a soul not bitten but born.
Everything I am is yours, and all that you are is mine."
Dracula takes Mary to the church roof where he reveals to her the
secret of his long existence. He is Judas Iscariot, the disciple who sold
out Christ to the Romans for 30 pieces of silver (hence, Dracula's dislike
of silver). In atonement, Judas hung himself, but the rope broke and God
scourged him with eternal life as a vampire. In a soliloquy in front of a
lighted crucifix, Dracula cries out to God, "Now I drink the blood of
*your* children. You made the world in your image. Now I make it in mine."
Meanwhile, Simon sees the three vampiresses feasting on Mardi Gras
revelers. He stakes Valerie, but the remaining two capture him. Dracula
takes Mary to Simon and tells her to feed from him. "I'd like his head,"
Mary says while unsheathing a sword. Just as she prepares to swing the
sword, Lucy cries out, "She's faking!" In the melee that follows, Mary
beheads Lucy instead of Simon, Simon beheads Solina, and Dracula winds up
hanging by his neck from the lighted crucifix...just as the sun comes up.
Dracula bursts into flames. Mary vows to take over her father's job of keeping Dracula's ashes, lest Dracula find a way to return to life.
[Original Synopsis by bj_kuehl.]