Dracula vs Frankenstein (1970)

aka Los monstruos del terror, Assignment Terror
Article 3191 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-14-2010
Posting Date: 5-10-2010
Directed by Tulio Demicheli, Hugo Fregonese and Eberhard Meichsner
Featuring Paul Naschy, Michael Rennie, Karin Dor
Country: Spain / West Germany / Italy
What it is: Naschy monster mash

Aliens from outer space possess the dead bodies of humans and seek to take over the planet Earth by the revival of the classic monsters: Dracula, Valdemar the werewolf, Pha-ho-tep the mummy, and the Farancksalen monster.

I know of three movies from the early seventies that have this same title, or at least one that’s really close, the other two being from Al Adamson and Jess Franco. This one was Michael Rennie’s last film, and he does about as good a job as anyone could have with the role of the head of the aliens. Most of the movie seems to be concerned with the aliens puttering around the world collecting monsters interspersed with scenes of police investigating the various killings. The invasion never really gets off the ground because there’s just too much infighting between the aliens and the monsters. The thing I found the most interesting about the movie is the way it references a whole slew of other movies, especially the various Universal classics and any number of mad scientist movies, most obviously HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Still, the title is a cheat; not only does Dracula never take on Frankenstein or his monster, there isn’t even a Frankenstein in it; the monster is called the Farancksalen monster, a name substitution that is as clumsy as it sounds. The script is a bit of a muddle; at times, Valdemar seems to be helping the aliens, but fighting them at other times, and since he barely speaks, we don’t know what’s going through his mind. This is far from the best of the Valdemar the werewolf series, but I have to admit I liked it a little better this time than when I first saw it.

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