|Index||7 reviews in total|
In a Wild West park in southern Spain, a rock band called KILLER BARBIES
playing a bunch of shows. Many strange characters hang around, including a
guy who claims to be Count Dracula. Then, a government official from
Transylvania arrives - and in the back of her car is the glass coffin with
the real Dracula. He is meant to be become a tourist attraction, but soon
back from the dead after listening to the Killer Barbies' tune `Wake Up'.
gets obsessed with Silvia, the singer of the Killer Barbies. Lots of necks
and bites later, the vampire hunter Dr Seward comes into town to fight the
evil undead. Unfortunately, Seward is blind and the villagers doubt that
is able to stop Dracula. But if he can't, who else could?
Well, you knew from the title it wouldn't be Shakespeare! But the movie has got a legendary director (Jess Franco) and three excellent veteran actors from the late 60s spaghetti westerns (Aldo Sambrell, Peter Martell and Dan van Husen) who raise the whole undertaking above the level of a normal rock band trash video. I must confess I am not a big fan of the kind of music that the Killer Barbies play. It sounds rather like tame pop than aggressive punk to me, but I still could sit the movie through without being bored for a minute. Silvia's skull bikini helped, too. The best fun moment was when one victim asked the vampire with her last breath: `Why are you such a bastard?', and Dracula replies: `I had an awful childhood!'
Just like in his 70s vampire movies like `Vampyros Lesbos', Franco is not afraid of showing a vampire with a mirror image, or letting him walk in the sunshine. Surprisingly for a Spanish director, his idea of a vampire was hardly influenced by the typical Catholic iconography. Franco's vampires are described as outsiders neither bound by a particular morality code nor weaknesses such as fearing the sign of the cross. This horror comedy works by the same rules as Franco's serious movies here, but unfortunately, the visual style doesn't come anywhere near. Especially towards the end, cheap video effects like the so-called solarisation don't really serve a purpose. The speed of the finale made me aware that the movie also had a couple of pacing problems in the middle, probably because Franco never was a comedian in the first place. Voting more than 5/10 would seem unfair to Franco's masterpieces such as `Virgin Among the Living Dead' therefore - although `Killer Barbys vs Dracula' is quite some fun!
It's ironic a director like Jess Franco who has been making films for
more than forty years now has been reduced to the kind of
ultra-low-budget, shot-on-video projects like this usually associated
with first-time amateurs. It's also ironic that the guy that once
helmed what was supposed to be the definitive version of Bram Stokers
"Dracula" with Christopher Lee (although many of Lee's Hammer Dracula
movies were vastly superior to Franco's 1969 version) would make
something like this that is laughably bad even for a spoof.
For no apparent reason, a woman (Lina Romay) has brought Dracula's coffin to a Spanish western theme park where the Killer Barbys (a punk band that kind of resembles an Iberian version of The Cramps) are performing. "Dracula" awakens and puts the bite on the park's fake Dracula and a pesky reporter (Katja Beinert) before becoming infatuated with the Barby's lead singer, Sylvia Superstar (can't really blame him there). This is actually a better vehicle for the Barbys than their first collaboration with Franco. They get to play a lot more of their music, which may not be to everyone's taste, but is FAR better than their acting. And Sylvia Superstar certainly adds a lot of sex appeal with her husky Spanish accent and her ridiculously skimpy wardrobe. This is good because otherwise there is a real lack of anything resembling sex or nudity --and a Franco film without sex and nudity is like a tall glass of water without the water.
Lina Romay, Franco's wife and long-time collaborator, actually keeps her clothes on for a change, which is probably for the best as she was pushing fifty here. It's interesting to see Katja Beinert, who was kind of the German version of Traci Lords in the early 80's, except that instead of appearing in actually pornography, she only appeared in several sleazy Franco "nudie" movies and a couple German "schoolgirl report" films. Like Traci Lords, Beinert apparently STOPPED doing nude scenes when she turned 18, but the bigger problem in this movie perhaps is her ridiculous reporter character who interviews everybody (the fake Dracula, the real Dracula, etc) EXCEPT the Killer Barbys. This might be because her scenes seem to have been shot almost completely separately from everybody else's. The same is true of the great Spaghetti western character actor Aldo Sambrelli who is totally wasted here as an elderly suitor of Silvia Superstar (trust me, she would probably kill the old guy in thirty seconds if he actually got her into bed).
