Saturday, October 10, 2009

A trio of vampire movies

Since the second installment of the "Twilight" series is set to open in theaters soon (I haven't read the books, nor did I see the first film), I looked back and found three reviews of vampire movies to post. The first is a Mel Brooks spoof of the genre, though focused mostly on the classic "Dracula," and it doesn't work too well. The next is an Eddie Murphy romp. And the third -- the one worth a look, if you can find it, is an atmospheric, interesting exercise.

“Dracula” needs more life
xaminer staff
Mel Brooks’ new comedy “Dracula: Dead and Loving It” is one of those good news/bad news movies. While it may be better than “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and “Spaceballs,” it doesn’t come close to “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein” or “High Anxiety.”
Brooks’ tenure in Hollywood has been meteoric: It burned white hot, then plummeted.

“Dracula: Dead and Loving It” marks a partial return to old form for the once-master spoofer. He lampoons not only the movies that have been adaptations -- loose, and otherwise -- of the classic horror novel “Dracula,” but also the novel itself. In his own offbeat way
, he remains as close or closer to the source material than many previous adaptations, including Francis Ford Coppola’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and Tod Browning’s 1931 version of “Dracula” starring Bela Lugosi.

Leslie Nielsen (“The Naked Gun”) stars as Count Dracula, and Peter MacNichol plays his mad slave, Renfield. Together, they travel from Transylvania to London, where the count sets about gnawing on the necks of a pair of local women. Out to stop him are the uptight Harker (Steven Webe
r) and famed vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing (Brooks).
The film is about equal parts funny and stupid. The best scene begins with this exchange between Harker and Van Helsing, upon entering the crypt where a vampire sleeps:

“She’s dead,” observes Harker.

“No,” counters Van Helsing.

“She’s alive?”

“She’s nosferatu.”

“She’s Italian?”