Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971)

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Overall Rating 35%
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Ranked #6,193
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Connections: Dracula Frankenstein

Judith Fontaine 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, an axe-wielding homicidal maniac working for Dr. Durray, 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 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. --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: December 14, 2011
The story for Dracula vs. Frankenstein is a mess, let's just get that out of the way now. It begins with Judith (Regina Carrol) heading out to a California beach town in search of her sister, who apparently moved here and shacked up with a bunch of hippies and / or bikers. She's nowhere to be found now, but her questions eventually raise the ire of the bikers, who promptly slip her some acid. When she wakes up from her drug-induced blackout, she finds herself in the care of Mike (Anthony Eisley), an older hippie who knew her sister back before she disappeared. One thing leads to another, and our heroes eventually meet...

...Dr. Duryea (J. Carrol Naish), the last living descendant of the infamous Dr. Frankenstein and his henchman Groton (Lon Chaney Jr.). Duryea, as it turns out, is putting his family's name to good use by murdering local women and using their blood for... something, I don't know. Like I said, the storyline is a mess. Anyway, Duryea's experiments eventually grabs the attention of Dracula himself (Zandor Vorkov), who soon brings the original Frankenstein's monster to him so that he can bring it back to life. There's more, but it doesn't make a lick of sense and is undeniable garbage.

Dracula vs. Frankenstein is a bad movie. There's simply no getting around that. The movie consists of about thirty percent padding (five minutes of surfing here, five minutes of carnival aerial shots there), sixty-five percent horrid script, and only about five percent of it consists of the actual Dracula vs. Frankenstein fighting that you paid to see. There is almost nothing positive that I can say about the film, and I feel like I'm dumber for having sat through the entire running time.

The effects and makeup are trash at their absolute best. Zandor Vorkov is the world's worst Dracula, sporting an afro, sick chops, and wearing half a face worth of white makeup while talking through a voice-box. The guy playing the part of Frankenstein's monster is about as "good", as he was another white guy with an afro and sick chops (it's a seventies movie, after all) who looks as though he has a crumpled up brown paper bag glued to his face. There are a few decapitations courtesy of mannequins, there's a little bit of blood, and that's about it.

The rest of the film lies squarely on the shoulders of the cast to carry, and that doesn't fare much better. J. Carrol Naish was the best actor in the movie, and he was a year away from dying, confined to a wheelchair, too old and frail to remember his lines, and forced to read everything off of cue cards. Oh, and he was also half-blind. Yes, this man was the best actor in the entire film. This is the final film of Lon Chaney Jr. before his death, and it's sad that all he gets to do is make faces and grunt at the camera. He doesn't get a single line and he doesn't wear a stitch of makeup, and frankly, it's a little embarrassing seeing him here. The rest of the cast faced fierce competition from the aforementioned paper bag that was glued to the monster's face in terms of acting ability, and I think I'm betting on the bag as the lesser of two evils.

So, how about the final epic showdown between two of film's most recognizable villains? Who wins when these two legends fight in a high-stakes showdown? Fuck it, I'm going to spoil it for you. They're best buddies throughout the entire film, and then out of nowhere, Frankenstein's monster pushes Dracula and chases him through the woods, they push and shove one another for a few minutes, and then Dracula rips his arms and head off. If that last part actually sounds kind of neat, don't worry: it's shot in the dark with no lighting whatsoever, so you can't see anything. That's the entirety of the showdown you paid to see.

Do I really need to continue at this point? Dracula vs. Frankenstein is a sad excuse for a movie, and I wish I had spent those ninety minutes doing something a little more entertaining... something like, I don't know, punching myself in the balls or ripping out my fingernails. 0/10.
Chad #1: Chad - added 12/14/2011, 06:22 PM
On a personal note, I watched this movie, typed up the review, put it in the system queue... and then a few hours later, I had to go to the hospital to get emergency surgery. Coincidence? I think not.
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