Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror,
Release Date: 2014-08-01
Duration: 88 Min
Transylvania: 1893. A coach containing Thomas Renfield (Peter MacNicol), a solicitor from London, and two Transylvanian natives, rocks up a mountanous path. Renfield says he’s feeling queasy and one of the helpful natives leans out the window to tell the driver to slow down. Just as he does so, he catches a glimpse of the setting sun and yells for the driver to go faster. The carriage rocks and jerks its way to the closest town.
When they arrive, a townsperson opens the door of the carriage, and Renfield tumbles out headfirst. The driver throws his luggage down after him, saying he will go no further tonight. Renfield is forced to walk to his appointment at Dracula’s castle, disregarding the townspeople’s warnings about vampires as a silly superstition.
By the time Renfield arrives, it is dark. He tries to knock at the door, but the knocker crumbles away in his hand. Just then, the doors swing open of their own accord. When Renfield steps in, the doors swing shut again and he turns around in surprise. Behind him, at the top of a long staircase, Count Dracula (Leslie Nielsen) makes his appearance. He stands still at the top of the stairs as shadow creeps forward across the wall in a predatory stance. Dracula scolds it in a foreign tongue and it retreats. Renfield, startled, turns around and is relieved to see the count. Dracula starts to introduce himself and trips on some bat guano, tumbling down the steps. He gets up at Renfield’s feet, unharmed. He leads Renfield up the staircase, while his shadow limps across the wall behind him.
As they walk up the stairs Dracula passes without incident through a giant spiderweb that is in the way. Renfield, confused, attempts to follow, only to become tangled in the web. He is still picking cobwebs off his clothes as he enters the room into which Dracula has led him. Dracula brings up his purchase of Carfax abbey. Renfield produces the documents. Just as Dracula is about to sign, Renfield gets a papercut. Blood spurts all over the documents as Renfield attempts to find his hankerchief. Dracula smacks his lips and looks on in interest.
Later that night, Renfield is sleeping soundly in the guest room. The door creaks open and two vampire maidens float into the room. Renfield wakes up to see them molesting his furniture. He is indignant at their intrusion, but when they advance upon him he soon gives in to their mistrations with gusto. Dracula walks by to see them in a very comprimising position. He calls the vampires off and scolds them. They start to float out of the room, but he tells them to stop it, so they just stomp into the hall.
Dracula finds Renfield cowering under the covers and tells him he was having a nightmare. He offers to show Renfield an old Transylvanian method of relaxation, where the other will stare deeply into his eyes. However, Renfield promptly falls asleep before Dracula can make him his slave. This happens once more before Dracula hoists Renfield up by his shoulders and goes through it all very fast. Renfields eyes get wider and more twitchy as he listens, and the scene ends with Renfield totally under Dracula’s control.
The next scene opens on a ship at sea. It is The Demeter, bound for England. Dracula’s coffin is down below, being knocked about the cabin. Renfield enters and tries to tie down the coffin again, only to be crushed against the wall multiple times by the rocking ship. When Renfield finally manages to tie down the coffin, Dracula emerges with a groan. Renfield says he looks dried out, and offers him some whisky. Dracula refuses, and says he’ll start with the first mate.
A London Enterprise headline segways the next scene: Corpse of Captain Found on Empty Vessel– Sole Survivor a Raving Maniac.
At a showing of Faust, three theatre-goers look over the audience from their box seats. The fourth, Dr. Seward (Harvey Korman), who runs an insane asylum, enters late. His daughter, Mina (Amy Yasbeck), his ward, Lucy Westenra (Lysette Anthony), and Mina’s fiancé, Jonathan Harker (Steven Weber) greet him. He apologizes for being late, citing the lunatic he brought in from the empty ship as an excuse.
Meanwhile, Count Dracula approaches an usher (Leslie Sachs) in the hallway outside and requests to speak with Dr. Seward alone. He makes a gesture with his hand and she is instantly transformed into a mindless slave, repeating his request as she approaches the box. Just before she draws back the curtain, he adds “and you will remember nothing of what I tell you.” She draws the curtain to summon Dr. Seward and suddenly has no idea why she’s there. Dracula, annoyed when she greets him for the second time, denys her a tip and says he’ll do it himself.
Dracula enters the box and introduces himself as the new owner of Carfax abbey, which ajoins Dr. Seward’s sanitarium. He is just about to introduce himself fully when the usher returns, relaying the original message Dracula imparted upon her. Dr. Seward leaves at the summons and Jonathan Harker takes over, introducing the offended Dracula to the rest of the group. Dracula takes an interest in Lucy. At one point he stares, transfixed, at her neck. She seems flattered.
