Saturday, October 13, 2012


Let’s brace ourselves for a movie experience that, just because of the title SHOULD have any horror fan sitting on the edge of their seat.  But beware of that position, poor viewer, as you will soon find yourself falling out of that seat and onto the floor.

(Click to Frankensize)

You know you are watching a terrible movie when you realize that you could write a better, more coherent script, hire better actors, create better make-up effects, and give it better direction.

This is is what I found myself thinking when I sat down to watch a film this weekend.  Pondering the stupidity of a flick that I knew going in was awe-inspiringly bad.  This film has that kind of a bad reputation.

Thusly, I endured...  DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN (1971).

(Click to Frankensize)
There are some movies that can be so horrible that they are entertaining for being bad and for the most part this picture falls into that category.  Sure, the fact that a cop sitting in a car is wearing a motorcycle helmet is ridiculous.  Certainly dialog that just doesn't fit together, that just seems to ramble like the wandering mind of a toddler can, at times be laughable.

(Fear Col. Frankenstein!)

A Frankenstein Monster whose face seems more like a pug-face-shaped Rice Krispy treat or, simply, a stuffed animal glued to a tall guy's face can be gut-bustingly sad.  The mere fact that Dracula had a ring that shot fire from it and didn't have the common sense to use it against Frankenstein is plain dumb.

I could probably go on like this for several paragraphs.  But I really should move on to The Monster...

(Click to Frankensize)

The Monster in this film is tall and wears the jacket, but he is his own brand of ugly.  It’s hard to describe that face, it’s just so... wrong.  He functions terribly as Lon Chaney Jr. has as much mobility and, by far, a more functioning mind.  The Doctor and Dracula seem to act as if bringing back this sad excuse for a Frankenstein Monster will be a big thing and yet, he can barely hug his victims to death.

(Click to Frankensize)

Oh, and did I mention he appears to be wearing a headband.  Very early for ‘70s fashion, but then Dr. Frankenstein was ahead of his time.

You know you are dealing with a pitiful Monster when he has to rely on Dracula virtually carjacking a guy just so that he can be led to a location from which the Monster can corner the guy and kill him.  And this really is horrible for Dracula, too, as he can’t get in on the kill he’s mostly responsible for.  No wonder he talks in a bored monotone the entire film.

(Click to Dracusize?)

By the way, the leader of the biker gang that happens through this film a few times is about as menacing as a puppy with his perm and his inability to even muster dialog that could make one worry.

Anyway, when the big showdown finally comes to pass, it’s another disappointment, but by now the viewer is only anticipating a let-down, so it becomes prophetic.  It is a bunch of uncoordinated grappling and some bad acting.  That is, until Frankenstein virtually becomes The Black Knight from Monty Python.

And, by this point you’re giggling at how bad things are.

I’ll say this about the performance of Lon Chaney Jr. as Grotan, the axe-weilding psycho,: he does a pretty good job.  His character is a mess, he almost seems a meth addicted psycho grunting and growling his way through scenes.  George “The Animal” Steel probably learned a lot from Chaney Jr.’s work here.

(Click to Frankensize for detailed evidence on how it took two Monsters to kill one old man!)

Check out these actual quotes from the movie:

Sgt. Martin: Nobody but nobody knows anything about the subconscious, Ms. Fontaine, not even ourselves.

Mike:  It’s not usually this gory on the premesis, maybe we should go inside.

Sgt. Martin: (Referring to hippies on the beach and the recent axe murders there)  It seems that living near the water brings out the best and worst in us.

Dr. Frankenstein:  They have seen all the illusions in my creature emporium, but they have yet to face the greatest illusion: the illusion of reality.

Sgt. Martin: If you’ve got a fireplace, burn some wood in it.  It’ll be a lot better than running loose on the streets.

Dracula:  I am known as the Count of Darkness, the Lord of the Manor of Corpathia.

Sgt. Martin: (Referring to some bikers.)  Uh, that’s just part of the environment.

Sgt. Martin:  Samantha can take care of herself.  The police aren’t saying it, Ms. Fontaine, I’m saying it.  This is my area, I know it.  People like to play games and pretty soon you know what they are.

Mike:  How do you recognize madness?  Of all the aspects of a man, madness can be the most impossible to observe.

Sgt. Martin:  I’m gonna check the Emporium, I got a hunch she might be there.  Don’t forget, we found those three bodies underneath it. 

(Click for a closer look at our star's, um, talent?)

But wait, you can watch the whole dang thing here on Hulu (you just have to endure a few webmercials):

Some really informative links about this film:


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