In this weeks episode of The Leslie Nielsen Spoofs Podcast, Cory and Nathan are expected for a meeting with the prince of dark comedy to discuss “Dracula: Dead and Loving It.”
Our Favourite Trivia:
Final theatrical feature film directed by Mel Brooks.
Much of the dialogue from the original classic Dracula (1931) picture is repeated here and spoofed. This includes the film’s star Leslie Nielsen doing a spoof-impersonation of the famed Bela Lugosi.
When Mel Brooks and the rest of the filmmakers gathered together for the first time to discuss the making of the movie, one of the early questions was should the picture be made in black-and-white, mainly because Brooks’ earlier film Young Frankenstein (1974) was made in black and white in order to give the movie the feeling of the old Universal Frankenstein films. This idea was dropped, mainly because, as Steve Haberman said in the audio commentary of the film in DVD, a lot of the great Dracula movies were in color, specifically the Hammer pictures starring Christopher Lee and Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992).
For the scene in which Harker puts a stake in Lucy’s heart, Mel Brooks did not tell Steven Weber that he would be subsequently covered in two hundred gallons of blood, so that his reaction would appear natural. This led him to ad-lib, “She’s dead enough.
The character of the gypsy woman Madame Ouspenskaya, who was portrayed by Mel Brooks’ wife actress Anne Bancroft, was named after Maria Ouspenskaya, who played the character of Maleva in both The Wolf Man (1941) and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man(1943).
Mel Brooks is a close friend of Italian TV star Ezio Greggio, whose movies he inspired. Brooks is often a guest in Greggio’s shows, and Brooks offered Greggio a small part in this film, due to this friendship.
When Count Dracula and Abraham Van Helsing first met in the movie, Van Helsing asks him if he descended from Vlad Tepes, the first Dracula. It’s a reference to Vlad III. Draculea, also known as Vlad the Impaler. He was a Voivode of Vallachia, a former region in south Romania, from 1456 to 1462. Bram Stoker used this person to create his character Dracula.
The bouffant wig worn by Dracula was a dig at the hairstyle used in Francis Ford Coppola’s film, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). This hairstyle, along with a number of other elements (such as Keanu Reeves’s dreadful British accent) was a source of hilarity and criticism when the Coppola film was released. Clearly, Brooks was not about to let that one get past him.
What’s Up Next?:
Next week we’ll be discussing “Spy Hard.”
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