Later that same night, Lucy looks out her window at Carfax abbey and undresses to just her nightclothes. As she gets into bed, Dracula turns into a bat and flies across to her window. Just as he reaches it, Lucy shivers and reaches out to push the window shut. It swings shut and Dracula flies into it head-on, sliding down the glass. Afterwards, in human form, he pushes in the window and hoists himself up onto the sill and into the room. Suddenly, a knock sounds at the door. Dr. Seward and Jonathan come in and turn on the light, saying they thought they heard a prowler. They search the room and find nothing, while Dracula clings desperately to the ceiling above their heads. They say goodnight and Dr. Seward slams the door on the way out. Dracula crashes to the floor.
After the men have gone, Dracula creeps over to Lucy’s bedside and begins to drink her blood with a loud, slurping noise.
The next day opens on a cell in Seward’s Sanitarium where Renfield fusses and frets on his cot. Martin, (Mark Blankfield) a caretaker at the sanitarium, enters and says Dr. Seward is ready to meet with Renfield. He leads him out to where Dr. Seward is sitting, eating lunch. Renfield takes the seat opposite him. Renfield acts normal until he catches sight of an insect and stuffs it into his mouth. This happens three more times and Renfield tries to play it off, but eventually Dr. Seward is forced to call Martin back to put Renfield in a straightjacket.
That same morning, Mina comes into Lucy’s room, where the other girl is still in bed. Mina remarks that Lucy looks pale, and Lucy says she doesn’t think she can get out of bed. Mina calls her father and he examines the two little bruises on Lucy’s neck with interest. Jonathan suggests an insect, and asks if Lucy recalls being bitten. Lucy alludes to a strange dream she had, but when they press her on the details she says she remembers nothing and drifts to sleep.
Dr. Seward suggests contacting Dr. Abraham Van Helsing (Mel Brooks), who he thinks might be able to shed some light on the disease.
At the London Hospital Dr. Abraham Van Helsing’s autopsy lecture is being conducted. Van Helsing disects the body and passes various body parts around until every student has fainted. A nurse comes in and sees the bodies on the floor. She congratulates him on a “ten out of ten.” She then says she just got a message from Dr. Seward summoning VanHelsing to Whitby for an emergency. Van Helsing looks thoughtful.
Dracula’s coffin opens on a new morning. Dracula is at first startled that he can be up during the daytime, but then becomes joyful as he thinks that Lucy’s blood had cured him. He goes out for a walk and samples a picnic. Suddenly, Renfield appears and warns him away. Dracula begins smoking in the sunlight. Startled he starts to run back to his coffin but can’t seem to get anywhere. Cut to Dracula’s coffin, which is rocking. Muffled screams are coming from within. It opens and Dracula looks around him, seeing that it is night. He was having a daymare.
Van Helsing examines Lucy and can only suggest the interferance of a vampire. At first Jonathan and Dr. Seward don’t believe him, but they come to as he explains his line of thinking. They ask what they can do, and Van Helsing consults a vampire book. He finds what he is looking for in the suggestion of hanging garlic around Lucy’s room as she sleeps, to prevent Dracula from finishing the job.
Dracula rises from his coffin that night and bumps his head on the chandalier directly above. He grumbles that he must move his coffin.
Garlic drapes over every surface in Lucy’s room that night. She complains about the smell, but Dr. Seward and Dr. Van Helsing insist. Dracula creeps up to the window once they have left and opens it, only to be warded away by the disgusting smell. The next time we see him he is at the window of Renfield’s cell. He calls his slave to the window and bends open the bars, floating gracefully down to the ground. Dracula beacons to Renfield and he leaps from the window. Renfield gets up, groaning. Dracula reminds Renfield that he doesn’t fly. Renfield limps after Dracula on the way to Lucy’s room.
Once there, Renfield opens the window and begins to gather wreaths of garlic in his arms. He is distracted, however, and peeks under Lucy’s blankets. Lucy wakes up and screams. Renfield screams. Dr. Seward and Jonathan come in and restrain him. Martin appears at Dr. Seward’s call and drags Renfield back to his cell. Jonathan closes the window. When Lucy is alone again Dracula uses his vampire powers to call her to him. She opens the window and steps out into the night. Mina steps out onto the terrace and sees a dark figure bending over Lucy’s prostrate figure. She screams, which brings Dr. Seward and Jonathan stright to her side. They rush out into the night and find that they are too late.
A funeral is held. Dr. Van Helsing warns that unless they stake her to her coffin she will rise from the grave. Seward expresses doubts about the whole vampire theory. Just then, Count Dracula is shown in. He is introduced to Van Helsing, who questions the relationship between Count Dracula and Vlad Dracula, who impaled his subjects on iron spikes. Dracula insists they had it coming. Van Helsing and Dracula engage in a childish game of trying to get the last word through insults in the language of Ancient Moldavian. The professor notices The Count never gives up, leading him to suspect Dracula might be the vampire.
At the Westenra crypt voices are coming from within Lucy’s coffin. A man drinking nearby hears and lets her out. She attacks him.
