A Monstrous Muddle
- Dracula vs. Frankenstein review by Count Otto Black
If this dismal excuse for a horror movie has a redeeming feature, it is that after watching it, you'll never again unjustly accuse Ed Wood of being the world's worst director. The cast of B-listers on the way down, old has-beens who had long since hit rock bottom, wannabes who never would be, non-actors who just fancied being in a movie, and the director's big-breasted, huge-haired, and zero-talented wife struggle gamely with the dreadful script, but nothing could have put a gloss on this steaming super-sized chocolate log!
The two monsters the title would have you believe are the main attractions were clearly inserted into the story at a late stage in production, since they have very little to do with anything outside their own subplot, they carefully avoid being in the same shot as most of the principal cast members even when they're supposed to be in the same room, and the two plot-threads only get properly integrated near the end of the film, right at the point where the original script was obviously supposed to finish.
John Bloom, who you may remember as 50% of the title character in "The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant", is a ludicrous Frankenstein Monster whose face appears to have been sculpted from dough by a small child, and "Zandor Vorkov" gets his one and only shot at stardom as Count Dracula, a performance so absurd that I wondered if the mystery man behind the clown makeup and daffy pseudonym was Frank Zappa, whom he certainly resembles a lot more closely than he does Dracula. As for poor old Lon Chaney Jr., making his last screen appearance as Groton the mentally retarded axe murderer, he wasn't given any lines because by then he was so ill he could barely talk, let alone act.
But worse than the terrible acting, the incoherent script, the non-existent production values, and even the visibly dying co-star, is the fact that it's just plain dull. Without the last-minute addition of the two famous monsters, this film would have been about a bunch of hippies who can't act doing deeply tedious things, some guy in a wheelchair talking mad scientist drivel at great length, and a few tiny, feeble glimpses of gore to maybe keep you half-awake. As it is, it's about that anyway, only with random appearances by monsters who look as though they've escaped from a school play. Not "so bad it's good", just so bad that when you hear that director Al Adamson was eventually murdered and entombed in the foundations of his own bathroom, you wonder if a movie critic might have had something to do with it. Or possibly Zandor Vorkov...?
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