Dracula’s Daughter (1938)
Director: Lambert Hillyer
Main Stars: Otto Kruger, Gloria Holden, Marguerite Churchill, Edward Van Sloan
Storyline: the night of Dracula’s death his daughter comes to steal is body away to lift the vampire curse from herself.
Review (Spoils): The film starts the night of Dracula’s death, Dr. Von Helsing (Edward Van Sloan) is wanted for murder because nobody believes in vampires. Contessa Marya Zeleska (Gloria Holden) comes to the site and steals the body of Dracula and burns the body. She is trying to lift the family curse from herself so that she is no longer being haunted as a vampire. She goes to Jeffery Garth (Otto Kruger) a doctor who thinks the whole vampire belief is in the head and it can be lifted by hypnotizes. It becomes a chase in which the Countess wants more from Jeffery she wants him to love her so there becomes a jealous struggle between herself and the Jeffery’s lovely admin Janet (Marguerite Churchill). This leads to Janet becoming attacked and used as bait till in a struggle the Countess is shot in the heart by a wooden crossbow and the curse is lifted.
Rating: Seeing this film a few times now it really is a gem on its own. Not as classic as the original Dracula but a nice little continuation from it that does not repeat itself. This is a different tale than your typical vampire movie. We do not have much in your typical bats, coffins and biting but Gloria Holden does a beautiful job as the daughter of Dracula.
Director: Tod Browning
Main Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan, John Harker
Storyline: The Count Dracula goes to London England to haunt the area and capture the young Mina to become one of his female spawn. The battle between Van Helsing and Dracula begins.
Review: I have seen this film so many times but lately I watched this on the big screen as it was playing due to the Halloween season. I love this movie even more now! Universal films bring us the story of Dracula (Bela Lugosi) who ventures from Transylvania to England to torment a young woman.This is the first film of Bela Lugosi playing the Count and he does and amazing job with the classic accent (which has been stolen many times over).
Tod Browning focuses on the eyes of Bela Lugosi to show the power that Dracula has with his intense gaze.The castle is huge and beautiful and the scene where Dracula walks through the cobwebs on the long high staircase leads you to the mystery of the dark vampire. The lighting for this black and white film brings the undead to life on the screen.
Mina (Helen Chandler ) the leading female of the film is innocent and beautiful and fits the role perfect to become Dracula’s leading victim. She plays the character up to become something more full of life after dark after her nasty encounter with Dracula. She did a very good job.
But the leading star of this film is the Renfield (Dwight Frye) character. The crazy and madman spawn that helped Dracula get to London. Dwight Frye steals the show with his acting and plays the looney who loves to eat spiders, flies and maybe even hurt little children (if you read into the hints in the lines he presents). Renfield is even scarier than Dracula himself.
Rating: This was at one time one of the Universal films that I want sigh sure whatever but after seeing it more and more I notice that I love it. Open a pint (of blood if you may) for the first main Dracula appearance on film and enjoy this classic horror film.
Director: James Whale
Main Stars: Colin Clive, Boris Karloff, Mae Clark, Dwight Frye,Edward Van Sloan
Storyline: A mad scientist tries to play god by stealing body parts to create his own version of man. The monster comes to life and becomes misunderstood with what is brought before him.
Review: Ok before we start I just want to say this is a classic and there is no such thing as a bad review of this movie. If you have not seen this film stop reading and go rent it now! Come on its Frankenstein! One of the most recognizable monsters of horror!
Every October this hits my DVD player and I just relax with a beer to the most classic and my own personal favorite of the Universal Horror period. Such memorable characters in this film lead it be a classic. The madness in the eyes of Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) as he becomes more and more desperate to make his creation come to life leaving his love interest Elizabeth (Mae Clark) to be neglected and forgotten. Featuring the weirdness and pitiful his assistant Fritz (Dwight Frye) who tortures the monster into madness to make up for his own faults. Feeling the emotion of the Monster (Boris Karloff) himself of loneliness and lost in a whole new world that he did not ask to be part of. Such touching scenes like when the Monster plays daises in the water with the little girl you learn that he is an innocent soul that is just looking to find his place in a troubled world. You soon learn that the true monster was the madness of Dr. Frankenstein himself. This movie is a pure horror masterpiece you cannot go wrong watching this gothic like film for the hundredth time.
Rating: This is a must see for all movie fans alike. The acting, the scenery and the makeup make this black white horror film the best of the Universal horror era.