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  • Writer's pictureMr. Pat

Renfield

Last week we had gorgeous weather. The problem was, I couldn't enjoy much of it because I was sick the entire week. Now as I look ahead to Halloween, it looks like it's going to be another hot and humid holiday. I'm a little bummed but on the other hand, Halloween is only eight days away, so that's very exciting! But I can't look ahead too far, I still have plenty of movies to watch! So let's get right to it and discuss...


Renfield (2023)


I am so upset this movie bombed. It's Nicolas Freakin' Cage playing Dracula! That right there is enough of a reason to check it out! It made about 39 million-money less than it cost to make and that's a real shame because, in my humble opinion, people are missing out.


The movie starts with a scene of extreme violence with Cage tearing apart some vampire hunters. It then pauses and does the, "I'll bet you're wondering how I got here," thing where Renfield explains how he met Dracula. I got a real kick out of this scene because it takes moments from the iconic 1931 movie starring Bela Lugosi and just edits Cage and Nicholas Hoult in as the characters. It's cool and they even kept the same dialogue for a lot of it. Dracula was one of the first classic horror movies I ever saw and seeing these modern actors playing the roles of Bela Lugosi and Dwight Frye brought a big smile to my face.


Renfield explains that any time hunters hurt Dracula, they have to move somewhere else. Renfield is then charged with finding them a place to hide and then providing Dracula with victims so he can regain his strength. In the 90 years he's been serving Dracula, Renfield starts to see the Count for who he is, but like many in an abusive relationship, he can't get away. To help his guilt, Renfield joins a support group of people in codependent relationships. He decides to feed Dracula the abusers of these men and women, but Dracula prefers pure people. He asks for tourists, nuns or a busload of cheerleaders.


While looking for victims he goes to a restaurant that happens to have tourists, nuns and surprisingly, a busload of cheerleaders! While grappling with his conscience, in walks a cop and her partner, followed by the son of a local mob boss looking for revenge. Renfield decides to help and he, and the cop, murder every single mobster in a wonderfully over-the-top scene. The movie continues the struggle of Renfield trying to become his own man, Dracula deciding he wants to come out of hiding and rule the world and Officer Rebecca's mission to take down the mob.


Those are all pretty heavy topics but the movie plays everything over the top to the extreme. The scenes are so violent they become cartoonish and it's hilarious how far some of these scenes go. The mob boss' son is played by Ben Schwartz, Jean-Ralphio from "Parks and Rec," so you know how the character is. There's a scene in the beginning where he's trying to escape Renfield and drives right to a DUI checkpoint. He tries to make a break for it, but crashes. He then grabs several bricks of cocaine and runs for it with Rebecca and her partner chasing after him. In desperation, he starts throwing the bricks at them. One of them hits the partner in the face and explodes all over him! He responds with, "Shit! It's cocaine!" It's so funny and so absurd that it's incredible.


Then, when they have him in the interrogation room, he's confessing to everything, even things the police don't know about. Rebecca tells her bewildered partner, "No one has even been in there with him yet." Minutes later, despite Rebecca's protests, they let him go. Later, he's arrested again after trying to murder Rebecca, but he's let go again. It's funny how no one, except for Rebecca, bats an eye at how corrupt the police force is. It's funny that in a movie starring Nicolas Cage as Dracula, he's not the zaniest character.


As I write this review, I don't understand what kept people away from the movie. It's so much fun and just a blast to watch. People may balk at the violence, but it's deliberately unrealistic. It takes the Kill Bill tactic where people explode into geysers of blood. At one point Renfield surprises himself and accidentally rips off the arms of a SWAT officer. After using said arms as a club against a mobster, oh yeah, the corruption is so blatant that the police and the mobsters are literally going on raids together in broad daylight. Anyways, he sees Rebecca is in trouble, so, from a door above, he launches the arms and impales two baddies against a door. You really have to see some of this stuff that happens.


I don't want to give out much more of the plot or things that happen, but it's well worth your time. The actors and actresses are all having a blast and it shines through the screen. Several laugh-out-loud moments bring a smile to my face long after it happened. There's also a recurring joke about how much Rebecca hates a fellow officer named Kyle. He only has a few lines and he doesn't appear to be dirty, but any time he's brought up, Rebecca snarls, "Fuck you, Carl!"


It's pretty funny but gets even better at the end when the chief is begging Rebecca to give up her crusade. He even offers her Kyle's parking spot. When he objects, the chief snaps, "Fuck you, Kyle!"


There are so many wonderful moments in this movie that it is so much fun to watch. I recommend you check it out!


8.5 Dr. Chainsaws!


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