Dracula: Dead and Loving It

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It’s kind of difficult for me to critique comedies, because when I see movies I look for the story. But the nature of comedy in film usually requires a simplistic story because the goal is not to make a profound point, but just to make people laugh. Considering this, the only way I feel I can legitimately critique this movie is if I do it on its own terms as a comedy.

Mel Brooks’s Dracula: Dead and Loving It was released in 1995 and satirizes classic vampire horror flicks going all the way back to Bela Lugosi. He achieves this with great panache. In the movie, a somewhat clumsy and not so diabolical Count Dracula (Leslie Nielson) travels to London to wreak havoc and claim a big-breasted lady as his wife for eternity. He sets his eyes on the beautiful Mina (Amy Yasbeck) who must be saved by her fiancé, Jonathan Harker (Steven Weber), her father (Harvey Korman), and the strange yet knowledgeable Professor Van Helsing (Mel Brooks).

I honestly had never heard about this movie until I saw it listed on NetFlix on Monday. I have no idea how I missed it for so long (well, except for maybe the fact that I was four when it came out). Such a shame because this movie is hilarious. What I like most about Mel Brooks’s creation is that it is a comedy I can claim to enjoy without feeling ashamed of myself. It has a good combination of high and low humor to appeal to may different types of audiences. Whether it’s Professor Van Helsing using an autopsy to intentionally make his medical students faint, Or Count Dracula gliding imposingly out of his coffin only to bang his head on a chandelier, there is never a long portion of this movie without laughs. I, having changed my system from out of 5 to out of 10, give this movie a 5 for Brooks’s clever hilarity. Go find this movie, some liquor, and some friends, and you’ll have a very fun Saturday night.

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