Dracula contra Frankenstein
Dracula Prisoner of Frankenstein
Dracula Prisonnier de Frankenstein / Screamind Dead / Die Nacht der offenen Särge / Dracula vs Dr.Frankenstein
Arturo Marcos (executive) for Comptoir Francais du Film, Fénix Films
directed by Jess Franco
starring Howard Vernon, Dennis Price, Fernando Bilbao, Alberto Dalbés, Geneviève Robert, Paca Gabaldón, Anne Libert, Britt Nichols, Luis Barboo, Brandy, Josyane Gibert, Eduarda Pimenta, Daniel J. White
written by Jess Franco, Paul D'Ales, Frankenstein created by Mary W. Shelley, Dracula created by Bram Stoker, music by Daniel J. White, Bruno Nicolai
Dracula, Frankenstein, Frankenstein (Dennis Price), Jess Franco's Frankenstein
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Dracula (Howard Vernon) has just been staked by Jonathan Seward
(Alberto Dalbés) - and curiously enough turned into a bat once dead -,
when his castle is taken over by a new tenant: Dr Frankenstein, who has
brought along his monster (Fernando Bilbao) and his hunchbacked servant
Morpho (Luis Barboo). And soon enough, the monster has abducted a girl for
Frankenstein to use to revive Dracula.
But why would Frankenstein want to revive Dracula ?
Two reasons: 1) He wants to prove that he can defeat death, and 2) he
wantst o rule the world, and figures the more monsters he controls the
easier that will be.
Once revived, Dracula, as well as Frankenstein's monster strike fear
into the villagers, but Frankenstein has not not taken two things into
account: 1) In the crypt dungeon where he found Dracula's cofin there is
also another coffin inhabited by a vampire girl (Britt Nichols) who is
beyond his control, and 2) Jonathan Seward returns to castle Dracula to
stake Dracula yet again, and this time he has brought the werewolf
(Brandy) to take care of Frankenstein's monster. And in the end,
Frankenstein, realizing what he has done, blows uphis lab and himself and
his monster with it ...
Taken merely by the merits of its story, Dracula Prisoner of
Frankenstein is an atrocious film, and when regarding its production
values, it's probably even worse ... however, it's a grave mistake to
measure a Jess Franco film by its narrative or its budget, Franco's work
needs an open-minded approach, and a willingness to leave the rules of normal
cinema behind - and then many of his films, just like this one, become
Dracula Prisoner of Frankenstein is a loving if unconventional
and tongue in cheek hommage to the Universal
classic horror cycle, especially its later, rubbish entries
like House of Dracula and House
of Frankenstein. But its not an obvious and therefore dull hommage,
Franco just takes the key elements of these films and puts them together
in a surreal way that resembles a bad dream rather than anything else. Franco's
unusual cinematic language, consisting of unusual camera angles and
set-ups, a massive use of the zoom lense and often bumpy camera movements
plus the incredibly scarce dialogue of the movie only cater to the film's
unreal, otherworldly atmosphere and make it into something quite different
from anythng else you have ever seen.
Recommended ... but only if you are up to it !!!