A long, long time ago the young and beautiful Lucy had an intense affair with the vampire Dracula. Van Helsing tried to save her from the vampire to no success. In the present day, Lucy can't remember her past, but it's beginning to become clear again to her. And Dracula is ready to take her back.
A number of adaptions of "Dracula" are fairly similar to each other, no matter how cheesy, exploitive or artsy they are there's always a sense of them being two of the same. "Dracula 0.9" doesn't hide where the mythology (if you can call it that) is coming from, even including some rather misplaced references, but it's working it in a different way that does allow it to expand the story however it feels like it without "ruining it". However, that doesn't mean it succeeds in making a great story about the beloved Count.
Dracula, Van Helsing and Lucy are the main characters in this story, with the addition of Renfield. We're introduced to Lucy in present time, as a seemingly normal woman. But soon we start to get a sense of something being different about her, while she is beginning to remember it as well. A long time ago (9 eclipses ago - which gave us the title) she was a romance between Lucy and Dracula, a vampire (duh). Their love was sensual, and Dracula wanted her to live an eternity with him. Van Helsing, the known vampire hunter is, yet again an expert in the area, and tried to save Lucy from this creature of the night. Now that she remembers her distant past, Dracula is back to get his eternal love and Van Helsing to put a stop to it.
While writing this I realize that it doesn't sound all too "far out" in terms of following the old story, but the way this is made it's actually rather confusing at times. Especially early on it keeps things rather vague, often trying an artistic approach to it which I appreciate when it works, and in some parts it does. Not always though. There are a lot of times we're don't feel drawn into the movie at all, and rather just wait for the first edge to grab a hold of, to get back into it. It's intended to take a much more mysterious and sensual approach to the "Dracula" story, and in that it succeeds, but I had expected more out of it.
What we instead get is what feels like Jean Rollin making a "Dracula" movie without the euro-sleaze/exploitation aspects. It's not erotic in the ways of Rollin either, but I still got a similar vibe as to how it treated the subject of vampires. Might also have some to do with the locations and production as well. And sadly, I like Jean Rollin when he is at his most sleazy, exploitive and erotic, and "Dracula 0.9" doesn't share that. I will give it some credit though, it has some nice shots and shows that there is some skill behind the camera. We also have a pretty lead actress, and in some scenes we see most of her body - a much welcomed part of the movie. In fact, my favorite part of the movie features her naked. It's not my favorite scene BECAUSE she was naked, but because I think it managed to highlight the idea of "Lucy now and then" perfectly by essentially cutting between the two times.
I didn't really enjoy "Dracula 0.9", but it does do something different with the old story. I think a lot of potential exists in the crew. It looks pretty good, has an overall stable production, and perhaps it's more how this was edited and written which weakens it. The final product leaves a lot to desire, but I'm sure it's someone's cup of tea. Everything is, I think. Extreme vampire fanatics should seek it out simply for seeing it all!