Saturday, 27 November 2010



There's nothing better than a really great bad movie! So bad it's good! Any fool can watch good films but the real test is how many bad films you can put yourself through! Well, cobblers to that. There may be some fun to be derived from the likes of The Wild Women Of Wongo or Attack Of The Giant Leeches but there's no point at which that makes them films of any kind of quality. The worst movies aren't so bad they're good, they're just plain mediocre. Edward D Wood Jr may have been a hack but he thought, he genuinely believed, he was a genius. The likes of Al Adamson aren't that delusional: they're rubbish and they know it but it doesn't matter.

Dracula Vs. Frankenstein has a completely nonsensical storyline enacted mainly by hasbeens and faded genre veterans, shoddily photographed and slung together with minimal technical skill, but that appears to be par for the course for an Al Adamson movie. Dr Frankenstein has relocated to San Francisco and now, under the name of Dr Duryea, runs a carnival freakshow on the pier. Secretly, however, he is abducting girls and terrorising them in order to create an immortality serum from their blood. Meanwhile, a young woman is searching for her sister who has recently disappeared. Also in town is Dracula (with a perm), who has dug up the body of Frankenstein's old monster and wants the serum for himself in order to create an immortal vampire army.

Frankenstein is played by J Carrol Naish who'd been in movies since the silent era and this 1971 stinker was his last film. It also heralded the final appearance of the legendary Lon Chaney, by then suffering from alcoholism and reduced to playing an axe-murdering simpleton. The heroine is played by the director's wife, and the man cast as Dracula was a stockbroker who only appeared in one other film. It is absolutely terrible and never in a good, enjoyable kind of a way: it's just hopelessly inept and depressing. There are several other Adamson films on British DVD - Brain Of Blood, Satan's Sadists, Horror Of The Blood Monsters - but for some reason I can't quite muster up the enthusiasm to add them to my queue. Once bitten, I suppose.


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