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Dracula vs Frankenstein

USA 1971
produced by
Sam Sherman, Al Adamson, John Van Horne, Mardi Rustam (executive) for Independent International
directed by Al Adamson
starring J. Carrol Naish, Lon Chaney jr, Anthony Eisley, Regina Carrol, Greydon Clark, Zandor Vorkov, Angelo Rossitto, Anne Morrell, William Bonner, Russ Tamblyn, Jim Davis, John Bloom, Shelly Weiss, Forrest J.Ackerman, Maria Lease, Bruce Kimball, Albert Cole, Gary Kent, Irv Saunders, Lu Dorn, Sean Graver, Barney Gelfan, Gary Graver, Connie Nelson
written by William Pugsley, Sam Sherman, Frankenstein created by Mary W. Shelley, Dracula created by Bram Stoker, music by William Lava, special effects by Kenneth Strickfaden, technical advisor: Forrest J.Ackerman

Dracula, Frankenstein

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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This movie is a bit convoluted, so please don't expect my synopsis to make too much sense:

Dr Durea (J.Carrol Naish) seems to be doing nothing worse than running a carnival sideshow, but he is really the last descendant of the Frankensteins, and he is looking for the serum for eternal life, which he believes he can extract from women in shock because htey have a changed cell structure. So he sends his hunchback Groton (Lon Chaney jr in his last, silent role) out to collect specimens for him.

Eventually, Dracula (Zandor Vorkov in ridiculously amateurish make-up) pays him a visit, brings by the old Frankenstein monster (John Bloom) for Durea to survive, and then offers to help him have revenge on those who wronged him - especially one Dr Beaumont (Forrest J.Ackerman turning in a cameo) ...

In a loosely related story, Judith (Regina Carrol) is looking for her sister, who has disappeared in the neighbourhood a month back, and soon she and her boyfriend Mike (Anthony Eisley) find a trail that leads right to Durea's sideshow ...

Then there's another subplot that concerns Samantha (Anne Morrell), who has broken up with her boyfriend, the violent biker Rico (Russ Tamblyn) ... thing is, Rico doesn't accept the split, and to punish her, he tells his gang to gang-rape her - but before they can do so, Groton stops by, kills the whole gang single-handedly and then drags Samantha off to Durea's sideshow. Somehow, Mike and Judith have picked up the trail of Samantha and ultimately stumble upon Durea's secret lab, which leads to a showdown in which both Durea and Groton are killed, thanks also to the police under Captain Martin (Jim Davis).

Still, Dracula and Frankenstein's monster are still at large, and soon enough, Dracula kills Mike using his magic ring that shoots energy beams. Then Dracula and the monster abduct Judith because Dracula wants to shock her and extract the cell structure for Durea's serum from her - but the monster has fallen in love with Judith, so he and the vampire get into a fight during which Dracula takes the monster completely apart, just like Frankenstein had assembled him. Unfortunately though they fought out in the open, and thus Dracula can't make it back to his coffin before sunrise ... and he evaporates to ashes.

Judith on the other hand can free herself and doesn't have to fear mad scientists, their hunchbacks, monsters, vampires or even evil bikers anymore because they are all dead ...

 


Somehow the movie sounds like several movies rolled into one, and according to several reports, this was even the case: Originally, the film was started as a biker movie and a sequel to Satan's Sadists, in which Russ Tamblyn also played an evil biker. Later, the whole biker story was dropped, but several of the already-shot biker scenes were left in the movie to cut costs. Then the film was supposed to be about a mad scientist looking for a serum that grants him and his hunchbacked assistant immortality - most of this material is in the movie. Then though it seems somebody had the brilliant idea to make the wheelchair-bound scientist Frankenstein and bring in both the monster and Count Dracula to make a film more in the mode of classic monster movies ... I have no idea if these rumours are actually true, but the film certainly looks like it (and it wouldn't be the only time either director Al Adamson would rearrange a film, for example he remodelled his 1965-effort Psycho a Go-Go into 1972's Blood of Ghastly Horror).

As you can imagine, the film looks a little like a big and weird hodge podge that can be easily dismissed as garbage - not at least thanks to terrible dialogue, bad make-up jobs (especially concerning Dracula) and truly stupid story ideas.

That said however, if you are a lover of trash cinema and like this sort of movies for their shortcomings and incongruencies, you might even find yourself loving this film ...

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

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