One of my assignments give us a list of movies to review. One of the options was any Dracula film. Naturally, I picked my favorite one..
Out of all the Dracula movies that have appeared over the years, this is by far my favorite version. Dracula: Dead And Loving It was the last film directed by Mel Brooks, and quite possibly may be one of his greatest. This version of Dracula follows most of the same storyline of the original Bela Lugosi film, but with only a slight comedic twist (as Brooks is well known for his subtlety). The main plot remains the same: Renfield becomes Dracula’s slave, Dracula gets a crush on Harker’s girlfriend, seduces her with his bedroom eyes, until Harker kills Dracula, exerting his dominance over his girlfriend.
In all seriousness, there’s a lot of good slapstick here. The source material provides Brooks several great gags to work with (from the sound of Dracula sucking blood with a straw to an insane amount of blood pouring out of one vampire after being staked). I laughed all the way through it when I saw it at a young age, and I still find it hilarious today.
Dracula: Dead and Loving It was produced by Mel Brooks and Peter Schindler. Master of deadpan slapstick himself Leslie Nielson plays the title role of Count Dracula. Peter MacNicol plays the hopelessly loyal and incompetent Renfield, while Steven Weber portrays Jonathan Harker, who is engaged to Mina Seward, played by Amy Yasbeck. Rounding out the main cast is Mel Brooks himself, doing one better then Hugh Jackman with the role of Van Helsing.
The cinematographer for the film was Michael D. O’Shea. The Victorian-era costumes were created by Dodie Shepard. Rounding out the main crew, the movie features original music by Hummie Mann.
Sadly, Dracula: Dead and Loving it did not fare too well. Only premiering at number 10 at the box office, the film was only able to make about eleven million dollars back from its twelve million dollar budget (I myself did not see the film until it came out on VHS). That being said, it is still a Mel Brooks film, and should definitely fit right in with any fan’s collection of Brooks’ classic films, master. …I mean mister.