Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends: The Bride of Dracula – review

Director: Unknown

First aired: 1983

Contains spoilers

Whilst the imdb page titles this episode as “The Transylvanian Connection”, the episode itself entitles it as “The Bride of Dracula”. It is amusing to compare and contrast this with DC's earlier Super Friends episode. I complained about the camp element in that episode but this, just a scent few years later, showed that Marvel carried a knowingness that allowed it to get away with said camp element.

The plot is stronger, even if it is ridiculously logic-less in places – why would Dracula travel incognito to New York for one college dance and then kidnap the first woman he dances with? Yet the campness contains a tongue in cheek air that allows it to get away with so much more. This is summed up in the line about the “web-headed wonder and his frisky little frozen friend.” Marvellous stuff.

eye mojo
Anyway the series sees a team-up between Spider-Man (Dan Gilvezan), Iceman (Frank Welker) and Firestar (Kathy Garver). This episode sees them in their civilian identities at a dance. Bobby and Peter argue who is going to dance with Angelica when she dances with a stranger. This sends Spidey’s spider senses tingling and the guys follow the dancers as they step outside, where the stranger is busy eye mojoing Angelica.

he'll drive you wild
She ignores her friends as they walk past them and get into a limo. What the two guys don’t see is that the driver is a werewolf. Nevertheless they are concerned, and even more so when they discover that she has then got on a plane and that the plane is going to Transylvania. Dracula reveals his true form in the plane – in other words roughly the Marvel standard form they used for Dracula.

Dracula
Spidey and Iceman hitch a ride on another plane and Spidey jumps down to Dracula’s jet to ensure his friend is alright. He looks through the window and Angelica nearly snaps out of it. However Dracula is alerted to Spidey’s presence and mojos him so he falls off the plane – Iceman has to rescue him. Dracula then long distance eye mojos the captain of the pursuing plane – forcing an emergency landing.

the jet changes to bat form
This way Dracula is able to get to his castle first. The Wolfman panics as they are coming in too fast but Dracula changes the form of the jet into a giant bat and lands. At the castle we see a Frankenstein’s Monster creature that is actually a robot, the robot is wary of strangers. Angelica is put in a coffin filled with Transylvanian earth and this breaks her hypnosis. She transforms into Firestar and attacks Dracula, but he evades her fireballs as a bat and then re-mojos her. He is delighted that his bride is Firestar and they will rule the world as husband and wife.

friends divided...
Of course Spidey and Iceman get there and there is much fighting, including a fight against Firestar. However, eventually Spidey is able to get through to her and break her hypnosis. Dracula is eventually defeated by Firestar glowing like the sun. This causes his illusions to crumble, a pit of crocodiles is filled with Salamanders and the Wolfman becomes a butler. The robot falls apart. Dracula himself turns into his human disguise and cannot recall what has happened.

...then reunited
This was great fun. It was the tongue-in-cheek aspect that made it, part of that being the endless bickering and rivalry between Spidey and Iceman. The story does not stand up to the cold light of day (a bit like Dracula) but the audacity of the episode means you don’t care.

6 out of 10. The episode's imdb page is here.

3 comments:

Gargantuan Media said...

Sweet St. Jebus, I love me some Spider-Man And Amazing Friends. I had no clue that Dracula was featured.

Now that I'm thinking about it - were there vampires on the old animated D&D tv show that ran around the same time period?

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi GM, not that I am aware of but I'll do some research in respect of. :)

m.christine43 said...

I agree, this sounds good fun!