When a "serious" movie is pitifully appalling, it is easy to write a
comedic review. When a comedic movie falls into the same category, it
is almost impossible to make sport of it because any frivolity in the
review may be misconstrued as comedic quality that the MOVIE possesses.
So let me clarify from the outset: This "comedy" is not to be laughed
Who would have thought that Mel Brooks the genius writer/director
behind Blazing Saddles, History Of The World and Young Frankenstein (a
successful comedy movie wholly in the vein of this failed one pun
intended) would be prone to helming a comedy as pitifully appalling
as "Dracula: Dead And Loving It"? One imagines that Brooks' comic radar
is so finely-attuned that he would have seen through the financial and
corporate layers of this film's drudgery and simply either abandoned it
and cut his losses when he saw that it was not working, or salvaged the
potential high points and let the cutting room floor eat the rest.
He did neither, which reveals that something is terribly askew in the
Brooks universe. No longer is it "good to be the king" - Mel Brooks is
merely an old man these days, his tastes no longer running congruent
with his audience's; his comedy no longer as energetic or as biting as
the wit of his youth (which, relatively speaking, was his late-40s
The Brooks gag formulas are definitely still there, but seem lazily
inserted as dependable fallback material, rather than inspired
stylistic substance. Jokes which I can imagine my 15-year-old self
repeating ad nauseam in the schoolyard, now fall flat and wearisome on
Not only does the film suffer from rehashed and lazy gags, Brooks'
direction lacks coherence and is oft-times merely cursory; there are
wide shots, reverses and close-ups which serve no purpose, camera
blandly flitting from one unnecessary shot to the next, not merely
misdirecting our eye, but searching for subject matter to fill the
frame judiciously. Many shots seem to be second-unit throwaway footage.
Instead of easing back and letting the film's levity wash over me, as
should have been the case, all these logistical details kept bugging my
senses, detracting from the already-sparse humor.
During the cast-and-crew screening for this film, one has to wonder
whether there were any genuine laughs or whether the aura of the
director's past glories tainted the crew into believing that they had a
good comedy on their hands, thereby eliciting perfunctory giggles out
of respect for their elders.
In this film's adherence to the original Dracula story and noticeable
neglect of comedic opportunities, not only did it fail as a good
comedy, it becomes barely convincing as an A-List movie. Brooks did not
need to re-make "Dracula". Yet this seems to be all he did in a
manner inferior to that of droves of dramatic film-makers before him.
Mel's strong suit is COMEDY. So why were we subjected to a film about
the infamous psychotic blood-drinker, so loosely sprinkled with jokes
that they seem incongruous within the context of the morbid tale? Where
you would expect punchlines, there are scene-fades; where you would
expect a gag, there is exposition of the Dracula legend; where you
would expect laugh-out-loud-slapstick, there are strained attempts at
re-capturing youthful insouciance from laurels past. And the dance
sequence between Dracula and Mina was needless padding. (Makes you
wonder what DID make the cutting room floor.)
The actors vacillate between parodying Victorian characters and
actually *playing* them. Harvey Korman's Dr. Seward can almost be an
actual over-actor from one of the REAL Dracula movies, whilst Steven
Weber's Jonathan Harker frequently comes across as an exaggerated
English nobleman from a Christopher Lee film. Peter MacNichol, though,
makes the perfect Renfield for ANY Dracula film, serious or spoof -
and is the only actor who truly nails his role in this blunt-toothed
parody. Amy Yasbeck and Lysette Anthony are just too damn hot to be
funny: all the self-deprecating melodrama in the world is not gonna
help, chickie-babes - LOOK AT THOSE RACKS!
On paper, Leslie Neilsen's Dracula seemed like a hilarious coup, as did
Mel Brooks' Dr. van Helsing, but both seemed to be laboring under the
specter of their own reputations as funnymen. Neilsen playing STRAIGHT
and being oblivious to his own humor is how he works best, but here he
actively went for laughs, which means that even Brooks, as director,
did not discern Neilsen's forte - or *did* discern it and chose to make
Neilsen play against type anyway either way, an erroneous decision.
And Brooks' van Helsing seemed too self-aware of every mispronunciation
he made - for the sake of schoolyard quotes - to be regarded as
If Mel Brooks has grown so blind that he cannot see that the comedy
boat has left him onshore; if he has become so oblivious to discernment
that he actually thinks this film is noteworthy enough to be considered
a vital "comedy", the movie's subtitle may well be applied to HIM
"Dead And Loving It".
(Movie Maniacs, visit: www.thedunmore.com/POFFY-MovieReviews.html).
Zleyter watch Threat Of Exposure movie
great comedy.best dracula parody ever..
hamad33 watch Once Upon A Forest movie
its a nice movie i love it.
jalonj watch Nobel Son movie
great movie made me laugh .
tbasalrtasw watch The Gong Show Movie movie
sunilthampy watch Macbeth movie
Laught out loud movie.
Best laughter of my life.
Leslie Nielsen's Dracula is absolutely hilarious and I just love the way he gives life to the story in his own style. Not a single moment in the movie you feel bored or sleepy. Its just too good and this would be the nth time I am wanting to watch this movie.
Kinda same vibe as The Lost Boys
This movie was actually quite entertaining. Leslie Neilson and Mel
were very interesting, in a good way, in this movie. The guy that
has as a servant from the Ghostbuster movie, was very funny, too. 7.5