Saturday, April 21, 2018

'70s Import Trash: Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1970)

Is this a Prequel?  Nope.  It's much sillier than that.  Today's Film is Dracula vs. Frankenstein aka Assignment Terror, a 1970 Horror Film with so much going on.  As mentioned in the previous Review, Adamson's Film was delayed, having Filmed the whole thing without Dracula- being about the evil Doctor only- in 1969.  As usual, he reworked the Film to make it 1971.  Before that, this Film actually came out, although it didn't come out under this name until the 1980s.  VHS Boom- gotta love it.  Basically, there is just way too much back story for two sleazy Horror Films- and I didn't even mention how a Jesus Franco Film also got this same Title!  So what is this one about?  Well, to make a Meme Generator happy, it is...Aliens.  Seriously- no joke.  They want to conquer us, so they decide to bring back a bunch of Monsters to do so.  Roll Call- Dracula (sort of).  Frankenstein's Monster.  The Mummy.  The Werewolf.  The Golem.  Oops, Budget problems, so lose the Golem.  Make sure you don't cut the build-up for him though- that would be silly.  This one is basically what Universal was trying to set up with The Mummy...only done in an even more rushed fashion.  Yes, they did start the Cinematic Universe thing, but they also kind of suck at it now.  Will this Film succeed where they failed?  It's a one-and-done, so 'no.'  That said, it has a bunch of monsters, Paul Naschy and Aliens- what's not to love?  To find out how this often-retitled Movie is, read on...
Aliens want to conquer the Earth, since their Planet is dying.  Oh good- Sci-Fi Plot #52!
Instead of using their advanced technology to make weapons or devices, their plan is to resurrect and take control of all of our Monsters.

Insert 'Dead Politician You Don't Like Here' Joke.
First up is Dracula, or at least some Vampire according to the Subtitles.  Maybe it is supposed to be him, but there's no point where we see his tomb or anything, so....great job so far.
Next up is Paul Naschy's Werewolf, who is revived by the silver bullet being removed from his body.

According to this Film, he can only really die if he's shot by a silver bullet fired by a loved one.  Okay...
I should mention that while this is going on there is also a Police Investigation into the random bodies found along the way.

At a Library, they find this lovely book that I totally want to own.  Someone make this real already!
Next up is The Mummy, someone Universal never got in on the act (supposedly due to Budget issues).
Finally (since The Golem was cut), there's Frankenstein's Monster, who looks less cheap than in Egypt's Film, but far cheaper than Universal's.  He's also not green, since copyright.

Cool shot, bro.
Now that all of that build-up is out of the way, we can...oh right, the Movie only has like 20 minutes left.  That's...a problem.

Oh well, have our Hero- now with Naschy's reformed Werewolf- fight all of them one-by-one!
Naschy finishes off the last Monster, but is shot by his love.  Don't worry- he comes back like 6 more times (since this is non-canonical).

As for the Aliens, their overlord leaves them to die as the Police surround the place.  They blow up the lab too- shocking.  The End.
A fun, but messy Film.  If this was a better paced Film, it would be an easy recommendation to fans of Grindhouse and/or cheesy Monster Films.  It has a Mummy fighting a Wolfman.  It has Frankenstein's Monster fighting a Wolfman.  It has Aliens bringing a Vampire, a Wolfman, a human monster and a Mummy to life!  It should be glorious!  It is only so-so.  The Film just doesn't quite work because too much time is spent on set-up and not enough time on pay-off.  It just takes WAY too long to get all of the Characters together.  On top of that, they added weird little bits like some of the Aliens succumbing to emotions and conflict within the group.  Get to the good stuff!  That said, the good stuff is pretty damn good.  Dracula(sort of) gets in a stand-off with our Hero as he wields a spear.  The Wolfman and the Monster smash up a Lab in typical, but fun fashion.  The Wolfman lights the Mummy on fire and then sets in him a giant wheel, his flaming body spinning around gloriously!  If the Film was more of that and less of them discussing how to conquer emotions and the World, this would be a true classic.  As it is, it is a bit tainted and disappointing in some ways.  On the plus side, the German/French Credits give Paul Naschy a Writing Credit under his real name and an Acting one under his Stage one!
 ***Who else gets Credits under two different names?***
Next time, I dig deep into the 1970s to find something weird to cover.  What will it be?  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment