Anna Quarrels (Rhonda Griffin
), the new librarian in the Rare Books Room, was doing her job when the edgy Mr Jamison from the University of Chicago came in wanting to see Mary Shelley's original manuscript for "Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus". Anna did everything right (signed him in, checked his ID, attached the authorization from the University, and made him don gloves and a mask) before she laid the precious manuscript in his hands. When he had finished, she prepared to tuck it back into the stacks. Imagine her surprise when she discovered that he had switched blank paper for the manuscript and walked out of the library with it. Checking his ID, she learns that it was false, so she hires a quirky Private Detective, David Raleigh (Justin Lauer
), who works out of his video store, to track him down. By dusting the sign-in sheet, David is able to lift a set of the man's fingerprints and, after running them through the National Fingerprint Clearinghouse, he finds out that the man's name is really Dr Winston Berber. Now it is only a matter of finding Winston Berber and getting back Shelley's manuscript.
Meanwhile, Berber (Bill Moynihan
) is gloating over his collection of rare manuscripts. Along with Shelley's manuscript, he's now obtained the originals of Guy Endore's "The Werewolf of Paris" (1933) and James Putnam's "Mummy" (1993). He needs only to get the first edition of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" (1897), and his collection will be complete. Berber needs the manuscripts because, even with four doctorate degrees in Physics, Mathematics, Folklore, and Philosophy, he is a nebbish. Consequently, he has created an "Archetype Inducer" and plans to bring to life the four greatest monsters from horror history -- the Mummy, the Wolfman, Dracula, and Frankenstein's monster -- in order to do his bidding.
Two weeks have passed, and David has been so busy at the video store that he hasn't yet located Berber. Not to worry. Berber shows up at the library looking for the first edition of "Dracula" and Anna recognizes him. Holding Berber at bay with a pair of scissors, she phones David and tells him to hurry over to the library. Before David can get there, however, Berber zaps Anna with a taser, steals "Dracula", and takes both the book and Anna to his laboratory. When Anna comes to, she finds herself cuffed to a table. Berber informs her that she is just what he needs -- a virgin between the ages of 20 and 35 -- to sacrifice naked in order to make the Archetype Inducer work. Suddenly, David breaks into the lab, having gotten Berber's address off his computer at the video store. He knocks Berber out and releases Anna. Anna grabs all the manuscripts, and they hightail it out of the lab. Unfortunately, they weren't quick enough. Berber had already turned on the Archetype Inducer. While David and Anna are making their getaway, four figures step out of the machine -- the Mummy (Joe Smith
), the Frankenstein monster (Thomas Wellington
), the Wolfman (Jon Simanton
), and Dracula (Phil Fondacaro
) -- only they are midgets.
Dracula isn't happy that he has been brought to life as a three foot midget, but Berber assures him that he can change that if he can get his hands on Anna, who is now part of the equation. So the monsters offer to get her for him. Meanwhile, Anna isn't too happy either about the bill that David sent her for his services...$6,200. Anna's supervisor, Miss Christina (Kristin Norton
), isn't happy either because Anna keeps dodging her advances. When Anna once again dodges her advances, Christina stays late at the library in order to make love to the first edition of "Jane Eyre" in the Rare Book Reading Room. When she hears noise out on the floor, she goes to investigate and falls prey to Dracula's net. Now it's Berber who isn't happy, because Christina is not Anna, and he must have Anna for the procedure to work. However, Dracula forces him to try it anyway. Berber switches on the machine, Christina disappears then reappears as a Viking then disappears again. True to Berber's word, the procedure didn't work, so the monsters set out again to find Anna.
First stop is David's house, where Dracula attempts to wrest Anna's address out of him, but David refuses to comply. When Dracula tries to bite his neck, David flashes the crucifix on his necklace, says, "Thank God I'm a Catholic," and races out the door. The monsters and Berber follow him, assuming that he will lead them to Anna. David leads them to the library. The monsters attempt to capture Anna, but David grabs Berber and threatens to break his neck if they don't leave Anna alone. David pulls out Berber's taser and threatens Dracula, who simply zaps it, causing it to explode.
Anna and david are taken back to the lab where Berber again prepares for the procedure. When Dracula asks for assurance that it will work this time, Berber won't guarantee it because Anna is not a virgin. Dracula suggests that they find another woman, a virgin this time, to go through the procedure along with Anna, but Berber says that will unbalance things. The only way to keep everything balanced is to find an opposite to Anna -- a male virgin. After asking David about his virginity, Dracula is assured that he is indeed a virgin, and the preparations continue while David tries to come up with a catch. At the last minute, Anna has an idea. She points out to the monsters that, if they stay in the real world, they will eventually die like all humans do. However, if they return to the pages of the novels from whence they came, they will live on forever as the legends they are.
Just as Berber pushes the red button to start the machine working, David and Anna escape from their cuffs. Instead of them being sucked into the machine, Christina the Viking reappears, grabs Berber, and they both disappear again. Anna and David conclude that the machine turned them into archetypes of a Viking and a mad scientist. Having had a little time to ponder, Dracula tells David to press the red button again. They have chosen to return to their own lands as the legends they are rather than to die in the real world, he explains. Before the monsters are sucked back into the pages of their respective novels, Dracula tells Anna that she is wise "for someone who has not yet lived a single lifetime.But do not fear," he adds, "we will always be with you...in your nightmares."
Epilogue: Anna shows up at David's video store, gives him a check for his services, and informs him that Berber's lab has been torn down. She also gives him a book, the first English language edition of Venus in Furs
. David thanks her and admits that he saw the movie. "1970, directed by Jess Franco (Jesús Franco
), starring Klaus Kinski
. Actually, there was an earlier version directed by Larry Buchanan
, the guy who did Zontar: The Thing from Venus
(1966). Actually, I think there's a '94 version but it's all in Dutch...," he drones on. Anna interrupts him with a kiss.