Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top 10 Frankenstein Films - #10 Dracula vs Frankenstein

This Horror-ween season I'm counting down my top Frankenstein flicks. I don't plan on retracing entire plots (which can be found in 100 different places with one click online) but essentially share what I loved about them..

And #10 is.....
1971's Dracula vs Frankenstein!
Yeah, this cheeser is more about The Count than The Monster - but to a young kid growing up in the 70's, brief shots of this pie-faced Prometheus was all that was necessary to get the job done. Though today Al Adamson's flick seems pretty comical, at the time I was first seeing this one on late-night Creature Feature it was actually one of the more effectively scary movies the local channel would run. It's a fairly bloody film and for kids like me who were not yet exposed to gorier stuff like  Night of The Living Dead or HG Lewis flicks it left a lasting imprint.

There is a real intensity and vibe of dread to the musical score even if it is juxtaposed against an absurd, jazz-man looking Count (The mighty Zandor Vorkov) and his bizarre, echo-ey speaking voice (and dime-store plastic fangs), evil dwarves and a very old J. Carrol Naish who's dentures click like a telegraph during all of his speaking scenes. Someone had some real fun with the theramin here.

The Monster is played (mostly) by John Bloom who was obviously chosen for his mammoth stature - and as crazy as this walking corpse looks I imagine it's not far from what a real man, sewn together from graveyard bits might look like. Years ago my friend and I found a dead guy who was hit by a train and fell in a canal in Florida. He looked just like DvF's Monster.

This is also Lon Chaney's final film and though his role is pretty hard to watch - mostly because he just looks so bad - it is of interest as Jr. had played both Dracula and Frankenstein for Universal in the day. So much for hoping for one last Talbot transformation here.

I doubt this film would approach making any real critical list of Frankie films and should probably never bump any single Hammer outing featuring The Monster but it has loads of wild nostalgic value to me and is an easy top-tenner here.

One last note - if you are a big fan of this film be sure to join up over at the Zandor Vorkov Plastic Fang Society. We're talking absurd horror!

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