Fangs God It’s Friday: Simon Sheppard

Long before strolling the streets of New York as a modern day interpretation of Sherlock Holmes in the show Elementary, Jonny Lee Miller took a turn as a vampire hunter in the film Dracula 2000. Hollywood hadn’t delivered a big budget take on Dracula since 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and for the start of a new century, Dracula got the obligatory update. Although it spawned two sequels (both of which went direct to video), Dracula 2000 didn’t prove very successful at the box office, not even with Wes Craven’s name slapped on the posters (Craven didn’t direct the film, he only served as an executive producer).

Jonny Lee Miller as Simon Sheppard in "Dracula 2000"

Among the characters created for the film is Simon Sheppard, played by Miller. He’s a young apprentice to the real vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing. Simon thinks he’s just working for an old antiques dealer, but what he doesn’t know is that his boss is the original Van Helsing who is sitting on Dracula’s body (kept locked in a vault, not really sitting on it) until he can find a way to kill Dracula for good. In fact, Van Helsing has kept himself alive much longer than natural by taking small doses of Dracula’s blood. Of course, when Dracula gets loose, Van Helsing goes after him and Simon goes along for the ride.

As I pointed out, this movie didn’t do well at the box office. Why is tough to say, because it’s not that bad of a vampire film. In fact, you can find a lot of love for it on its imdb page despite its low rating. I think the promotion for the film didn’t do it any favors, because it certainly came across as more style than substance. What’s fascinating is to revisit the film more than 15 years later and realize how many big names showed up in Dracula 2000, including Gerard Butler as Dracula and Nathon Fillion (who, like Miller, went on to star in a TV mystery series of his own, Castle)


About Bill Blume

Bill Blume discovered his love for the written word while in high school and has been writing ever since. His latest book Gidion's Blood is being released on August 11th by Diversion Books. His short stories have been in many fantasy anthologies and various ezines. Just like the father figure in his first novel, Bill works as a 911 dispatcher for Henrico County Police and has done so for more than a decade. He also served as the 2013 chair for James River Writers in Richmond, which produces one of the nation’s best annual conferences for educating and connecting writers.
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