Dracula vs. Frankenstein is a 1971 horror film directed by Al Adamson.

J. Carrol Naish … Dr. Frankenstein, aka Dr. Duryea
Lon Chaney … Groton
Anthony Eisley … Mike Howard
Regina Carrol … Judith Fontaine
Greydon Clark … Strange
Zandor Vorkov … Count Dracula
Angelo Rossitto … Grazbo
Anne Morrell … Samantha
William Bonner … Biker
Russ Tamblyn … Rico
Jim Davis … Police Sgt. Martin
John Bloom … Frankenstein’s Monster
Shelly Weiss … The Creature
Forest J Ackerman … Dr. Beaumont

Story: During the day, Doctor Duryea [J Carroll Naish] runs the Creature Emporium [a sideshow in an amusement park near the beach in Venice, California] from his wheelchair but, by night, Duryea is a mad scientist working on some sort of blood serum. For this serum he needs the blood of women who were scared to death, as it is their fear that “energizes the molecular structure of their blood”. To do this, he has his zombie Groton [Lon Chaney Jr] behead girls with an axe and then bring him their bodies. Duryea then rejunvenates them so that he can harvest their blood.

One day Dr Duryea is visited by Count Dracula [Zandor Vorkov] who has found the remains of the original Frankenstein monster. In exchange for some of Duryea’s serum (which will make Dracula invincable), Dracula offers the doctor the use of the Frankenstein monster [John Bloom] in order to get revenge on Duryea’s adversary, Dr Beaumont [Forrest J Ackerman]. Together, they reanimate the monster and he does eventually kill Beaumont.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas showgirl Judith Fontaine [Regina Carrol] is searching for her sister Joanie, who disappeared after joining a group of hippies who hang near the Creature Emporium. Police Sgt Martin [Jim Davis] has been of no help, so Judith goes to the local hippie hangout and shows around a photo of her sister. No one has seen her. When someone slips some LSD into her coffee, Judith winds up on the couch of aging hippie Mike Howard[Anthony Eisley], who offers his help (along with a few kisses). When they learn that Joanie was last seen at the Creature Emporium, they pay a visit to Dr Duryea, but he claims to have never seen Joanie.

Meanwhile, more girls have turned up missing and a few male bodies have been found chopped to bits on the beach. When friend Samantha [Anne Morrell] is carried through a trapdoor under the Creature Emporium, Mike and Judith break in and discover, to their horror, the undead bodies of all the girls, including Joanie [Marie Lease], that the doctor has been using. In the fight that ensues, Dr Duryea is beheaded in his guillotine and Groton is shot by Sgt Martin. Judith is carried off by Dracula. Mike frees Judith but, as they run away, Dracula zaps Mike with his ring of fire, burning him to a crisp. Dracula and the Frankenstein monster carry Judith to an old abandoned church where Dracula ties her to a chair and prepares to make her immortal, but the Frankenstein monster has a sudden change of heart and protects her.

Dracula and the Frankenstein monster duke it out. Their fight carries them outside into the surrounding woods. Dracula bests the Frankenstein monster by pulling off his arms and head. But the sun is rising, and Dracula must get back to his coffin. He makes a dash for the church door but collapses on the stairs and burns up in the morning sun. Judith unties her binds and gets away.

Final film appearances of J. Carrol Naish and Lon Chaney Jr..

Originally planned as a sequel to Satan’s Sadists, with Russ Tamblyn and other “bikers” reprising their parts from that film. However, not long after filming began, it was decided to turn it into a horror film instead of a biker picture and much of the footage with Tamblyn and other actors from the first film was cut out. They were unable to cut them completely out of the movie, though, which is why Tamblyn and his biker gang seem to be wandering in and out of the film, with no connection to the story line and with not much to do.

It was originally intended to have Dracula turn Frankenstein’s Monster into a bloodthirsty vampire, so the Monster could better serve the Count’s purpose. The idea was dropped, however, when the fangs kept falling out of actor John Bloom’s mouth, which he couldn’t keep in due to his heavy makeup.

Much of the electrical lab equipment in Duryea’s lab are props originally used in Frankenstein. Ken Strickfaden, who had designed all the electrical gadgetry in that film, supplied the equipment.

In his scene confronting Count Dracula, J. Carrol Naish looks noticeably older than he does elsewhere in the film. This is due to the time that had elapsed between the bulk of his scenes, when it was intended as a different film entirely, and the Dracula/Frankenstein scenes that were grafted on later.

Regina Carrol and victim

At this point in his career, J. Carrol Naish was very ill and frail and could no longer remember dialogue, so he read it off cue cards. However, he had only one real eye, so in his dialogue closeups you can see one eye moving back and forth, reading the lines, while the other eye remains fixed in position.

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