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"Clash of the Titans" †by Mike Smith
Sounds of Terror: Dracula vs. Frankenstein Soundtrack †by ED Tucker
The Top 30 Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Actresses, #3 †by Lisa Scherer
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The Dark Side of Fandom †by Jason Fetters
|LAMPIN' @ THE 6TH BOROUGH|
Good Riddance, Hollywood Video †by John Miller
Passing On .... Movie Notes .... .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf †by Mike Smith
In this age of collectorís edition DVDs for almost any film imaginable, it is amazing that audio counterpart compact discs are not more prevalent. The good people at Elysee Productions are out to change that though with some impressive original motion picture soundtracks that are loaded with extra features. Their inaugural disc is from one of the most schizophrenic films of all time, Independent Internationalís Dracula vs. Frankenstein, but it also boasts a unique score by Hollywood legend William Lava.
Dracula vs. Frankenstein began life in 1969 as a film called Blood Freaks with neither of the famous monsters in sight. This story, which changed titles early on to Blood Seekers, concerned a mad scientist and his ghoulish henchmen kidnapping young girls for dubious scientific experiments. Starring in these roles were three horror film heavyweights, J. Carrol Naish, Lon Chaney Jr., and diminutive actor Angelo Rossitto. Always trying to keep in touch with the current trends, director Al Adamson added a subplot involving motorcycle gangs and drugs that featured displaced child actor Russ Tamblyn. Rounding out the cast were western actor and future Dallas star Jim Davis and the hard working Anthony Eisley who always seemed on the brink of something greater.
Angelo Rossitto and Regina Carrol on the set of Blood Seekers.
The title of the film was changed, once again, to Blood of Frankenstein, anticipating a never realized plot twist in which Dracula bites the monster and makes him a vampire as well! Against Shermanís preference for casting another veteran horror icon, John Carradine, as Dracula, Al Adamson hired stock broker Roger Engel, rechristened Zandor Vorkov, to play a curly haired goateed Count! J. Carrol Naish returned to film new scenes with Dracula and the monster to tie in the existing footage, almost all of which was used. Even props created by Kenneth Strickfaden for the original Universal Frankenstein and other films were used to recreate a classic atmosphere. Unfortunately, as round two of shooting was wrapping up, it still did not appear to be a sellable feature.
Director Al Adamson surrounded by monsters!
With classic monsters, actors, and even props, itís no wonder that Sam Sherman wanted the film to have a classic score as well. While shooting was underway for Blood Seekers, he contacted William Lava, a thirty year veteran composer who had done scores for everything from movie serials to Pink Panther and Bugs Bunny cartoons. Lava was provided with the soundtrack to an earlier film Sherman had distributed, Mad Doctor of Blood Island, and was told to deliver something similar for a monster picture. He produced a strange and dark symphony of heavy bases tones that bore little resemblance to the Mad Doctor score and was almost too dark for Blood Seekers.
Two horror legends, actor J. Carrol Naish and Famous Monsters editor Forrest J. Ackerman, in a cameo.
For the Dracula vs. Frankenstein soundtrack, Elysee Productions secured the original William Lave session recordings, including one unused track, plus the re-edited cues done by Sam Sherman. Also included are some outtakes that contain the original studio count downs and intros. The sound quality is excellent on all these recordings and together they form an excellent auditory compliment to the film but the real gems are yet to come.
Al Adamson and leading man Anthony Eisley.
The Dracula vs. Frankenstein soundtrack is highly recommended to fans of cult and exploitation films of the 60ís and 70ís. My only minor complaints are that the radio spots should have been given individual tracks for easy access and the Sherman commentary should have preceded them since he provides an introduction at the conclusion. So far, Elysee Productions has released both this and a soundtrack to Mad Doctor of Blood Island, without any extras, on CD. Hopefully these will be the first in a series of movie soundtracks and audio documentaries to supplement these often overlooked cult films.
"Retrorama" is ©2010 by ED Tucker. Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova. †All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.