Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Son of Dracula (1943)

The mysterious Count Alucard (Lon Chaney Jr) is invited to visit the plantation Dark Oaks in the American south. Debutante Katherine Caldwell met him in Budapest and discovered they both share an interest in the morbid. Kat likey the count, but Kat's best Bo Frank no likey him.

Turns out Alucard is actually some relative of the notorious Count Dracula (perhaps his son ...) and has come to America because he has sucked the life out of everyone back home. Looks like it's up to Doctor Harry, doing his best van/von Helsing impersonation, to set things straight.

Well, Count and Kat marry causing Frank to go slightly insane. When he is arrested (for her murder, no less) she visits him in jail to let him in on the plan. I'm not letting you in on the plan. You gotta watch.

By 1943 the original run of Universal horror movies was coming to a close. Creighton, late to the party, was becoming Universal's man for the job. And in the role of "Dracula" he looked the part. That of a brutal European count, that is. He looked nothing like Bela, but because he wasn't playing the same character, that didn't matter. Creighton played all the Universal monsters at one point, as was arguably the worst.

Anyhow, here finally we see the drac to bat transformation only hinted at earlier (Daughter never even bothered to transform). Looks a little cartoonie, but that can't be helped.

A refreshing change of scenery (swamps and plantations), an interesting love triangle, a satisfying ending, and some twists along the way made this a welcome addition to the collection. It even survives Chaney's terrible acting. That man reads dialog like he's playing whack-a-mole. AMRU 3.5.

So, what do you think? Should I bother watching the 1974 Ringo Starr vehicle?

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