October Review: Dracula vs Frankenstein (1971)

In this Spanish/German/Italian film, a detective’s investigation turns up a plot by aliens to revive and duplicate earth’s most famous monsters in order to conquer the planet. Originally released as Los Monstruos del Terror and under various titles in translation, it eventually came to be another Dracula vs Frankenstein, perhaps in order to cash in on the cult success of Adamson’s movie. Alas, the vampire in this film isn’t Count Dracula, and he doesn’t fight Frankenstein’s Monster, who does, however, duke it out with star werewolf, Waldemar Daninsky.

Dracula vs. Frankenstein

Director: Tulio Demicheli, Hugo Fregonese, and Eberhard Meichsner
Writer: Paul Naschy

Michael Rennie as Dr. Odo Warnoff
Craig Hill as Inspector Tobermann
Karin Dor as Maleva Kerstein
Patty Shepard as Ilsa
Ángel del Pozo as Dr. Kerian
Paul Naschy as Waldemar Daninsky the Wolfman
Manuel de Blas as Count Janos de Mialhoff, who might be Dracula
Ferdinando Murolo as El monstruo de Farancksalan / The Frankenstein Monster
Gene Reyes as Tao-Tet the Mummy


A detective connects murders to a circus sideshow which (of course) is a cover for alien mad scientists who want to conquer earth by reviving and then duplicating our most notorious monsters.

High Point

Dracula’s make-up is fairly restrained (compared with the other films of this title), and his early attack on a victim has been well-framed. I have no idea how that scene got in this movie.

Low Points

The vampire has one of the cheapest and most laughable vampire deaths in cinematic history. Also, he doesn’t fight the Monster (who does, however, duke it out with the werewolf). The film’s real failing, however, is that it’s just not very entertaining.

The Scores:

Originality: 1/6 Although Al Adamson’s version hit theatres later, they started production about the same time. Apart from its use of the basic Universal Monsters, the plot recalls both Plan 9 From Outer Space and Monster Zero. It’s better made than the former, less well-made than the latter, and not nearly as much fun as either.

Effects: 2/6 The film mentions the golem and implies the existence of flying saucers, but budget limitations meant that neither element appears in the film. Actually, the film’s low production values are apparent throughout. The Frankenstein Monster is just a big guy with a forehead scar and some clips. The werewolf make-up is pretty good; the same actor played the same werewolf in a handful of films. The Mummy, predictably, looks like an accident victim.

Story: 3/6

Acting: 2/6 The acting is about on par with the local horror hosts who peddled films like this one on late-night TV. Paul Naschy manages to be a few steps above the film’s general level.

Production: 2/6 Los Monstruos del Terror won the 1970 Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Atrocious Editing, or would have, if such an award had existed.

Emotional Response: 2/6

Overall: 2/6 Forget SF classic The Day the Earth Stood Still; Michael Rennie must have been ill when he finally saw this celluloid atrocity.

In total, this Dracula vs Frankenstein receives 14/42.