Dracula (Dracula's Daughter / Son of Dracula)
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Son of Dracula It was perhaps inevitable that, after playing the Wolf Man, Frankenstein's monster, and the Mummy, Lon Chaney Jr. would round out his horror resumé with a turn at the great bloodsucker himself (not, as the title would suggest, his son). Looking dapper and dignified under the cape, if not exactly threatening, Chaney plays Count Alucard (that's Dracula spelled backwards), a mysterious Carpathian summoned to America by a "morbid" heiress (Louise Allbritton). Eric Taylor's script is rather clunky, but the story (by horror specialist Curt The Wolfman Siodmak) is often quite clever, playing like a supernatural twist on a psycho-thriller. Allbritton's frustrated fiancé Robert Page accidentally "kills" her while trying to shoot Alucard (who imperiously stands up to the hail of bullets) and then goes stark raving mad as he watches the dead rise to life and the living disappear in wisps of smoke and morph into creaky stage bats.
Future film noir legend (and Curt's brother) Robert Siodmak (The Killers) does wonders with the swampy, misty Deep South setting despite his obviously threadbare budget, transforming the usual clichés into moments of inspired melodrama. Only the clumsy antics of the skeptical cops and the plodding exposition spouted by an old Carpathian doctor (he just happens to be the local MD) get in the way of this moody minor horror gem. --Sean Axmaker
Top Customer Reviews
These two films often wind up low on fans' lists of favorite Universal Monster Movies, and are dismissed as second rate. I beg to differ- these two are actually some of the more original films made by Universal. Especially "Son", where Dracula is not the prime mover- one of his victims is! The story has some very interesting twists and turns, and is one of the most clever of the Universal Monster movies.
Much is made of Lon Chaney Jr's portrayal of Dracula as a well fed and burly vampire. True, but he also brings a brute quality to the vampire. This is one vamp who is a dangerous adversary physically, if not mentally.
A nice addition to anyone's horror collection.
Dracula's Daughter is, in my opinion, the weaker of the two Dracula sequels. Perhaps it's just too much of a departure from the original premise, featuring an almost likable vampire who enlists the aid of a psychiatrist to cure her of her blood addiction. There's little development in plot or character, no honest progression from point A to point B. Still, the acting and directing are both adequate, and Marguerite Churchill (Janet) really steals the show as the goofy, vivacious love interest who speaks her mind and cuts her over-serious boss down to size whenever she gets the chance. Add to that a truly unusual premise (even when it fails to deliver much), and some incredibly sexually charged subtext, particularly when the Countess abducts a young woman under the false pretense of having the girl "model" for her. This is one odd-ball film, full of concepts, sexual issues, and gender politics that were way ahead of its time. Not a great film in and of itself, but it certainly deserves a viewing.
Son of Dracula is a much stronger film in contrast.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
good film as always you cant go wrong with early universal horror film ihave several in my library of filmPublished 1 month ago by sampickett
Most Universal horror features released throughout the 1930s & 40s are either genuinely genius or at very least enjoyable examples of the genre. Read morePublished 1 month ago by D. Hughes
These are both fun old Universal style vampire movies. Although Lon Chaney is a bit too beefy to be believable as a vampire, Gloria Holden gives a haunting performance as... Read morePublished 1 month ago by R. Cummings
Kind of corny, but good for simple entertainment and if you do not care a lot about the acting ability, or lack thereof.Published 5 months ago by HasPlenty
Lon Chaney Jr.'s performance of the Son of Dracula is a commanding performance. This actor was a strong character actor and people in the profession had compliments to offer about... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Dracula's Daughter ( 1936 )
This is a wonderful addition to any vampire collection. This one is fun to watch - it has a bit of humor mixed in with the horror (although I... Read more
"Son of" is about as scary as an episode of Scooby-Doo, despite a clever script by Curt Siodmak, nifty direction by his brother Robert, and a solid cast of Universal... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Eric O. Allstrom
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