Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein (aka Dracula contra Frankenstein) (1972) d. Jess Franco (Spain)

This is Franco in his “I ain’t got no money, but I got some actors and a castle to play in” prime. The “script” makes absolutely no sense at all, with Dr. Frankenstein (Dennis Price) deciding to revive Dracula (Howard Vernon) for no other reason than to, um, have a vampire around? Somehow, this is also supposed to prove that he has mastered the bridge between life and death, but he also delights in the fact that the Count seeks out a semi-crazed artist (Genevieve Robert) and turns her into an undead as well. (As one of my fellow viewers noted, “That guy writes 'Success!' on every page of his diary.”)

There’s also a random vampire chick (Britt Nichols) running around that no one ever seems to take notice of, even though her coffin is located right next to the others. Meanwhile, Dr. Seward (Alberto Dalbes) is trying to put the old bloodsucker back in his grave, having already staked the bad guy in the opening reel – a hilarious sequence that results in a shot of a small furry vampire bat impaled on a huge wooden stake.

Price mumbles to himself throughout, frantically throwing switches on his cryptic machine filled with wires and buttons and random lights, while Vernon sits glassy-eyed with mouth ajar to display his sharpened chompers. (“Hey, those things weren’t cheap! Let’s show ‘em off!”) Oh, there’s also a Frankenstein’s Monster who gets to go a few rounds with an equally random werewolf.

Our unsung heroes end up being the low-rent gypsies that come to Seward’s aid after he gets clobbered by the stitchy one, chanting chants and rolling bones until the final credits mercifully come along.

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