In the 1970's, Mel Brooks was
responsible for funny films like Blazing Saddles, Silent
Movie and Young
Frankenstein. They may not have been the
greatest movies of that time period, but they made you laugh enough to
overlook their obvious flaws. Lately, he's been dealing in low-brow "comedies" that
do more to soil his reputation than anything else. Remember Robin
Hood: Men in Tights? I thought not.
Dead & Loving It (1995)
Starring: Leslie Nielsen, Harvey Korman,
and Mel Brooks
Brooks took on the horror genre for the first time with Young
he was generally on the mark in terms of humor. That movie conjured a
mood similar to that of the original Universal horror film and then distorted
it with sly satire. Dracula: Dead and Loving It dives right into
the distortion of the source material without taking the necessary time
to set it up.
As this telling of the story goes, Dracula (Leslie Nielsen) invites Renfield
(Peter MacNicol) to his castle in Transylvania to finalize the sale of
an abbey in England. While Renfield is staying at Dracula's castle, he
is hypnotized and made into Dracula's slave. Dracula then travels to England
to live in his newly acquired real estate. To satisfy his thirst for blood,
he introduces himself into the English social scene. His abbey is next
door to an asylum run by the enema-obsessed Dr. Seward (Harvey Korman),
his daughter, Mina (Amy Yasbeck) and a patient of his, Lucy (Lysette Anthony).
As Dracula attempts to make Mina and Lucy his slaves, Seward enlists the
help of Dr. Van Helsing (Mel Brooks) to find the vampire's identity.
For a comedy, this film is awfully short on laughs. The funniest things
about the film are Peter MacNicol's Renfield and a gag involving a stake
and Mina's lover, Harker (Steven Weber). If a comedy's funniest bits can
be summed up in a single sentence, it doesn't bode well for someone looking
for a source of laughter.
Since the movie seems to draw heavily on spoofing Francis Ford Coppola's
1992 Bram Stoker's Dracula, maybe I should have watched the two movies
back to back to get some of the more subtle jokes, if there were any.
Somehow, though, I doubt it because subtle seems to missing from Mel Brooks'
Weber and Amy Yasbeck were both cast members of the NBC TV series, Wings.
Internet Movie Database)