Saturday, August 9, 2014

Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein (1972)

Original title: Dracula Contra Frankenstein

Director: Jesus Franco

Writer: Jesus Franco, Paul D'Ales

More info: IMDb

Tagline: They have awakened... and they are the sound of terror!

Plot: Dracula kills another innocent victim and Dr. Seward decides it's time to wipe him off the face of the earth. Armed with a hammer and a wooden stake, he arrives at Castle Dracula and duly dispatches the vampire Count. Next day, however, Dr. Frankenstein arrives with his assistant, Morpho, and a large crate containing the monster. Using the blood of a pub singer who has been abducted by his creation, the doctor brings Dracula back to life and uses him for his own ends. The Count and a female vampire continue to terrorise the town, so Dr Seward once again sets out for Castle Dracula. Unfortunately, he is attacked by the Frankenstein monster and left for dead. Amira, a gypsy, rescues him and summons up a werewolf to do battle with the forces of evil...

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Well, how about that plot?  It's a great idea, actually, but it's not well executed by Franco.  It's slow.  I mean REALLY slow.  It's 82 minutes in length and the first 16 are without dialogue.  It's not a horrible 16 but it's unnecessarily slow with scenes going on too long.  There's also a good deal of padding like having the tavern entertainer sing a full song and for no reason that adds to the story.  But then again when you watch a movie with this title (and knowing it was made by Franco) you don't have to have an awful lot of story.  The atmosphere is pretty thick which helps but there's no escaping the slow pacing of a story and film that should have had a lot more to it considering the possibilities of a Dr. Frankenstein bringing Dracula back from the dead to create an army of vampires completely under Frankenstein's control.  I wouldn't be surprised if there was a much longer cut that makes more sense...wait, I guess I would be surprised.  He wrote 6 and directed 9 films in '72.  This guy was a machine.   I should catch him during a year where he wasn't as busy.  Maybe then the quality would be higher. The Image DVD I have (had) offers a non-anamorphic, low quality widescreen print in French with burned in English subs and no extras.

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