Toothless Dracula Comedy
I think I was spoilt as a child because the first Mel Brooks movie I watched was "Blazing Saddles" and since then have been kind of disappointed at the other Mel Brooks movies I have watched. Disappointed is exactly how I felt after watching "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" because whilst it looks good and features a few funny jokes for the most it failed to make me laugh. Now I suspect that is because I have not watched many "Dracula" movies and the majority of the humour appears to rely on the audience recognizing the elements it is parodying which probably why some find it riotous. But for me it ends up the stand alone jokes which ended up making me laugh rather than everything else.
Having been invited to meet Count Dracula (Leslie Nielsen - Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult) at his Transylvanian castle, young Thomas Renfield (Peter MacNicol - Addams Family Values) finds himself falling under the Vampire's spell. Together they take a boat to London, England along the way Dracula draining the entire crew of their blood and on arriving Dracula seeks out Dr. Seward (Harvey Korman). It is at that meeting that Dracula sets his sights on Seward's ward Lucy (Lysette Anthony) sneaking into her room late at night to sink his fangs into her neck. With Lucy in a weakened state Dr. Seward sends for Van Helsing (Mel Brooks) who soon comes to the conclusion that a vampire is at work and Count Dracula is the main suspect.
So here is the thing about "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" it is 95% a spoof of various Dracula movies with that remaining 5% being general humour. That is all and well if you know your Dracula movies because you will be able to enjoy all the parodying but if you have just a general knowledge of Dracula it is not enough. It is why for the most I found "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" a bit of a bore because so much of the humour failed to make me laugh yet I am sure fans of Dracula movies will love all the references to older movies. I hope that is a case because otherwise it means "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" would be a failure for all.
The few times it did make me laugh was where Brooks threw in a random joke such as a scene where Van Helsing mentions he is a gynaecologist as well and Seward responds by saying he didn't know he had a hand in that, was one of the few times I laughed. It is a shame because for me these moments were Brooks at his amusing best yet there were by no means enough of them.
It is also a shame that I found "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" so unfunny because visually it looks good. The sets, the costumes and some moments of creativity with Dracula's shadow are good and in fact are often more entertaining than the movie itself.
What is also more entertaining are the performances especially from Peter MacNicol as Thomas Renfield because MacNicol steals every scene he is in as he comes across as a cross between Kenneth More and Michael York. Of course there is also Leslie Nielsen as Count Dracula and whilst he looks the part he even struggles to make some of the gags work. It is the same through out with both Brooks himself and Harvey Korman also struggling with what for me was weak and sporadic gags.
What this all boils down to is that sadly "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" just didn't make me laugh like I was expecting it to seeing it is a Mel Brooks movie. I am sure those more familiar with the Dracula story and the old Dracula movies will find the parodying funnier but unless you are a fan of those old movies a lot of the humour fails to work.
Tags: Vampire Movies