Monday, April 04, 2011

Spider-woman in Dracula’s Revenge – review

Director: Bob Richardson
First aired: 1979

Cantering Calamities, this really is on the poor end of the superhero cartoon scale and my apologies if it holds childhood memories but, honestly, it was bad on a "let's patronise the audience" level.

Dracula's tomb
It starts with two grave robbers – Gustav and Victor, who are searching for Dracula’s tomb. Victor is having second thoughts but they find it, break in and find his coffin. Gustav is convinced they’ll make millions of dollars as everyone will want to see the tomb and so opens it, revealing Dracula – who opens his eyes. He has been freed after five hundred years of being trapped… how so… who knows? Surely he could have lifted the sarcophagus lid?

Anyway – its spider-woman (Joan Van Ark) to the rescue. What she is doing there is never answered as that might just mean using logic. She rescues the grave robbers but Dracula gets away. Not to worry, she has more important things on her mind, like a date. She somehow gets back to America in time to go, as Jessica, to the cinema with Jeff and her young nephew Billy. However her spider senses tingle and she is soon sneaking out and heading back to Europe as Dracula is up to no good.

shooting rays
Van Helsing is having a dinner party in Dracula’s Castle – despite the fact that his family was cursed by Dracula they have lived there for the last 500 years. Dracula comes in and through green rays turns them all into vampires. Spider-woman comes along, defeats him with her venom ray (due to the fact that it resembles light) and whilst he runs off she goes back to her date – leaving the dinner party guests as vampires who turn into bats and bugger off!

The movie has ended and Jessica (the reporter) says she has a hot tip about vampires. She takes Billy and Jeff with her, meanwhile Dracula has dug the Wolfman out of a swamp. Jeff thinks it is too dangerous for Jessica to go into the crypt of Dracula and so takes the approximately 12 year old Billy instead. The Wolfman turns them into werewolves with red lazer eyes… it gets worse, after freeing Frankenstein’s Monster we discover he can turn people into monsters like himself through neck bolt rays.

Spider-woman is turned into a spider/Wolfman/vampire hybrid but somehow can create an antidote as she fights the evil within (it takes about 10 seconds to make). Then she reads up on the three monsters and defeats them in puerile ways (hiding the moon behind a web causes the werewolves to become human – and not turn back again… except those with Dracula, who turn to normal when she defeats Dracula by shining her venom ray of a windmill – yes it is that bad.

This was the bad end of superhero programming, Marvel should be ashamed! 2 out of 10. The imdb page is here.


Zahir Blue said...

From your description I gotta wonder why you gave this thing two whole stars?

Taliesin_ttlg said...

I wonder myself?

Audacity value? Childhood remembrances/trauma not allowing me to lower it further? The fact that Dracula looked like the classic Marvel Dracula? Tight superheroine leotards, even if it is a cartoon? All of the above?

I think it was because as bad as it was, it still had a degree of campness from a perceptively more innocent, if mysogonistic, era.

RoseOfTransylvania said...

Graverobbers, Dracula´s tomb and castle, Wolfman, Frankenstein´s monster, bats... oh, can it really be that bad with all these elements? On the other hand, laser rays turning everybody as monsters?

Taliesin_ttlg said...

it can be that bad, Rose, and indeed it is!

Vlad said...

Loved this one -- I have a fondness for these old cartoons that used lasers as a means to turn others into vampires (much like in Superfriends "Voodoo Vampire"). Certainly the added cheese has to bump it up to at least a 5! ;)

(BTW I believe the director was Bob Richardson)

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi Vlad - sometimes the superhero Cheese does bump something like this up but this one really annoyed (though I can appreciate that others would enjoy).

Updating the director details - my thanks for that.