Back at the house, Jonathan is going out to stand guard at Lucy’s grave, just in case. We next see him walking in the graveyard with a lantern. Suddenly, he hears his name called out long and soft. Lucy, now transformed into a vuluptuous vampire, steps out of the shadows. She begs Jonathan to come away with her, and tries to seduce him. However, he is too British to succumb to her wiles. She tries to bite him, but Van Helsing steps out of the darkness with a cross to drive her back. She retreats to her crypt, with Van Helsing at her heels.
When Van Helsing and Jonathan enter the crypt they find Lucy lying prostrate in her coffin. Jonathan thinks she’s dead, but Van Helsing says that unless she is staked through the heart by one who loved her in life she will rise again. Jonathan insists that he only liked her, but Van Helsing will hear none of it. He retreats behind a pillar and Jonathan hits the stake as hard as he can with a mallot Van Helsing produced. A deluge of blood pours out from where the stake drove in and Jonathan is soaked. He hits it one more time, with the same effect. Van Helsing hands him a hankerchief.
Back at the house, Mina’s nurse, Essie (Megan Cavanaugh) is sitting watch over her while she sleeps. Dracula is out in the garden and hypnotizes Essie to fall asleep and makes Mina awake. Dracula orders Mina to the door and there is some confusion in which he accidentally carries Essie away. When he realizes his mistake he drops her and goes back for Mina, spiriting her away into the night.
Jonathan and Van Helsing return. Seward is shocked at Jonathan’s appearance and makes him use the servant’s entrance.
At Carfax Abbey Dracula carries Mina into a candlelit room. They begin to dance, as a dusty old organ accompanies their movements. Their shadows dance and Dracula’s shadow gets a little carried away, if you know what i mean. Dracula yells at it to stop, and they continue dancing. Dracula bites her.
The next morning Mina is up early while Essie sleeps. Jonathan comes in and they wake her. Jonathan comments that Mina looks different, and she agrees, saying she’s changed. She comes on to him, which makes Jonathan uncomfortable. Her father comes in and catches them in a very compromising position. Jonathan blames Mina, but she rescinds all blame. Seward is furious and orders Jonathan out. Van Helsing comes in and is suspicoius of Mina right away. He rips off her scarf to reveal two tiny puncture marks on her throat. She claims she did it pinning a shawl, but when Van Helsing presents her with a cross she faints.
The group decides they need to find out the identity of the vampire, and Van Helsing suggests a way.
The next scene opens with a ball. They invite Dracula and Renfield. Dracula comes up behind them while they are talking and startles them. He spots Mina and asks to dance. Jonathan is about to refuse, when Van Helsing stomps on his foot. Renfield calls Dracula’s attention on his way to Mina. Renfield is suspicious of the circumstances under which he was invited. Dracula agrees that it is suspicious and says that if he is discovered he has movied his coffin to an abandoned Chapel, and that Renfield must meet him there, making sure not to be followed.
Dracula begins to dance with Mina. Martin is given the signal to drop the curtain from a giant mirror. Everyone starts staring at Dracula and Mina, because he does not reflect in the mirror. He thinks they’re staring because he’s a good dancer. When he finally figures it out, he snarles and throws a table through the window. With Mina in his arms he leaps into the night.
Renfield yells out after him, but quickly covers it. Van Helsing is suspicious of Renfield, and suggests they let him go to see if he’ll lead them to Dracula. Renfield starts off in the direction Dracula indicated, only to remember his advice. To make sure he isn’t followed he zig-zags in a circle and then advances, sure that he lost them.
Renfield arrives at the castle, proud of his achievement. It is just then that Dracula hears the sound of his pursuers at the gate. Renfield is crushed that he couldn’t fulful his duty, and begs Dracula to punish him. Dracula obliges and throws Renfield down the stairs. The group tramples over him on the way up the stairs.
The door is locked when they get up, however. Dracula leans down to bite Mina as they beat on the door, and just as his fangs are about to sink in they break in. There is a struggle, at the end of which Dracula turns into a bat and flies into the rafters to escape. While he is up there, they are unable to burn him with the light of the sun. Just as Dracula thinks he’s safe, however, Renfield opens a pannel in the ceiling for escape, accidentally letting in the sun. Bat-Dracula goes down in a ball of flames and Mina awakens as herself again.
Jonathan carries Mina out the door. Just after them, Renfield comes in the room, sobbing. He scoops up his master’s ashes, places them in his coffin and draws a smiley-face in them, trying to fix it. Seward tells him that he doesn’t need to serve anyone anymore. Renfield follows him out the door, saying, “Yessss masssster.” As Van Helsing puts on his hat, he opens Dracula’s coffin and shouts one last insult in Ancient Moldavian, getting the last word. He slams the coffin shut as the film ends.