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Dracula contra Frankenstein

Dracula Prisoner of Frankenstein
Dracula Prisonnier de Frankenstein / Screamind Dead / Die Nacht der offenen Särge / Dracula vs Dr.Frankenstein

Spain/France 1972
produced by
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

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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 incredibly rewarding.

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 !!!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
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