Rudy De Luca
DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT
Following Robin Hood: Men In Tights, director Mel Brooks turned his attention back to the Universal Monsters tackling a parody of Dracula, including Bram Stoker's Dracula released a few years prior.
Dracula: Dead And Loving It stars Peter MacNicol as Thomas Renfield, who is scheduled to meet Count Dracula at his castle in Transylvania to discuss the purchase of Carfax Abbey. After a hilarious set up, we are introduced to Dracula who is played by none other than Leslie Nielsen as the joke-every-30-seconds formula keeps on kicking and kicking. This is an extremely silly movie with Mel Brooks not so much imitating the style of the movie(s) its mostly based on like Young Frankenstein did, as he does prioritize fitting in as many goofy jokes as possible.
Leslie Nielsen clearly has a lot of fun delivering his lines in an impossible accent, dancing, turning into a bat and such, acting alongside Mel Brooks who plays Van Helsing. But the supporting cast is so good it almost steals the show: Harvey Korman is the funniest he's ever been here, as are Peter MacNicol and Steven Weber. This is not the slickest of Brooks' films as it does look pretty cheap, and it knows it, but it makes up for that with a charming cast and some of the funniest jokes in any Mel Brooks movie.
The plot is a distilled version of the Bela Lugosi Dracula film crossed with Francis Ford Coppola's take but with some roles merged (Harker and Renfield) and obvious liberties taken. The film refuses to take itself seriously for one second and this makes it even more fun. It's simple enough to keep things moving and not distract from the ridiculousness of it all. Thankfully the film doesn't attempt to appeal to a modern-day audience like Men In Tights did, which would've killed the old-fashioned vibe.
While not on the same level as Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein scale and style-wise, Dracula: Dead And Loving It is all too often dismissed as a dud when it's a genuinely funny little gem that's well worth checking out for some easy laughs.
One of Brooks' funniest films.