Sunday, March 03, 2013

Dracula Vs. Frankenstein - Media Blasters DVD Out Now

Media Blasters announced that a remastered DVD and Blu-ray of Dracula Vs. Frankenstein would be coming last Summer. They ultimately scrapped the Blu-ray and pushed the DVD release back until "eventually". Well it looks like they have finally quietly released this thing, but just barely. It's only available through market place sellers on Amazon. And places like Walmart and Best Buy have it available to order but it's listed as backordered and won't ship for 5-10 days. So, if you're interested in this title, pick this up at once because who knows how long it's going to be out there. I got mine for under $9 from Amazon Marketplace, cheapest appears to be ImportCDs for under $6.

Dracula vs. Frankenstein
"Sensational sequel to 'The Curse of Frankenstein". - Uh, no it isn't

Director: Al Adamson
Writers: William Pugsley, Samuel M. Sherman
Stars: J. Carrol Naish, Lon Chaney Jr., Regina Carrol, Greydon Clark (future director of Final Justice!*)
Runtime: 90 Minutes

Dracula tracks down a wheelchair bound Dr. Frankenstein (under the alias of Dr. Durea)  who operates a spook show called The Creature Emporium. He offers Dr. Frank the body of his original monster in exchange for a blood serum that will make him immortal.

Al Adamson's Dracula vs. Frankenstein is cheap and inept, but a hell of a lot of fun if you're in the right mood for it. Zandor Vorkov makes for an entertaining Dracula. He's hammy and goofy, but he's kind of a hoot to watch and his odd facial expressions kept me smiling throughout the movie. Don't let the awesome cover art fool you though, the monsters both look like crap. Dracula looks like Ben Stiller in a 70's porn actor costume with corpsepaint slathered on his face. Frankenstein's mask looks like it was made entirely of play-doh and sadness. Despite the title of the movie you actually don't see much of Dracula, and even less of Frankenstein, but you do get to see a pretty entertaining final showdown between the two.

As expected, the DVD looks quite a bit better than the previous Troma release. Some scenes do look pretty bad, like a day for night scene of a battle between the two monsters, but day for night usually looks pretty awful, so that's to be expected. Overall things look good given the low budget nature of this movie. The DVD has so many features it's almost ridiculous. That makes the lack of advertising this release has received all the more baffling. Looks good, loaded with features. Let's release it and not tell anybody. Odd.

Most of the gore is just a bit of blood splashed on the faces of the victims. There are a couple of decapitated head shots that are well done. They were shot to hide the faces so you don't get anything as bad as something like in Wizard of Gore.

Not much. Regina Carrol has some pretty mesmerizing cleavage, especially in her stage outfit at the beginning of the movie. She has kind of a harsh face, but such a nice body that you are able to overlook the facial harshness to the point where she's actually hot in an odd kind of way. There is a very brief nudity shot with one of the girls Lon Chaney Jr. murders, but it's literally about a second long.


This movie looks cheap, but man is this a beautiful shot

Things to watch for:

Dracula speaking in echo
Weakest vampire bite ever
Play-doh Frankenstein
Amazing Terrible Dracula power ring effects
"Experimenter" - that can't be a word, right?
Midget Axe Faceplant

Here's a plot point I had a problem with. Dracula needs Dr. Frankenstein's help to make an immortality serum, but I thought Dracula was already immortal? Killable under a couple of circumstances, sure, but as long as he stays out of the sunlight, and he avoids a wooden stake stabbing I was under the impression he would just live forever. Am I wrong?

Here's another thing I found amusing. The Dr. is in a wheelchair. Now, there's nothing funny about wheelchairs, but I think once you're in a wheelchair you might want to cut out the mad science-ry. I mean by the very nature of your chosen profession you have to assume that at some point someone is going to try and kill you. Be it someone you're about to science on, a loved one of someone you're about to science on or one of your creations going berserk on you. You roll around all day in a large awkward chair with your head at perfect baseball bat swinging height. Unless the person attacking you is a midget or has no arms or legs you are pretty screwed.

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