Saturday, October 24, 2015

Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971)

Director: Al Adamson

Writers: William Pugsley, Samuel M. Sherman

Composer: William Lava

Starring:  J. Carrol Naish, Lon Chaney Jr., Anthony Eisley, Regina Carrol, Russ Tamblyn, Jim Davis, Zandor Vorkov, John Bloom, Shelly Weiss, Greydon Clark, Forrest J. Ackerman

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  New! Different! Shocking!

Plot:  Judith Fontaine (Carrol) is looking for her sister Joanie, who has disappeared into the hippie community of Venice, California. It turns out Joanie has become the victim of Groton (Chaney Jr.), an axe-wielding homicidal maniac working for Dr. Durray (Naish), who is really the last of the Frankensteins and is now running a house of horrors by the beach and is performing experiments on Gorton's victims. One night Count Dracula (Vorkov) visits the doctor, showing him the original Frankenstein creation that was buried in a nearby graveyard. The doctor revives it and uses it to take revenge on his professional rivals.

My rating:  4/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

I'll say this much, this picture has the best poster art I've ever seen for an Al Adamson a long shot.  It's as if someone spent some money on them.  This is also a better than average Adamson film and you can take that however you want.  His pictures are generally pretty bad overall and poorly shot, acted, written and so on.  Bottom of the barrel stuff.  This one fares better when the scenes are filmed outdoors.  It has all of the ingredients of a bad picture including acting, writing but that also includes boredom.  There are some neat things like Dracula's zapping ring, the little guy's death scene and stuff but there's also a share of crap.  The IMDb trivia says this was filmed over a long period of time and now knowing that I can see how that would explain some of it.  It's the last picture for both Naish and Chaney Jr., the former spending a sizable amount of screen time making goofy faces as if he's anxiously awaiting a bottle of booze as soon as the camera stops rolling. 

I'm embarrassed for him.  I had a hunch of what I was getting into when I bought the Shriek Show DVD at a thrift store for a dollar but A) it's from Shriek Show, B) it's presented in anamorphic widescreen, something I didn't think Adamson filmed in, C) it's loaded with extras just in case I was wanting to punish myself that much more and D) it was a buck.  The extras are plenty with a commentary with co-writer/producer Sam Sherman, an 8 minute featurette on Producing Shock in which Shepard talks about the large amount of cheesy films he and Adamson produced and marketed (it's fun), an alternate ending (10 minutes), deleted scenes (9 minutes), deleted scene with Ackerman (5 minutes) with an introduction from him and Shepard, 2 minutes of 8mm location footage, monster's protest/picket line (5 minutes), the theatrical trailer (fullscreen), TV spot, 6 minute photo gallery (worth watching) and 2 Shriek Show trailers.

No comments:

Post a Comment