Dracula: Dead and Loving It
dracula: dead and loving it | dracula | dead and loving it | remake | vampire | mel brooks | rudy de luca | steve haberman | leslie nielsen | peter macnicol | comedy | fantasy | united states | france
Film: Dracula: Dead and Loving It
Director: Mel Brooks
Writer: Mel Brooks, Rudy De Luca and Steve Haberman
Starring: Leslie Nielsen, Mel Brooks and Peter MacNicol
This film begins with a solicitor, played by Peter MacNicol, who is in a carriage traveling through Transylvania in 1893 with a peasant couple. MacNicol is a little bit nervous and the other man in the carriage states he will ask the driver to slowdown. When he looks out, he realizes that it will be dark soon, so he tells them to speed up. MacNicol is flung around the carriage when his straps to hold on are broken.
Once in the village, he tells them that he needs to continue on to the castle, but no one will take him. A gypsy woman, played by Anne Bancroft, tells him that he needs to take a cross that she has. He refuses her, but she finally forces him to take it, as well as to pay for it.
He goes up to the castle and we meet the title character, played by Leslie Nielsen. They go up to a room where they do business and Nielsen now owns Carfax Abbey in London. MacNicol cuts his finger and this excites Nielsen. He does hold it together. That night though, MacNicol is visited by two vampire women. They are stopped by Nielsen who puts MacNicol under his control, they head to London together.
We shift to the opera where we meet the rest of the cast. We have a doctor, played by Harvey Korman. He states that MacNicol has been brought to his sanitarium. His daughter is played by Lysette Anthony. Her best friend is played by Amy Yasbeck and she is engaged to be married to Steven Weber. Nielsen visits them in their booth and takes a liking to Anthony.
The following morning Korman meets with MacNicol. He is considering letting him go, but MacNicol begins eating insects in front of him. MacNicol is taken back to his cell and punished with an enema.
That night Nielsen visits Anthony and bites her neck. The following morning, Weber and Korman find her. They know something is wrong so Korman sends for Mel Brooks, who plays Abraham Van Helsing who is an expert in strange illnesses.
We get introduced to Brooks, who is a little eccentric. After he grosses out his interns, he heads straight away to London.
His examination of Anthony is that she has been bitten by a vampire. No one believes him though. He checks Korman’s books to see if he has anything on the occult. It does turn out that he has a copy of ‘Nosferatu’ and it tells them that they need garlic to protect her from becoming a vampire.
This keeps Nielsen out at first, but he goes to free MacNicol. He asks him to help him get to Anthony, but he is caught in the act. Nielsen then just hypnotizes her and forces her to leave her room. He then drains her of her blood, but he is seen by Yasbeck. Nielsen flees before he is discovered, but Anthony is dead.
Brooks wants to have a stake driven through her heart, but Korman will not have it. Weber decides to go check on her grave. Brooks does as well and discovers a cemetery worker is dead. Anthony wakes up and comes on to Weber, but he is saved by Brooks. They force her back into her casket and they drive a stake through her heart.
Nielsen then turns his sights on to Yasbeck. Korman sees Weber drenched in blood and he seems to be coming around to the idea of vampires. Brooks believes that Nielsen could be the vampire, but he is not positive. Will they learn that it is Nielsen before it is too late? Will Yasbeck become his bride or can they save her?
I have to say that I used to watch this film all the time when I was growing up. I still enjoy it as it does spoof Dracula and some of the other famous vampire films. It isn’t as funny as I remember it though. There are still some parts that made me laugh, just not as much. The first time I watched it though, I remember it being hilarious. I think the acting is good for the most part and the story follows the original Dracula film pretty faithfully. There have been a few changes, but nothing too major.
I do have to say that of all the Brooks films I have seen thus far, this is the least funny. Nielsen is usually hilarious to me, but he is just okay in this one. Brooks is the same way for me as well. They kind of violate some of the vampire lore, like Dracula seems to be super strong at times and others it doesn’t seem so. None of these things completely ruin the film, but as a comedy I don’t find it hilarious anymore and as a horror film, it is just paying homage.
I would recommend giving this a viewing if you want to see a parody of Dracula. If you like Brooks films, you may as well view this one as well, especially since this is the last film he directed. The acting isn’t bad, but the comedy is lacking a bit. It does have its moments though. It does follow Dracula pretty faithfully though and it is enjoyable still. This one is much better the first time it is watched.
My Rating: 6 out of 10