July 25th, 2011: Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971)

Cast and Crew: Samuel W. Sherman (Writer/Producer); Jim Davis, Greydon Clark

What It’s About: Lounge singer Judith Fontaine (Regina Carrol) gets more than she bargained for-bikers, Dr. Frankenstein’s descendant, an axe murderer, a murderous dwarf, a reanimated Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula (with a severe case of 1971), and hippies-when she goes searching for her missing sister.

Why Watch it Today?: Director Al Adamson was born today in 1929.  Adamson was infamous for his patchwork films, made up either of his own footage or of cheaply obtained (usually foreign) footage linked up with his own material. Adamson shot all of Dracula vs. Frankenstein, but the footage was shot in different periods, with Adamson shooting whenever he put together the money.  The result is a vaguely coherent mess of biker, hippie, serial killer, mad science, and monster film footage.   In addition to the genre mash-up appeal, the film features some of the best “s0-bad-its-good” performances and dialogue in all of Adamson’s oeuvre.  Dracula vs. Frankenstein includes a high number of actors who deserved better, including Russ Tamblyn, Lon Chaney Jr., and J. Carrol Naish.  All jump in to the ludicrousness as best they can (Chaney was suffering from cancer at the time and his performance and condition is depressing).  Even the machines used to animate the monster are slumming it, created by Ken Strickfaden for the 1931 Frankenstein film and rented to Adamson on the cheap, although I’d argue that Angelo Rossitto (the Master half of  Master Blaster from Mad Max:  Beyond Thunderdome) and Forrest J. Ackerman (the first super fan) are in the film they belong in.

Where to Get It: Youtube (Rental), Amazon

The trailer:

Judith Fontaine’s “classic” musical number:

4 comments on “July 25th, 2011: Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971)

  1. Ryan Gelley says:

    first saw this when i bought it in one of those 5disc/25movie cheap-ass horror film box-sets. Such a fun movie!

    • professormortis says:

      They had it at the Blockbuster near my Alma Mater, and it fascinated me for about a year before I finally rented it and received Nirvana. It was the same semester, or at least the same class year, I believe, when I rented Black Belt Jones for the first time from the same store-good times.

  2. vornoff says:

    Gotta watch this. Nice review!

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