Although Lon Chaney, Jr., is easily the heaviest actor ever to play Count Dracula, this unjustly forgotten entry in the classic Universal horror series is a surprisingly good film--despite the fact that there is no "son" of Dracula involved. This time the king of the vampires, calling
himself Count Alucard ("Dracula" spelled backwards), heads to Louisiana to take occult worshiper Katherine Caldwell (Louise Allbritton) as his new bride. The family thinks he is a member of Hungary's high society, but Katherine knows the truth and perversely embraces the undead count, willingly
accepting vampirism in exchange for eternal life. Her former boy friend (Robert Paige) suspects that the count is up to no good and decides to investigate. Sporting a moustache and slicked-back hair with a touch of grey at the temples, Chaney makes a rather effective--if somewhat husky--Dracula.
The film boasts some impressive camerawork from George Robinson and excellent special effects by John Fulton, which have the vampire turning into either a bat or a wisp of white smoke at will. Perhaps the most memorable scene in the movie takes place as Dracula's coffin comes bubbling up from the
swamp; white mist emerges from it to form Dracula, who glides across the water to meet his bride, standing on the bank, hypnotized. Also on hand are the beautiful Evelyn Ankers and a Maria Ouspenskaya-like sorceress called Queen Zimba played by 80-year old Adeline DeWalt Reynolds. One of the
reasons for this film's relative obscurity may be its regrettable racism: most notably, the black servants are referred to as "boys."
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Although Lon Chaney, Jr., is easily the heaviest actor ever to play Count Dracula, this unjustly forgotten entry in the classic Universal horror series is a surprisingly good film--despite the fact that there is no "son" of Dracula involved. This time the… (more)