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Dracula: Dead and Loving It

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Dracula: Dead and Loving It
Drac dead and loving it.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mel Brooks
Produced by Mel Brooks
Peter Schindler
Screenplay by Mel Brooks
Rudy De Luca
Steve Haberman
Story by Rudy De Luca
Steve Haberman
Based on Dracula characters by
Bram Stoker
Starring Leslie Nielsen
Peter MacNicol
Steven Weber
Amy Yasbeck
Lysette Anthony
Avery Schreiber
Harvey Korman
Mel Brooks
Music by Hummie Mann
Cinematography Michael D. O'Shea
Editing by Adam Weiss
Studio Castle Rock Entertainment
Gaumont
Brooksfilms
Distributed by Columbia Pictures (USA)Warner Bros. (Home Video)
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (UK)
Release date(s) December 22, 1995 (1995-12-22)
Running time 88 minutes
Country United States
France
Language English
German
Budget $15 million
Box office $10,772,144 (United States)

Dracula: Dead and Loving It is a 1995 comedy film starring Leslie Nielsen, directed by Mel Brooks. It is a parody of the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, and of some of the films it inspired.

Brooks co-authored the screenplay with Steve Haberman and Rudy DeLuca. He also appears as Dr. Van Helsing. The film's other stars include Steven Weber, Amy Yasbeck, Peter MacNicol, Harvey Korman, and Anne Bancroft.

The film follows the classic Dracula (1931), starring Bela Lugosi, in its deviations from the novel. Its visual style and production values are particularly evocative of the Hammer Horror films. It spoofed, among other movies, The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) and Dracula (1992). As of 2011, it is the last film to be directed by Brooks.

PlotEdit

The year is 1893: solicitor Thomas Renfield (Peter MacNicol) travels all the way from London to "Castle Dracula" in Transylvania to finalize Count Dracula's purchase of Carfax Abbey in England. As the sun sets, and the stagecoach driver refuses to take him any further, Renfield continues on foot despite the villagers (including Chuck McCann and Anne Bancroft in cameos) pleading with him to turn back.

Renfield arrives safely and meets Count Dracula (Leslie Nielsen), a charming but rather strange man who is, of course, a vampire. He then casts a hypnotic spell on the suggestible Renfield, making him his slave. Dracula and Renfield soon embark for England. During the voyage, Dracula dines upon the ship's crew. When the ship arrives and Renfield (by this time raving mad in the style of Dwight Frye) is discovered alone on the ship, he is confined to a lunatic asylum.

Meanwhile, Dracula visits an opera house, where he introduces himself to his new neighbors: Doctor Seward (Korman), Seward's assistant Jonathan Harker (Weber), Seward's nubile daughter Mina (Amy Yasbeck), and Seward's ward, the equally nubile Lucy (Lysette Anthony). Dracula flirts with Lucy and, later that night, enters her bedroom and feeds on her blood.

The next day, Mina discovers Lucy still in bed late in the morning, looking strangely pale. Seward, puzzled by the odd puncture marks on her throat, calls in an expert on obscure diseases, Dr. Abraham Van Helsing (Mel Brooks). Van Helsing informs the skeptical Dr. Seward that Lucy has been attacked by a vampire. After some hesitation, Seward and Harker allow garlic to be placed in Lucy's bedroom to repel the vampire. Dracula uses mind-control to make Lucy leave her room, and kills her in the garden.

Van Helsing meets Dracula and begins to suspect him of being the local vampire. Lucy, now a vampire herself, rises from her crypt, drains the blood from her guard, and tries to attack Harker. Van Helsing rushes in just in time and chases her back to her coffin with a crucifix. Jonathan drives a stake into Lucy's heart, allowing her to at last rest in peace.

Dracula's next victim is Mina, but he has bigger plans for her; he wants her to be his undead bride throughout eternity. He spirits her away to Carfax Abbey, where they dance, and he sucks her blood. The following morning, she is unusually frisky, and tries to seduce the prudish Jonathan. Van Helsing becomes suspicious at this strange behavior. Noticing a scarf around Mina's neck, he removes it, revealing two puncture marks.

Van Helsing devises a plan to reveal Count Dracula's secret identity. He invites the Count to a ball, and places a huge mirror, covered with a curtain, on one of the walls. The curtain over the mirror is dropped, and guests are stunned to see that Dracula has no reflection. Dracula grabs Mina and escapes out a window.

Van Helsing deduces that Renfield is Dracula's slave, and thus might know where he keeps his coffin. He lets him out of his cell, and the three men secretly follow him to Dracula's lair. Once discovered, the Count locks himself in a room to finish making Mina his bride. His pursuers break down the door, and they fight. Van Helsing, noticing sunlight creeping into the room, starts opening the blinds. As his body begins to burn, Dracula transforms himself into a bat to flee, but is inadvertently killed by the inept Renfield opening a panel of the roof.

With Dracula finally vanquished, Renfield falls into despair with no master to serve. When Dr. Seward calls for Renfield to come, the imbecile follows with "Yes Master". Van Helsing dust's himself off, opens Dracula's coffin and yells something in moldavian and ensure that he has the final word between him and the count.

CastEdit

ReceptionEdit

Critical reaction to Dracula: Dead and Loving It has been overwhelmingly negative, with the film earning a rating of only 9% on Rotten Tomatoes.[1]

James Berardinelli of ReelViews wrote: "Alas, Dracula: Dead and Loving It doesn't come close to the level attained by Young Frankenstein. It's a toothless parody that misses more often than it hits. ... Unless you're a die hard Mel Brooks fan, there's no compelling reason to sit through Dracula: Dead and Loving It. The sporadic humor promises some laughs, but the ninety minutes will go by slowly."[2]

Joe Leydon of Variety wrote, "Trouble is, while Dead and Loving It earns a fair share of grins and giggles, it never really cuts loose and goes for the belly laughs. ... Dead and Loving It is so mild, it comes perilously close to blandness."[3]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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