Dracula vs Frankenstein (1971) starring J. Carrol Naish, Lon Chaney Jr.
Before talking about Dracula vs Frankenstein itself, I would like to point out that it was the final appearance by two excellent actors: J. Carrol Naish (Sahara, Annie Get Your Gun) and Lon Chaney Jr. (The Wolf Man, The Defiant Ones) — and both frankly deserved better. Lon Chaney Jr. was mute in the film, due to the damage done by throat cancer. Although I doubt that it would have improved the film very much if he had been able to speak. Yes, Dracula vs Frankenstein is that bad.
The plot is …
The basic plot for Dracula vs Frankenstein, such as it is, is as follows: the lovely and successful Judith Fontaine (Regina Carrol) is looking for her missing sister, Joan (Maria Lease, St. Elsewhere) who has disappeared into the hippie community of Venice, California. However, Joan has become the victim of Groton (Lon Chaney Jr.), a mute, axe-wielding homicidal maniac who alternates with playing with little puppies. Groton, in turn, is working for Dr. Durea (J. Carrol Naish), a wheelchair-bound mad scientist who is experimenting with re-attaching decapitated heads and resuscitating the victims. Dr. Durea is secretly the last descendant of Dr. Frankenstein and is running a house of horrors by the beach as a cover, assisted by Grazbo the Evil Dwarf (yes, that’s the character’s name, portrayed by Angelo Rossitto).
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