director Al Adamson
Now this is a bad movie! I watch a lot of bad movies. Well, lately in particular I’ve been watching a lot of bad movies and enjoying them quite a bit. Discerning between enjoyment and self-torture is probably a variation in personal taste for anyone who might tackle such a program.
Up until now, I had never seen an Al Adamson production. I can’t say how emblematic or not Dracula vs. Frankenstein is. But I can tell you a few things.
The movie features Lon Chaney, Jr. in one of his final roles. It also features Russ Tamblyn and Forrest J. Ackerman in small parts. It also notoriously features J. Carrol Naish in his final role. With his dentures clacking hysterically through much of his dialogue. This has to be a certain all-time high of hilarious badness.
For a film made so much on the cheap, with such strange things like the most-glopped-together-looking face of Frankenstein ever, it manages to capture a certain zeitgeist, too. It’s 1969 and features a Las Vegas show tune, hippies, bikers, LSD and the Santa Monica pier. Such a strange, strange amalgamation of things. As terrible and hackneyed as it is, I want to travel back in time to the pier and see some of this stuff first-hand.
While Dracula and Frankenstein do eventually battle like in the movie poster, it’s not nearly as vivid — in fact it’s kind of hard to see in the woods or forest where this goes down in half-darkness. The poster certainly promises something that is sort of delivers yet doesn’t deliver at all.
Wow. And Wow again. It’s so awful. And so sort of awesome.