Ceris' 31 Days of Horror Challenge: Dracula: Dead & Loving It
Right finally a film I haven’t seen before - although from the title I’m going to assume it’s not your normal vampire film!
A spruce Count Dracula relocates from his Transylvanian castle to Victorian London with his servile assistant hunting for fresh blood. He finds it in a duo of gorgeous young women.
There is an English solicitor (Renfield) in a carriage with some Transylvanians that are suddenly petrified of the dark and race towards their village in what can only be described as a rollercoaster ride. At the village the Renfield tells the villagers he is going up to the Castle to meet with Count Dracula and the villagers are scared for him - and also pissed when he doesn’t buy their shit that they say will save him.
Having walked through the Smokey darkness, Renfield finally arrives at the castle and within 30 seconds has broken the door knocker. Going inside, it’s evident that Dracula doesn’t know how to use a vacuum and likes to keep a tight rein on his shadow. There is a very dodgy bat who shits on the floor and causes Drac to fall down the stairs (Adam laughed wayyyy too hard at this). Having watched Dracula walk through the cobweb, he thinks he can get through too but nope, he just gets tangled.
Turns out he is there to help with the sale of an Abbey that Drac wants to buy - the transaction take 0.2 seconds, however it ends in disaster when Renfield gets the mother of all paper cuts, bleeds over everything while Drac watches him licking his lips.
Renfield isn’t killed, instead taken to a room where some beautiful vampire ladies float in and start rubbing themselves up against the furniture - which makes him uncomfortable - at least to start until they get on top of him. Turns out they are Drac’s brides and he is fuming, but it’s okay as he hypnotises him - at least he tries to - but Renfield keeps falling asleep too soon (that would be me). He makes Renfield his slave and tells him to keep his coffin safe. We find ourselves on a ship destined for England, and Dracs coffin comes loose and slides around in the ships cabin, Renfield is pretty shit at his job, isn’t he?!
Finally, they made it to London - well not all the crew as Drac kept snacking on them. At the opera, Dracula hypnotises the stewardess to get her relay a message for Dr Seward, however he cancels the trance before she relays it to him, so he must pass on the message himself, but he is interrupted by the stewardess passing on the message! Dracs a bit creepy, isn’t he? The way he says he is staring at Lucy’s neck but really, it’s defo her chest!
That night in Lucy’s bedroom, she seems a light on in the Abbey and is unaware Drac is watching her. He transforms into a bat - with a human head - and crashes into the window. He comes into the room but quickly must hide - on the ceiling!! - when Seward & Jonathan come in to investigate the noise. Having fallen off the ceiling when the door is slammed shut, he drinks her blood through what appears to be a straw by the sound of it.
Renfield is in the loony bin trying to help keep the guards sane, and he has a meeting with Seward, who is the governor. Feeling the need to tell someone you're feeling normal defo means you’re not normal - this is 100% confirm when he proceeds to eat the bugs around him, much to the disgust of Seward.
Turns out Lucy isn’t dead, but she defo looks woozy and the two puncture wounds are a tell-tale sign. Seward gives her something to help her sleep and he tells Lucy & Jonathan he is contacting Dr Abraham Van Helsing to help work out what’s wrong - something tells me Dracs luck & blood source may be running out. Van Helsing is showing his students how to complete an autopsy and doesn’t seem concerned about the students passing out around him - apart from one student named Woodbridge who seems pretty please with himself for being the last one standing, until he gets to the brain and it goes tits up. A nurse knocks the door and congratulates him on getting all 10 students to pass out with Van Helsing saying, ‘he’s still got it’. This was a pretty funny scene to be fair. I can imagine you would get a few fainters whilst training in the medical profession!
Dracula wakes up in the day and it turns out it’s because of Lucy’s blood, and he embraces the daylight. Suddenly he starts smoking and runs back to his coffin - but it’s okay he was having a daymare! Van Helsing is with Lucy examining her neck and he tells Seward & Jonathan that they have entered the realm of the supernatural - it is a vampire - but it’s clear they don’t believe him. Anyone else love the dramatics of how Van Helsing tells them Lucy will become one of them if they don’t stop him, and using Nosferatu as a guide they put a plan in place that involves garlic.
Dracula wakes up and smacks his head on the chandelier (again Adam found this way funnier that it was). Bloody hell that is an excessive amount of garlic they have hung up - also what is Seward obsession with enemas? Drac tries to enter the room but the garlic is doing it’s job and he makes a hasty exit, so he goes to fetch Renfield from the Sanitorium to give him a hand - those bars are no match for him but Renfield is thick of shit and launches himself out the window instead of using the drainpipe. Renfield gets into Lucy’s bedroom and starts to take down the garlic but is captured and taken back to the sanitorium with the threat of more bloody enemas.