This movie definitely has an interesting cast, but otherwise it is strictly amateur hour for Franco.
Killer Barbys vs. Dracula (2002)
* 1/2 (out of 4)
Jess Franco's follow up to his 1996 film Killer Barbys features the rock group accidentally bringing Count Dracula back to life. The first film was decent, comic book style fun but this one here doesn't quite reach that level. Franco is basically making a music video for the rock group who I've heard is quite popular in Spain but their alternate/punk rock just doesn't cut it for me. Franco was clearly going for an Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein type feel but only a few gags work. There's some funny dialogue including one scene where a reporter asks Dracula if he's ever infected Aids and another where one woman, before dying, asks Dracula why he's a mean bastard and he replies that he had a bad childhood.
First of all, this movies doesn't even have anything to do with the
earlier movie "Killer Barbys", which also got directed by Jesus Franco.
So this is not even really a sequel but what is way worse is that this
movie is absolutely torture to watch, especially when compared to the
somewhat bearable first movie "Killer Barbys".
Was there even supposed to be a plot in all of this? The movie is filled with lots of random characters, doing all random things, without ever anything feeling connected to each other. If there was a story in all of this they sure did a great job at hiding it from me.
I'm convinced of it that Jesus Franco keeps putting his wife Lina Romay in his movies just to annoy me. She is so incredibly irritating and pointless in this movie and she still can't act, despite of all of her years of experience within the business. The only character and actor that I liked in this was Dan van Husen, who played his role in a fun way. But even his role feels incredibly pointless!
Guess this movie foremost serves as a promotion for the Spanish punk band The Killer Barbies. The movie is filled with sequences in which they perform some of their songs, which serves no purpose at all within the movie. And I must say, I was still kind of digging their music in the 1996 movie "Killer Barbys" but in this one it has gotten way worse and their music sounded far their formulaic. Guess that The Killer Barbies just have gotten worse over the years, which must be also the reason why they agreed to do another movie with Jesus Franco. They must have been really desperate to do so!
The title and premise of this movie still sound like it's at least somewhat fun to watch but believe me, it really isn't. Because of the pacing and its incredibly bad story you'll loose interest completely, well before the movie hits the half hour mark. The movie does get worse as it progresses and I feel even somewhat reluctant to actually call this a movie. It does so much wrong and poorly that this doesn't even feel like a movie. It's just one big ugly mess, in which nothing makes sense.
Congratulations Jesus Franco, you have done it again. You have succeeded once more in making one of the absolute worst movies out there!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There comes a point in every man's life when he must decide whether to
gouge out his own eyes with a dull and fiery hot spoon ... or watch
I wish I had taken the 1st option.
In fact, I wish that I had more than 1 set of eyes to gouge out.
I once thought that it would be fun to try to see the worst movie ever made. I believe now that I have. This movie is not even bad in a fun way, it's just bad.
At one point, I thought that maybe this movie was meant to showcase the talent of the Killer Barbies (Note: the movie spells their name wrong). I tried to find the talent they were showcasing, and it too was terrible.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There was a time when Franco at least tried to make entertaining movies
- always sloppy (he'd shoot lots of loose footage, then
resell/repackage the same stuff to different distributors under
different titles); but this is even worse than Lust For Frankenstein -
just a cheap amateur whack-job shot on camcorder by high school
At least Ed Wood tried to make "important" movies - but he had a terribly overinflated sense of himself, and unfortunately - no talent.
Franco has talent, and occasionally employs it, but he IS a sleaze and cheese (and he's no Joe D'Amato!) Franco's best films are the most misogynistic: SADOMANIA, BARBED WIRE DOLLS, WOMEN IN CELL BLOCK 9, THE DEMONS and EROTIC RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN - any of which you should watch before dumpster-diving into his many, many other duds.
I have hardly ever seen a movie of such low quality. It's nice to see actors like Peter Martell making movies again, but this movie unfortunately seems not to have had a script or an original idea. Not to talk about the camera work (probably a first time operator, at least I hope so), although the "day for night" they invented for this movie is shockingly interesting (I understood this only after the first half of the movie and when I mentioned it to the others watching the movie I could see that no one had understood the purpose of this strange color effects before). The film looks like high school kids tried to make something funny and transgressive, but did not dare to really do so. I must see some of Jess Francos older movies because he must have made something better before otherwise he could not be working anymore.
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