Dracula: Dead And Loving It
Comedian Mel Brooks directed the 1995 movie Dracula: Dead And Loving It, a comical distortion of both the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker and the movies created as a result of it. Dracula: Dead And Loving It follows the classic 1931 Dracula, in which Bela Lugosi starred, as far as the basic characters and essential plot are concerned. Dracula: Dead And Loving It's production values and visual style are particularly reminiscent of the Hammer Horror films and the whole mélange comes together quite successfully as a truly off the wall spoof parody of vampiredom, especially when seen through the perspective of the sheer vampirical silliness of the Twilight movie series.
Dracula: Dead And Loving It holds true for the most part to the story line of previous versions but incorporates many puns and sight gags. Leslie Nielsen transfers the comedy of the Naked Gun series of movies to the character of the renowned vampire. Mel Brooks makes puns of the legend of Dracula and more specifically of the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola's film Bram Stoker's Dracula. Dracula: Dead And Loving It starts with Renfield's (Peter MacNicol) visit to the castle for the purpose of conducting legal business. He ends up journeying to London with Dracula as his slave who munches insects.
Once there the vampire Count accumulates victims, the most notable being the alluring Lucy Westenra (Lysette Anthony). London becomes a place of chaos with an abundance of fake blood as the struggle ensues between Dracula and his eternal enemy, Dr. Van Helsing (Mel Brooks) who is attempting to terminate the reign of terror of the ancient vampire. Nielsen and Brooks meet the expectations of comedy in Dracula: Dead And Loving It, especially as in the bat form Dracula is prone to smashing into windows and falling down staircases. Even better are the movie in-jokes many of which are based directly on Coppola's original motion picture techniques and the lousy British accents which are employed in his version of the Dracula film.
Dracula: Dead And Loving It is not the only takeoff of the genre. Loose adaptations, sequels, parodies, farces and other vampirish variations (including the early 70s "blaxploitation" Blacula films), have numbered literally in the hundreds, while there have been about a dozen 'true' film adaptations of the Stoker novel, which Dracula: Dead And Loving It is definitely not among. Dracula eventually came to be the most frequently portrayed character in horror films. The version that is most in line with the original novel is generally thought to be the 1977 BBC miniseries production, Count Dracula. It was created as a television adaptation of three parts and starred Louis Jourdan as the Count. The 2002 Italian production of Dracula has been considered as another reasonable depiction of the actual historical facts surrounding the Transylvanian Count as portrayed in the Stoker manuscript. It was directed by Roger Young and starred Patrick Bergin. Of course none have the sheer zaniness of Dracula: Dead And Loving It which takes the vampire spoof to an entirely new level. Take that, Twilight fans!
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