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Dracula: Dead and Loving It Review

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Bram Stoker's Dracula made into a comedy.

★★★★

The last time Mel Brooks took on the horror genre he produced the semi-classic Young Frankenstein. But this take on cinema’s vampiric legends is woefully misconceived, chucking in Leslie Nielsen in an attempt to milk a few more laughs and failing miserably. Brooks was, of course, one of the pioneers of the parody genre, but while such fellow exponents as the Zucker brothers have soared to new heights in recent years, Brooks continues to tackle specific movies in a manner that renders him out of touch and out of date.
Dracula: Dead And Loving It comes four years after Francis Coppola’s take on Bram Stoker’s tale, but has no qualms about satirising that movie, even down to its derivative poster art. The story is familiar — Dracula (Nielsen) comes to London, bites a few babes, gets chased by vampire hunter Van Helsing (Brooks). While the director aims to find a spin at every turn, he far too often shows disproportionate respect for the material, leaving numerous scenes comically unfulfilled.
Weber, fresh from Jeffrey, is a suitably bland Jonathan Harker and along with Brooks gets to deliver the movie’s only funny scene — a blood-soaked staking moment that features a classic Nosferatu gag. Brooks is his usual self. Nielsen is, if anything, too restrained — something that never even occurs to MacNichol, playing demented sidekick Renfield with more gusto than the rest of the cast put together. This is no return to form.

Rubbish