Dracula: Dead and Loving It
While this particular Mel Brooks film has been panned and criticized since its release, I can't help but feel that if you're a fan of Mel's off the wall, punny and often slapstick sense of humor, that this film won't be all that bad for you.
Yeah, it's perhaps one of his lesser titles, but in just needing a good laugh, it's really not that bad of an option. I feel, however, since it was released in '95, it just felt like more of the same to most people. I'd even say this almost marks the beginning of the end of mainstream farcical comedies.
One could, however, easily argue that 'Scary Movie' and 'Scary Movie 2' would revive it for a short time, but then all those "Insert-Gerne-Here Movies" started pouring out ('Epic Movie', 'Date Movie', 'Superhero Movie', etc.), and things got real old real quick. So this one kinds hovers in this zone of people not really caring about this type of comedy anymore, as audiences were just on to different things.
The overall plot here is played out as a farce between 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' and 'The Fearless Vampire Killers' - mostly playing on the Stoker story (at least the screen version). We have solicitor Thomas Renfield (Peter MacNicol) heading up to Dracula's (Leslie Nielson) castle, only to be hypnotized and escort Dracula to England where he hunts, feeds, etc. in mostly comedic fashion.
Soon enough, Doctor Van Helsing (Mel Brooks) enters the mix, trying to convince some of the other man players that a vampire is on the loose. He pretty much suspects Dracula right away, but the skepticism of the others kinda works against him.
Anyway, this is just about exactly what one would expect - it is a Mel Brooks take on the Dracula story, offering not much more than puns, slapstick, and overall goofiness. It's only my opinion, but there's not a whole hell of a lot going on here comedy-wise that differs all that much from some of his other titles. So while I didn't exactly love it, I certainly didn't hate it, or even really dislike it that much. I watched it just bearing in mind that this goofy comedy is what Mel does. He's done better, but this isn't entirely without its charm.
In the long run, I'm gonna sit here and go against the grain of most critics out there and say that if nothing else, I had some fun with this. It honestly put a smile on my face, and while various things about it could have been handled a bit better, I still found myself genuinely laughing here and there. So it's not great, but it's not as horrible as people might lead you to believe - at least in my humble opinion.
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