Dracula vs Frankenstein

Tagged: Film

Film (1971; vt Blood Freaks). Independent International Pictures. Produced and directed by Al Adamson. Written by William Pugsley and Samuel M Sherman. Cast includes John Bloom, Regina Carrol, Lon Chaney, Anthony Eisley, J Carrol Nash and Zandar Vorkov. 90 minutes. Colour.

Dr Duryea (Nash) is actually Dr Frankenstein, who has set up shop at a sleazy sideshow carnival near Venice, California, and continues his experiments in a hidden basement laboratory, hoping to perfect a life-giving serum. Groton (Chaney) is an axe-wielding maniac who provides him with the corpses he needs, usually in a decapitated state. Judith Fontaine (Carrol) arrives searching for her missing sister Joanie, and meets Mike (Eisley), who becomes her love interest and helps with the search. Joanie has already fallen victim to Groton; Judith herself is soon captured. Count Dracula (Vorkov) arrives and informs the doctor that the original Frankenstein Monster happens to be buried nearby; he will trade the creature for the serum. The doctor agrees, and soon revives the creature (Bloom), whom he uses to dispose of various enemies. Janice falls prey to Dracula; Mike is killed; and predictably, the titular creatures fight it out in a climactic battle which destroys the laboratory, killing Duryea/Frankenstein and whoever else has survived to this point. Forrest J Ackerman has a cameo as one of the monster's victims.

This atrocity was the final film credit for both Chaney and Nash; a sad final curtain call for two veteran performers. Chaney's role is mute owing to his throat cancer. Adamson (1929-1995) notoriously produced dozens of very low-budget works in various genres – often starring his wife, Carrol – including martial-arts, biker and Horror/sf films. These distasteful productions almost always feature excessive gore and violence towards women. [GFi]

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