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Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971)

GP | | Horror, Sci-Fi | December 1971 (USA)
Dracula conspires with a mad doctor to resurrect the Frankenstein Monster.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Groton (as Lon Chaney)
...
Mike Howard
...
Judith Fontaine
...
Rico
...
Police Sgt. Martin
Zandor Vorkov ...
John Bloom ...
Shelly Weiss ...
Greydon Clark ...
Strange
Angelo Rossitto ...
Grazbo the Evil Dwarf
Anne Morrell ...
Samantha
William Bonner ...
Biker
Forrest J. Ackerman ...
Dr. Beaumont (as Forest J Ackerman)
Maria Lease ...
Joan
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Storyline

Judith Fontaine (Regina Carrol) is looking for her sister Joanie, who has disappeared into the hippie community of Venice, California. It turns out Joanie has become the victim of Groton (Lon Chaney Jr.), an axe-wielding homicidal maniac working for Dr. Durray (J. Carrol Naish), who is really the last of the Frankensteins and is now running a house of horrors by the beach and is performing experiments on Gorton's victims. One night Count Dracula (Zandor Vorkov) visits the doctor, showing him the original Frankenstein creation that was buried in a nearby graveyard. The doctor revives it and uses it to take revenge on his professional rivals. Written by Jeremy Lunt <durlinlunt@acadia.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Kings of Horror Battle to the Death! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blood Freaks  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

J. Carrol Naish had false teeth, and their clicking sound can be heard several times on the soundtrack. See more »

Goofs

Naish's character at first refers to Chaney's character as "Grodin", although his name is actually "Groton". Thereafter he gets it right. See more »

Quotes

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

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

I Travel Light
Performed by Regina Carrol
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User Reviews

 
Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) **1/2
26 July 2006 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Director Al Adamson's most popular "masterpiece" is often both revered and reviled, but I'm not ashamed to say that I like it. For fans of the old Universal monster mashes of the 1940s, this film sort of updates the exploits of Count Dracula and Frankenstein's Monster to the "modern" times of the late '60s and early '70s. What's interesting is that it was never intended as such when the movie was first conceived...

Originally begun in 1969, producer Sam Sherman and director Adamson wanted to make a biker flick which would kind of be a semi-sequel to their recent SATAN'S SADISTS hit movie. They started shooting with Russ Tamblyn picked to reprise his role of a motorcycle hoodlum and then added a new plot where a mad doctor would be conducting weird experiments on young girls, having his deformed servant stalk them with an ax, supplying their blood to the doctor. At this point the film was going under a title of THE BLOOD SEEKERS or BLOOD FREAKS, and then later it was decided to consider the crazed scientist to be none other than Dr. Frankenstein, so the tentative title became BLOOD OF FRANKENSTEIN. But still the concept changed, and eventually came to include the marketable characters of Dracula and the Frankenstein Monster - and over a course of three years, footage was added or changed or deleted in order to create what's now known as Dracula VS. FRANKENSTEIN (1971). Whew!

In the finished movie, Count Dracula (played by a deliciously incompetent curly-haired & goatee'd stockbroker named Roger Engel, adopting a dopey pseudonym of "Zandor Vorkov") digs up the comatose Frankenstein Monster (7' 4" accountant John Bloom) and makes a deal with the elderly Dr. Frankenstein. The infamous doctor (played by an aged J. Carrol Naish in his last role, who has trouble reading cue cards and whose dentures can be heard clacking away as he delivers idiotic dialog) is operating under the phony moniker of Dr. Duryea, and runs a Creature Emporium Sideshow at a local amusement park. The show merely serves as a front for his gruesome blood experiments which he conducts down in the basement. Duryea frequently injects a serum into an over-sized half-wit named Groton (played by horror veteran Lon Chaney Jr., now sadly bloated and ravaged from years of alcohol abuse) transforming him into a "mad zombie". Growling and prowling under the boardwalk on the beach at night with an ax, Groton decapitates young girls for his master's sinister plans. Regina Carrol (wife of director Adamson) plays an older sister of one of the female victim's, who meets up with over-aged hippie Anthony Eisley to find out what happened to the girl, but gets tangled up in the web of Frankenstein and Dracula. Angelo Rossitto (who co-starred with Bela Lugosi in the '40s) is also on hand as a shady dwarf who takes tickets outside of Dr. Duryea's Creature Emporium. The one casualty of the final film who gets a raw deal is Russ Tamblyn, whose few surviving scenes from the original biker fiasco now seem out of place in a revamped movie about monsters and maniacs.

Okay - technically, this is a "bad" film, there's no way to get around that. But it's also a good deal of fun if you take it in the right spirit. It's colorful, "groovy," and is a final showcase for seasoned horror pros Lon Chaney and J. Carrol Naish, even if they are on their last legs. Despite the fact that Lon could barely talk and therefore remained mute for the movie, much to his credit he is still able to elicit sympathy and pathos in his scenes. For fans of the old monsters, it's a kick to see updated (re: early '70s) manifestations of Dracula and the Monster as they arrive into the 20th century: Dracula not only looks like a mod, he actually speaks in a voice that echos through a loudspeaker (don't ask me why) and shoots death rays from his ring; the murderous monster has a mashed-potato face that looks like it was stung by a horde of a thousand bees, and he even gets to strangle none other than Forrest J. Ackerman, celebrated editor of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND magazine! The final clash of the titans at the end of the film is pretty awesome, considering it was filmed with a practically zero budget and was added as an afterthought. You have to be one of those viewers who "get it" when it comes to appreciating grade-Z, low-level exploitation trash cinema -- but if you do, this is as good as they come and is a cult classic of its type. **1/2 out of ****


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