Dracula: Dead and Loving It
Directed by: Mel Brooks
Friday, May 31 - Sunday, June 2, 2013
“The title DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT is so perfect that it’s almost a good-will ambassador for Mel Brooks’s slight but amusing new parody. Mr. Brooks may no longer be at the forefront of silly comedy, but he’s still laying on the genre gags, horrible puns and enema references with dependable good cheer…
“Mr. Brooks has recruited the ever-sporting Leslie Nielsen to play a charmingly dim Dracula and give this film the feeling of an undead Naked Gun. Mr. Nielsen proves equally good at capturing the Count’s hauteur and at falling down a flight of stairs after slipping on bat droppings. The film, which follows the broad outlines of the familiar Dracula story, also gives its main character an alter ego in the form of his own shadow. While the real Dracula tangos debonairly on the dance floor, his shadow has raunchier things in mind.
Also on hand, and zanily good, is Peter MacNicol as Renfield, the lawyer who arrives in Transylvania to become Dracula’s slave. Renfield’s funniest scene should play well with children, since it has him joining Dr. Seward (Harvey Korman) for tea in the garden and sneakily trying to eat every insect in sight. Mr. Korman, an old hand at this sort of anything-goes humor, plays the doctor’s stuffy English mannerisms to the hilt and sputters ‘Poppycock!’ with all the proper indignation. Anne Bancroft makes a brief, uncredited appearance as a very strange Gypsy.
“Mr. Brooks also has fun with an accent since he casts himself as the very Teutonic Dr. Van Helsing, who says ‘attekt’ for ‘attacked’ and loves making his medical students keel over in autopsy class. Mr. Brooks and Mr. Nielsen are clearly on the same wavelength, which makes this Van Helsing just fine as Dracula’s nemesis. When the job of driving a stake through a vampire’s heart gets messy, Van Helsing looks at the floor and observes, ‘We should have put newspapers down.’” – Janet Maslin, The New York TimesPG-13, 88 Minutes