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  Dracula vs. Frankenstein Monster Mash
Year: 1971
Director: Al Adamson
Stars: J. Carrol Naish, Lon Chaney Jr, Regina Carrol, Zandor Vorkov, Anthony Eisley, Russ Tamblyn, Jim Davis, Angelo Rossitto, John Bloom, Greydon Clark, Anne Morell, Shelly Weiss, Forrest J. Ackerman
Genre: Horror, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 2 votes)
Review: Count Dracula (Zandor Vorkov) digs up the body of the original Frankenstein Monster (John Bloom) and heads off to the lair of one of the original Frankenstein's descendants (J. Carrol Naish) who has set up a lab behind his amusement park atttraction to conceal it from the outside world. His assistant Groton (Lon Chaney Jr) is sent out at night to decapitate passersby on the nearby beach, so that the Doctor can put them back together again and test his new serum. But Dracula wants in on the action, and forces Frankenstein to work with him, with terrible results.

Really terrible. Do we really want to see Dracula with a perm? This is just one of the questions that may pass through your mind as you watch this pitifully cheap shocker, written by William Pugsley and producer Sam Sherman. Made in Al Adamson's accustomed style of shooting footage when he could afford it and assembling the result in a patchwork fashion, this is perhaps his most notorious film, with its cringe-inducing attempts at fright scenes made painful to watch by a cast that is either past it or blatantly inexperienced at best. It looks like an amateur film.

As you might expect, there's a role for Mrs Adamson, Regina Carrol, here playing Judy Fontaine, a Las Vegas nightclub singer who is searching for her missing sister. Little does she know that her sister has become one of Dr Frankenstein's experiments, but her investigations lead her to the amusement park and into the arms of ageing hippy Mike (Anthony Eisley). Attempting to appeal to all areas of the exploitation audience, Judy not only mixes with the hippies, but she has a brush with evil bikers led by Russ Tamblyn (yeah, just like in Satan's Sadists), LSD is slipped in to her drink (cue freakout sequence), and we endure, sorry, enjoy her nightclub act, an odd song about luggage. There's also a youth protest about something or other nearby.

The more mature members of the cast are obviously there for the money. The frail Naish, seated in a wheelchair throughout, reads his lines off cue cards (as does Vorkov, who still comes across as having trouble remembering them). The unfortunate Chaney, now ill with cancer, huffs and puffs as the mute heavy with a fondness for puppies (he still couldn't shake the Of Mice and Men role). Angelo Rossitto on the other hand, manages to look spry and full of energy in his declining years as he, er, eats a dollar bill for no apparent reason.

The Monster is a lumbering, boulder-faced lump, and the climactic battle is more of a scuffle in a wood than a clash of the titans. The way the characters, good or bad, are indiscriminately killed off is notable, in fact there's barely anyone left alive by the end (Dracula's demise sees him making the expression of a man sucking on an extra strong mint rather than meeting his doom). The slapdash approach throws up many absurdities, such as the sergeant (Jim Davis) suddenly turning psychiatrist, and the photograph Judy shows people of her missing sister has been taken from about twenty feet away, so the production may prompt a few laughs. It's not much, but there is a little entertainment value here. I suppose they were doing their best. Music by William Lava (some of it, anyway).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Al Adamson  (1929 - 1995)

Prolific American director of chaotic exploitation movies, who directed some 30 films between 1961 and 1983. The titles of his films were often the best thing about them, but the likes of Satan's Sadists, Dracula vs Frankenstein and I Spit on your Corpse are popular amongst bad movie buffs. In a nasty end worthy of one of his films, Adamson was murdered in 1995, his body found buried under his freshly tiled bathroom.

 
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