Previously I had really enjoyed Donna Deitch's earlier lesbian romance period piece, 'Desert Hearts', and I had found Kirsten Dunst and Brittany Murphy amazing in 'Melancholia' and 'Sin City' respectively, but a TV-movie utilizing time-travel as a plot device for a spoiled Jewish teenager to come to grips with her heritage seemed quite a bold and intriguing cinematic experiment, not to mention being an entirely different can of worms than ever I've been privy to watching. Even though personally I have as little to do with Jewish customs as lesbian issues, like Deitch's earlier work, I was able to appreciate it, though I still prefer her earlier film, if I was held at gunpoint and had to rank the two.
It's a crying shame, looking at Deitch's IMDb page, that this talented San Francisco native, now 71, has been relegated to basically doing TV episodes since this came out.
Though for the classic Hammer 'Dracula' series starring Sir Christopher Lee as the 'protagonist' it loses oomph for not also starring Sir Peter Cushing (who always seemed to get the best work out of Lee in the Hammer days), this still is wildly admirable and a must-watch. The wonderful (and ingenious) poster, on its own, more than makes up for Cushing's absence.
Most probably my least favourite film, both of Mel Brooks (though I haven't seen 'Life Stinks' yet) and of Leslie Nielsen (though I refuse to watch any other of the post-'Airplane' and 'Naked Gun' knockoffs he's made over the years since), but it still doesn't deserve all the hate. It's STILL at least 50,000 times funnier than Lena Dunham's 'Tiny Furniture' (or about 70% of the so-called contemporary American comedies made these days).
Yes, I know I'm giving this WAY TOO MANY marks, but, hey, I love all of the clashes between Sir Christopher Lee's 'Count Dracula' and Sir Peter Cushing's 'Van Helsing' (perhaps the greatest characterizations of those two characters, over a series of films, in cinema), and the then-contemporary (now almost 45 years ago!) update certainly is intriguing. So sue me.