*½/**** Image B+ Sound B+ Extras B
starring Jason Scott Lee, Jason London, Craig Sheffer, Stephen Billington
screenplay by Joel Soisson & Patrick Lussier
directed by Patrick Lussier
by Walter Chaw As far as direct-to-video sequels to awful franchise films go, Patrick Lussier's ponderously dubbed Wes Craven Presents Dracula II: Ascension (hereafter Dracula II) is better than Hellraiser 3 and Children of the Corn V, but really just a vampire knock-off of Suicide Kings, of all things. After tackling the mummy mythos in Russell Mulcahy's dreadful Tale of the Mummy, poor Jason Scott Lee takes on the vampire canon, assuming the Van Helsing role of self-flagellating holy vamp hunter Uffizi, all decked-out in priestly black and doing his Bruce Lee berserker song-and-dance, this time armed to the nines with obscure weaponry. A shame that the film spends so much of its time watching a suddenly Aryan Dracula (Stephen Billington, Gerard Butler apparently not available) tied to a table between banks of ultraviolet lights while mumbling dreamy phrases in a Count Chocula accent, as the potential is there for a campy cheap-o action/gore piece.