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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Son of Dracula (1943)

Vampires should either be sexy or menacing or a combination of both.  Count Alucard [wonder who that could be?  Hmmmmm] is none of the above.  I love Lon Chaney Jr. but he is just plain boring as Dracula.  There are no fangs, no blood and it feels like Chaney is simply walking around the set with a cape and white make-up on his face with very little to do.  His counterpart, the vampette Louise Allbritton who plays Katherine, does a much better job besting Chaney at every turn.
That being said, this is not a poorly made film.  The Universal Legacy restoration of Son of Dracula is absolutely marvelous.  The picture is crisp and clear and the sound is great if you put it through a decent pair of speakers.  Furthermore, director Robert Siodmak, the brother of legendary horror screenwriter Curt Siodmak [The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man Returns] give us a beautiful looking film that is paced well and looks like it was made with a bigger budget than it actually had.  It makes you wonder how great this film could have been if someone other than Chaney took on the role of Dracula.
This is simply a case of Chaney being a hot commodity after his amazing performance in The Wolf Man, therefore, it was a no brainer to have him star in Son of Dracula.  However, it appears that vamps simply aren't Chaney's strength as an actor.  Skip this one and watch the HBO series True Blood instead.  Now THERE are some sexy, menacing vampires indeed!  As a side note Jack Pierce did the make up in Son of Dracula although he is not credited.  Not exactly his best work either!
RATING: Good.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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