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Dracula: Dead and Loving It
1995 - PG-13 - 88 Mins.
Director: Mel Brooks
Written By: Rudy De Luca and Mel Brooks
Starring: Leslie Nielsen, Peter MacNicol, Mel Brooks, Amy Yasbeck, Steven Weber
Review by: John Ulmer
   
Let me introduce you to the humor associated with "Dracula: Dead and Loving it!" A doctor gives a class of medical students a lecture while he cuts open a body and takes various organs out. One by one the students faint, until there is one left standing, unharmed by the gore. The doctor, frustrated, removes the dead victim's large intestine and hands it to the student, who faints immediately.

The doctor is Mel Brooks, who walks happily over to his assistant and makes a remark about how many students he has caused to faint during his lecture seminars.

Here lies the roots of Mel Brook's latest spoof: "Dracula: Dead and Loving it." With Brooks' latest films flopping severely, it seems the famed comedian has turned back to his old days in "Young Frankenstein"-type satires of the ancient horror genre (The Universal Pictures Horror Films genre).

I suppose he figured this would be his big break back onto the big screen. Perhaps he thought returning to what was once a hit would re-invent himself as a filmmaker, screenwriter and actor. But it didn't work quite as well as he figured. Why? Well, the film is quite amusing, but like many of his other films of such, it just isn't particularly great. There are a lot of laughs, but many of them half-hearted giggles compared to the boistrous laughter that ensued while watching "Young Frankenstein." Here we don't even get as many laughs as we did in "Spaceballs," which was a good, if not great comedy that had some great gags in various places. But the deal with "Dracula..." is that instead of great gags in various places, it has good gags in prolonged areas.

I won't go into the plot much, because it is basically exactly the same as the Universal Classic by the semi-same name. The only difference is that this film is played for laughs, the other wasn't.

Mel Brooks takes every scene from "Dracula" and re-films it with comedic actors, including Peter MacNicol, himself (Mel Brooks), and Leslie Nielsen as the feared Count Dracula.

If you have seen "Kung Pow: Enter the Fist," you will probably remember that director/writer/actor Steve Oederkerk filled himself into various kung-fu films and dubbed over the other actors' voices. "Dracula..." is a bit like "Kung Pow," only instead of digitally inserting Nielsen and co. into the Universal classic (which could have been a more clever choice), Brooks re-films the entire movie with a comedy script instead of a serious script.

But too many gags are wasted to truly name this film classic comedy. It's the perfect treat for a Friday or Saturday night in, and I've watched it at least four times on TV on various nights, but I would not recommend you run out and rent the film.

Like I said before, the problem with "Dracula: Dead and Loving it!" is that instead of great gags in various places, it has good gags in prolonged areas.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not.
  3 out of 5 stars

 
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