Dracula: Dead and Loving It,1995,USA
Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Leslie Nielsen,Steven Webber & Harvey Korman
Van Helsing: She's Nosferatu.
Jonathan Harker: She's Italian?
Film #34 of The December Project
I love the films of Mel Brooks, actually I just love the guy in general, what a brilliant comedic mind he is. I have enjoyed several of his films, such as certified comedic masterpieces like 'Blazing Saddles' and 'Young Frankenstein', but 'Dracula: Dead and Loving It' has been one I have never gotten around to seeing, due to its reputation as arguably Brooks' weakest effort. After having spoofed the West,Space,Frankenstein,Hitchcock & Hollywood, this time Mel sets his sights on Dracula.
Thomas Renfield is on his way to Transylvania to meet the feared Count Dracula, In doing so he becomes spell binded by the Count's powers and becomes the Count's slave and accompanies him back to England. Dracula then wrecks havoc on the lives of a wealthy British family and the only one who can stop him is Dr Van Helsing (who always get the last word).
Off the all the Brooks' films I have seen, I can definitely confirm that 'Dracula: Dead and Loving It' is the weakest. It lacks that satirical magic that makes all his other films so damn brilliant, I actually not quite sure what the point of the film was in the end, Brooks doesn't seem to be critical of Stoker's 'Dracula' hes just plainly mocking it, at least with his previous films there at least a certain hint of criticism towards what he was mocking.
There are a few humorous moments throughout the film, but never really enough to warrant to complete immersion. Its only a short film,at 88 minutes, but it definitely dragged and felt almost painful to get through.
The screenplay is tedious and not filled with nearly enough comedic content which was an utter disappointment. The visual effects throughout the film aren't too bad and may have become even funnier as they have dated. Brooks' direction is sub par and feels a little contrived, as if he never really had an invested interest in his source material.
The best of the film though is its cast who all try their best to make the film worth watching. Leslie Nielsen displays the great dry humor that he was so beloved for and makes an enjoyable Dracula. Peter MacNicol is really invested in his role and gives a good performance (''Renfield you asshole!'') Steven Weber, Amy Yasbeck and Harvey Korman are all enjoyable. Mel was fun playing the Van Helsing role, and Anne Bancroft has a hilarious cameo at the beginning of the film.
While 'Dracula: Dead and Loving It' has its enjoyable moments, it is for the most part a completely forgettable comedic romp. Fun performances cant save the film which I consider Mel's weakest effort, I still love the guy though.