Dracula II: Ascension (2003 Video)
Horror following a group of medical students who come across the body of the world's most notorious vampire, Dracula (Stephen Billington). When a mysterious stranger appears and offers the students $30 million to harvest the body and steal its blood for auction, it's an offer they can't refuse. But as the lure of riches collides with unimaginable terror, the students also find themselves relentlessly pursued by a vampire killer from the Vatican.
- NOTE: Sequel to Dracula 2000. It is not crucial, but it helps to have first seen Dracula 2000, if
only to know Dracula's lineage and how he was left burned and hanging from a lighted crucifix.
Father Uffizi [Jason Scott Lee] hunts vampires. He travels the world to behead them with his bullwhip, but his ultimate goal is to find the first vampire, Dracula (revealed as Judas Iscariot in Dracula 2000), absolve Dracula's sins against Jesus, set his soul free, and end his unholy existence. So, when Dracula's charred body turns up in the New Orleans morgue, Uffizi heads there. Medical students, Liz Blaine [Diane Neal] and Luke [Jason London] are charged with autopsying the body. When they open the abdominal cavity, they find that the liver and other organs are white, suggesting to Luke that the person did not produce his own blood but got it elsewhere, i.e., a vampire. Not believing, Liz searches the mouth for fangs, which suddenly erupt and stab her finger. Then comes a phone call offering them $30 million for the body. They decide to switch the vampire with another burn victim, keep the $30 million, and hide the vampire's body in order to study it. Liz and Luke, accompanied by two other med students, Kenny [Khary Payton] and Tanya [Brande Roderick], transport the vampire's body to the abandoned home of Professor Lowell [Craig Sheffer], who is also Liz's lover and who is confined to a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy.
They're not quite sure how they're going to research this vampire, but the first thing on the agenda is to immerse him in 350 pints of blood to allow his body to heal. After two hours without a ripple, they decide to fish out the body to see if anything is happening. Just then, the vampire [Stephen Billington] sits up, busts his way out of the tub, and kills Tanya in the process. As Luke prepares to stake the very angry vampire, Eric [John Light] enters with a 'sungun' and subdues the vampire. Eric introduces himself as "the money." After the vampire is secured and Tanya is buried, they move the vampire to an abandoned gym where a testing room has been set up with ultraviolet lights and a table to which the vampire can be secured with chains coated in liquid silver. The plan is to find the vampire's essence and make from it a vaccine that can be used to cure diseased cells.
The first experiment involves placing a drop of human blood on a sample of skin taken from the vampire. The skin quickly grows "like a cancer but without the chaos." Next, a syringeful of blood is drawn from the vampire's neck, and a drop of the vampire's blood is placed on a tissue sample from Lowell's wasted muscle. The vampire blood cells immediately begin killing off the human cells. "If it's replacing the cells that it has killed, when do you stop being you?" Liz wonders. Luke squirts the changing tissue with holy water, and it immediately begins to sizzle as though acid had been poured on it. Now, "the trick is to separate the diseased vector--the evil, if you will--from the cure," says Lowell.
But Kenny can't wait. He injects the remainder of the vampire's blood into himself. Of course, he turns into a vampire. Eric, Liz, and Luke go looking for him. In their absence, the vampire mesmerizes Lowell into driving his wheelchair off a ledge. When Liz and Luke return, they find Lowell badly injured. Meanwhile, Liz has been noticing that her vampire bite is infected and that the infection is spreading throughout her body. Yet, she is still committed to the research because of her love for Lowell. Finding a cure for him is of tantamount importance. Liz reveals to Luke the extent of her infection and pleads with him to help.
But the vampire's blood supply has been depleted. Liz decides to transfuse some of her own blood into the vampire so that she can get more blood from him. She injects this blood into Lowell, who immediately begins to heal. Lowell then laughs at Liz and tells her that he was only using her, along with four others, to find a vampire. He says that he never loved Liz and that he is "the money" behind the whole project. In a fit of "jilted bitch," Liz tosses holy water on him.
To protect themselves, Luke has sprinkled seeds around the vampire and placed a knotted net on his chest. In the melee that ensues, Lowell becomes a vampire and Dracula breaks free from his bindings. First, Dracula bites off Eric's face. Then he turns on Luke and Liz. Luke reminds him that he must untie all the knots, but Dracula tosses down a knotfree net. [Already done!] Luke reminds him that he must count all the seeds, and Dracula replies, "47,812." Luke tosses a bucket of seeds at him and challenges, "Count these!" Before the seeds even hit the ground, Dracula says, "737,818." When one more seed falls from the basket, Dracula amends his count to "...19."
Fortunately, Father Uffizi has managed to destroy Tanya, Kenny, and all the other vampires left in the wake. He now catches up with Dracula. Liz is turning, too. Uffizi tells Luke to take her out into the sun, but Liz is too far gone. In an attempt to kill Dracula, Uffizi smashes all the windows to let in the sunlight. He wraps his whip around Dracula's neck and is just about to behead him when Dracula forces upon him a vision of Christ, blinding Uffizi for a moment. In that moment, Liz shoots Uffizi. As Dracula escapes with Liz, Uffizi promises, "I'll find you." Dracula replies, "I'm counting on it." [Original synopsis by bj_kuehl]