Review of Dracula - Dead and loving it.
Surprisingly, despite sticking fairly closely to the theme of Bram Stoker's original Dracula plot, Mel Brookes and his team manage to turn this version of the story into an enjoyable comedy. Its tongue-in -cheek style is reminiscent of the Carry-On films, with the jokes coming thick and fast.
Leslie Nielsen successfully plays the bungling Count who has the misfortune to choose the mentally challenged Renfield as his slave, thus causing himself many problems. Mel Brookes plays the vampire-hunting Professor Van Helsing with joyful gusto and one of his most amusing scenes centres on a post mortem in which he tries to shock all his students into fainting. Jonathan Harker is amusingly portrayed as a straight-laced wimp. There are several running jokes, one of which centres on Dracula's shadow, which has a life of its own.
Perhaps the best thing I can say about the film is that I have been forced to watch it at least a dozen times because my four grandchildren (aged 8-12 yrs) loved it so much! They thought that the Count was a very likeable villain who amused rather than frightened them and they were much taken by both the lunatic Renfield and the scatty Professor. Scenes which in true horror films would upset children are handled in such a way (basically by going way over the top to get laughs) that they become very amusing. Examples of this are the post-mortem scene (you don't see the body) and the staking scene (Jonathan Harker gets absolutely drenched in unbelievably vast fountains of blood, the joke being that the vampire had just had a meal).