With Renfield having scuppered his plans, Drac hypnotises Lucy and gets her outside where he drinks her blood, however he is seen and sacred off by Mina screaming, but alas it’s too late, she is dead. Van Helsing wants to drive a steak through Lucy’s heart to ensure she isn’t a vampire too. Drac goes to see Seward to offer his condolences following Lucy’s death and come face to face with Van Helsing, who tells them the story of Vlad and suspects Drac is a vampire - well at least I think so, he can’t seem to make up his mind!
In Lucy’s grave, the guard watching over her hears Lucy’s cries of ‘Help Me’, but alas it’s a trick as she is indeed a vampire, and she kills him. Jonathan decides to go and stand guard at Lucy’s grave - this isn’t going to end well, is it? Van Helsing is out on a midnight stroll too and come across the body of the guard, complete with two puncture wounds. At Lucy’s grave, Jonathan hears Lucy singing before she appears in front of him, and she tries to seduce him but he reminds her he is engaged to Mina and that she is …. dead. This is a very weird sexual bit that is only disturbed by Van Helsing shoving a cross in her face - Jonathan very much needs to catch up on the fact Lucy is a vampire. Jonathan, although at first reluctant, drives a stake through her heart and get hits by a tidal wave of blood, not once but twice - I’m glad I’m not cleaning that crypt up.
Dracula is on the hunt for another victim and tries to hypnotise the maid keeping watch over Mina in an attempt to get Mina to come outside. He defo needs to work on his instructions cos this doesn’t end well with both Mina and the maid crashing into each other and hitting the floor. He decides to just go in and get her, not before picking up the wrong girl, and kidnapping her. Mel Brooks at his best in this scene for me, so simple but hilarious.
Jonathan & Van Helsing are back and tell Seward Lucy did become a vampire which explains the blood all over him. Back in Carfax Abbey, Dracula and Mina are doing a love dance - it’s some pretty impressive strength from the Prince of Darkness - before he drinks Mina’s blood. The following morning, Jonathan goes into Mina’s bedroom, and she tells him about the extraordinary dream she had last night and that she feels different - for two people who are engaged, he is very uncomfortable around her, especially when she asks him to touch her boob and he freaks out. Seward walks in as Jonathan has his hand on her derrière, and she tells her father that Jonathan is seducing her, to which point he tries to kick him out. Van Helsing arrives and notices Mina’s new scarf, he rips it off from her neck and finds two puncture wounds - any guess who they are from? Another piece of evidence that proofs she is a vampire is when she is burned by a crucifix. The men decide they need to find the vampire before Mina succumbs to the same fate as Lucy.
They throw a ball in an attempt to draw Dracula to them, and not one to let them down, he arrives and asks if he can treat Lucy to a dance. Also at the ball is Renfield and it turns out he has been invited to out Dracula and he tells him that he has moved his coffin to an abandoned church and asks Renfield to make sure he isn’t followed when he comes to find him later. During the ball, they reveal a giant mirror which shows Lucy dancing on her own as he doesn’t cast a reflection, thinking everyone has stopped dancing cos they are brilliant, they dance an even more exotic dance - to be fair it looks awesome in the mirror haha!
Suddenly noticing the mirror, Drac realises he is in the shit and makes a run for it, but not before smashing the mirror and making off with Mina. Renfield tries to follow but is captured, however the men realise he is the key to finding Drac so he is suddenly let out again. He realises what they are doing and says he must out smart them but let’s be honest he is so thick; he can’t even work out how to lose them!
Having led them directly to the abandoned church, and getting trampled on by the three men in hot pursuit, Dracula has locked himself in a room and is determined to make mine his undead bride. He doesn’t quite manage it however as he is interrupted before he can complete the transformation. He tries to fight back, but with the help of a crucifix they drive him back, but he still manages to break the steak Jonathan has and tries to chock him, but he likes him in the eyes causing his to hit the floor.
Drac tells Jonathan he will make him watch Mina become his bride, but Van Helsing saves the day by ripping off the wooden board covering the windows and letting the light in causing Drac to start smoking, but he escapes by turning into a bat. Renfield tries to help by giving him and escape through the roof, forgetting that the sunlight will kill him! The irony of Renfield accidentally killing him is pretty funny. Having scooped up his ashes and put them back in his coffin, Renfield finds himself a new master in the form of Dr Seward.
Overall, I did enjoy this film and there were funny moments, however Adam defo finds this funnier than I do! Probably as he loves a good spoof film (Airplane especially) and knows Dracula inside and out having watched the various versions of the story and character on TV and in film. It’s a very typical Mel Brooks film which is always good silly fun, it’s probably one of the better ones I’ll enjoy more during this year’s 31 Days Horror. It'll be interesting to see how this compares to Young Frankenstein when I watch that later down this years list.