Bonnie & Clyde vs Dracula Movie Review
Written by TGM
DVD released by Indican Pictures
Written and directed by Timothy Friend
2008, 90 minutes, Not Rated
Tiffany Shepis as Bonnie
Trent Haaga as Clyde
Jennifer Friend as Annabel
Allen Lowman as Dr. Loveless
Russell Friend as Dracula
Directed by Timothy Friend
Thanks to a botched robbery gone horribly awry, infamous outlaws Bonnie & Clyde are forced to seek the help of Dr. Loveless, the local quack-pot mad scientist, in order to patch up one of their accomplices wounded in the shoot-out. Of course luck has it that this corresponds with Loveless' devious plan to resurrect the corpse of Dracula. The good doctor is therefore in need of a steady supply of blood to feed his new friend with the intent of bolstering Dracula's strength so that he is able to do Loveless' bidding.
That's actually a rather cool premise, but unfortunately Bonnie & Clyde vs Dracula is a mixed bag. Even though there is much to like, just because you love bacon bits and mint chocolate chip ice cream doesn't necessarily mean they'd make a tasty smoothie when combined. While the Bonnie & Clyde stuff is superb on many levels, and the crazy potato-sack-headed Dr. Loveless & Dracula stuff is fun in a campy Roger Corman/Vincent Price The Masque of the Red Death sort of way, the two plots never seem to want to play nicely together.
I'll start by reviewing the far-superior Bonnie & Clyde aspect of the film. I am confident that I can review B&CvD broken up this way because it's quite representative of the movie itself. For the majority of the film the concepts are jammed together in such a jarring manner, as if two very different movies were shot separately and then hastily spliced on an editing table right up until the last fifteen minutes where the prime players ultimately converge. The look, tone, and performance level of the two individual concepts come off as radically different.
With that said, there is excellent chemistry between Bonnie (Tiffany Shepis) and Clyde (Trent Haaga) and their particular performances really drive the film. Sure, Bonnie comes across as a ruthless self-absorbed snot, and Clyde a pussy-whipped enabler, but who am I to say they weren't that way in real life? It worked, and I enjoyed the snappy dialogue between the two leads. The production values for this portion of B&CvD are outstanding given its likely less-than-blockbuster budget. To try and attempt a period piece with such financial constraints is ambitious to say the least and they really succeeded in establishing the look and feel of depression era America.
The Loveless/Dracula side of the coin, while still enjoyable, does not live up to the performance level established by Shepis and Haaga. Dr. Loveless, and his various collection of hoods, channels his inner Cobra Commander with his over-the-top sniveling and mannerisms. In his unmasked form, he resembles a big purple walking asshole (and I mean that in the literal sense of the word). I guess Dr. Anusmouth doesn't quite have the same ring to it. Dr. Loveless also has a dimwitted sister named Annabel whom he holds hostage using a dog zap-collar straight out of a 1960's Star Trek episode. I suspect that the Annabel character exists primarily for comic relief, but she is more annoying than humorous or sympathetic (think the world's worst Shelley Duvall impression by an actress in serious need of Ritalin). As for Dracula, I will concede that he is quite menacing at first, but once transformed into his fully recovered form more closely resembles an emo version of SNL's Opera Man than the deadly and intimidating Prince of Darkness. This is also reflected in Dracula's brief, absurd, and anti-climactic final battle with Clyde.
If it sounds like I am being harsh on this film, it's only because I went into it with such high expectations. Criticism notwithstanding, Bonnie & Clyde vs Dracula is quite a fun ride and certainly worthy of a viewing despite its obvious flaws.
Video, Audio and Special features:
As this was a screener, audio, video, and extras are not reviewed. However, my copy is in anamorphic widescreen showcasing above average picture quality. The audio, at least for this particular screener, is 2.0 channel, which is always a bit of a letdown. While none of the extras are working on the screener disc, it appears that there will be some sort of viral video by Dr. Loveless, a behind the scenes featurette, and numerous trailers from Indican Pictures.