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Oct 202010

For my 200th post, I’d like to talk about my most favorite Dracula movie. Mel Brooks teams up with Leslie Neilsen, who plays the lead in this spoof on the story of Dracula called Dracula – Dead and Loving It. It starts when a London solicitor named Thomas Renfield (Peter MacNichol) heads to the Count’s castle. Then he becomes Dracula’s crazy slave, who eats all the insects. “Lives! Lives!” While Renfield sleeps, two sexy vampire women enter the room and try to make out with him. I don’t know how they can turn their floating skill on and off, but it works.

There are plenty of doctor gags in this film also. Dr. Seward (Harvey Korman) thinks that enemas are the best cure for all of his patients and as Professor Van Helsing (Mel Brooks) gives an autopsy lecture to a group of medical students, he hopes that they all pass out, which was hilarious.

When Dracula turns into a bat, his face is still the same, but with giant bat ears. Once he finally gets into the bedroom and bites the lovely Lucy Westenra (Lysette Anthony), it’s like he’s drinking a soft drink. Soon Lucy becomes a sexy vampire. When she’s slayed, we learn an important lesson; If a vampire just ate before you slay it, make sure you wear a poncho and put plenty of newspapers down.

After that, Dracula goes after Dr. Seward’s daughter, Mina (Amy Yasbeck, who played Maid Marian on Robin Hood: Men in Tights). “No hickeys.” As they dance in front of a mirror, it looks like Mina is flying. It’s amazing.

This was another great Mel Brooks classic movie. It’s strange that it was the last major spoof film he made, at least that I know of.

Sep 102010

Mel Brooks is well known for his brand of comedy as an actor, a director, and a writer for his different types of films. Some of my most favorites are his spoofs on groups of epic movies. High Anxiety is a spoof film based on movies directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Mel Brooks stars as Dr. Thorndike, a psychiatrist with vertigo. Oh, Vertigo. There’s a Hitchcock title already.

Harvey Korman costars as Dr. Montague. I saw him and Tim Conway in Las Vegas at the Stardust Hotel in 2004. They performed comedy sketches from The Carol Burnett Show, like the classic Dentist sketch. It was a terrific show. Harvey Korman is hilarious and a long time favorite. I’m glad I got to see him before he died in 2008.

The scene that spoofs Psycho features Dr. Thorndike in the shower and Dennis the bellboy (Barry Levinson) uses a newspaper like a butcher knife. That was so funny. In another scene there’s a spoof on The Birds. Many pigeons target Thorndike with their poop. What have those birds been eating? Prunes?

Another interesting scene was when Dr. Wentworth (Dick Van Patten) decides to leave the institute, only to be done in by the loud radio while being trapped in his car. It was an excitingly good song that played as Wentworth was trying to escape. I don’t know if that murderous method was from a Hitchcock film or not, but it was creative.

This was a classic movie with great fast-paced hilarity, which also features the start of many camera gags. In my opinion, it was much better than Young Frankenstein.

Apr 122010


Regular readers of my blog might recall I have mentioned visiting Las Vegas back in 2004. Madame Tussauds Wax Museum was only part of my grand experience in such a famous city. 

These wax statues look so realistic, don't they.

My sister and I saw all kinds of different shows and performers. In fact, this was the first place I’ve seen so many different celebrities perform live. Some of my favorites include the Blue Man Group, Judy Tenuta performing standup comedy, Tim Conway and Harvey Korman as a comedy team, and Penn & Teller doing magic acts with guns and boxes. Penn sure makes fire eating look easy. 

There are also quite a few celebrity impressionists. There was a concert with impressionists of Elton John, Barry White, the Blues Brothers, Aretha Franklin, and Elvis Presley, (who is a top icon in Vegas) singing some of their hit songs and shaking hands with audience members including myself. It was real exciting. 

Every hotel has a casino. Despite that the air is always filled with cigarette smoke, it’s real neat in there. The showgirls are such a nice group. If there’s an opportunity to get your photo with one, or two, take it. I sure did, as you can see. 

As for slot machines, there are many different types. The best way I can think of to choose is to relax your mind and get a feel for the right one. And make sure it’s a slot that’s far away from an ashtray. But a word of precaution: Although that method has helped me win some, I can’t guarantee anything any more than anyone else can. In fact, that’s as far as I would go when it comes to gambling. 

I don’t know if I’ll ever get to go to Las Vegas again, but it was a great experience that I’ll never forget.