Dracula: Dead And Loving It Movie Review

After the vastly disappointing Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Mel Brooks really needed to prove himself by getting back to his Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles-type comedy. The Dracula legend seemed like the perfect way to do it, especially considering how perfectly Brooks skewered ol' Frank. But sadly, Brooks manages to hack it up like he did to poor Robin Hood, thanks to some very stale jokes and overly repetitious gags.

Brooks basically takes Bram Stoker's Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola's film) and gives it the once-over, recreating the plot and characters almost directly from that movie, and giving them supposedly funny lines. The problem is that Bram Stoker's Dracula was pretty silly to begin with, and Brooks' version comes off as poking fun at a film that was already doing a good job of it all by itself.

There are thankfully a few good lines in the film (my favorite: Van Helsing: "She's Nosferatu!" Renfield: "She's Italian?"), but overall, the movie sinks. Casting Leslie Nielsen as Dracula was a good move, as his antics are always good for a chuckle or two, but the continual overexposure of people like Amy Yasbeck (as Mina) in films like this leaves nothing new for the viewer to expect. And while Lysette Anthony's sultry Lucy is fun to watch... they kill her after 45 minutes.

Most of the movie's gags involve tripping, falling down, running into a wall or a window, or some other slapstick device. But the most tedious of the jokes is the nearly constant mocking of accents and overdramatic speech the various characters use. This gets old after the second scene, where the stereotypical trill in a gypsy's voice is made by the manual quivering of the skin around her throat. Ha ha.

Brooks fans won't be pleased, and neither will the vampire aficionado. Stay away from this film, and let it bury itself. Figuratively speaking, that is.

A massive commentary track featuring Brooks, Weber, Yasbeck, and others is the sole extra on the new DVD release.


Dracula: Dead And Loving It Rating

" Terrible "

Rating: PG-13, 1995


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