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Son of Dracula Reviews

Page 1 of 7
AJ V

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2010
I don't remember if anyone in this movie was actually the son of Dracula (from the first movie with Bela Lugosi), but this movie is entertaining and I enjoyed it.
Chris G

Super Reviewer

November 7, 2008
Lon Chaney plays Dracula just because he's Lon Chaney in this film about Count Dracula's quest for real estate in the USA. Chaney plays Count Alucard (yes, spell it backwards) who ends up hooking up with a '40's version of a goth chick. Hilarity ensues when she becomes one of the undead because she wants to spend eternity with her true love. Yes, the film and the plot are as stupid as they sound.
FilmFanatik
FilmFanatik

Super Reviewer

August 24, 2008
Very nice story. The horror aspects of it are played down, even for a classic of its time, but the story is so intriguing with a great payoff that it's well a worth a watch.
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

August 4, 2007
Lon Chaney, Jr's performance as Dracula doesn't hold a candle to either Bela Legosi, who played the original Dracula, or to Chaney's father, the great "Man of a 1000 Faces", Lon Chaney. This film -- to me anyway -- brought the series to a screaming halt. Not atmospheric or scary or anything except boring. The only thing to recommend it is some nice bat-to-human transformation scenes. It's obviously hand-drawn animation, but it still looks pretty good.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

August 12, 2007
SON OF DRACULA (Universal, 1943), directed by Robert Siodmak, from an original story by Curtis Siodmak, the third in the cycle of Universal thrillers to center around the Dracula legend, and the first of the 1940s, ranks one of the best in the series. Its star, Lon Chaney Jr., famous for his previous role in the horror cycle as Lawrence Talbot in THE WOLF MAN (Universal, 1941), which would be followed by some more sequels throughout the 1940s, might have seemed an unlikely choice in playing the blood-sucking vampire, but on the contrary, Junior Chaney brings new life into the old vampire, sporting the usual black cape and an added touch of a mustache. Overlooking the hypnotic glassy eye stare created at best by Bela Lugosi in DRACULA (Universal, 1931), he very well has proven himself as the fine horror film actor, for the time being anyway.

Unlike the previous Dracula outings (DRACULA and DRACULA'S DAUGHTER), which had taken place either in Transylvania or England, SON OF DRACULA is set on American soil and stays there. It begins somewhere in the South where Frank Stanley (Robert Paige) and the family physician friend, Doctor Harry Brewster (Frank Craven) are at a train station awaiting for the arrival of an honored guest to Katherine Caldwell (Louise Allbritton), Count Alucard, whom she had met previously while visiting in Budapest, and is to be driven over to the Caldwell estate, but all they find are his crates and boxes (some of which consists of his native soil). That very night after a gathering in her home, Katherine's father (George Irving) mysteriously dies, with Dr. Brewster examining the body and finding two marks found on the late colonel's neck. Having noticed earlier on one of the crates that the name of Alucard spelled backwards is Dracula, Brewster decides to telephone Professor Lazio (J. Edward Bromberg), the well-known authority of the Count Dracula legend, who, after learning telling him all the details, warns Brewster that Katherine is in great danger, and intends on leaving Memphis to pay Brewster a visit to see what can be done. But it is too late. Katherine, who has a morbid fascination with death and eternal life, has already abandoned her fiance, Frank, whom has loved her since childhood, to marry Count Alucard. They ghoulist couple obtain a honeymoon cottage in an old house at Dark Oaks. Frank follows them there to get Katherine back and threatens Alucard to leave town. Ignoring his threats, this leaves Frank to take out his revolver and shoot Alucard, but in turn he has killed Katherine, who was standing behind her husband. Finding that the bullets have gone through Alucard and into Katherine, Frank rushes out of the house to tell Dr. Brewster what has happened. Brewster comes to the cottage to find Alucard, and much to his surprise, sees Katherine very much alive. When Frank arrives with the authorities, they find Katherine dead in her coffin. But after the arrival of Professor Lazio, more dark secrets are eventually learned, leading to a suspenseful climax.

Reportedly dismissed as just another horror film upon its release, SON OF DRACULA does have its share of bonuses that would have made the 1931 DRACULA a visual experience had such advanced technology in special effects been available, along with some real clever touches, including the visiting count using an alias by spelling his name backwards; a very creepy musical score, compliments of Hans J. Salter, dark atmospheric background and fine effects ranging from a cloud of vaper forming into the presence of Dracula, to his transformation from bat to human figure, etc. Aside from Lon Chaney's carnation of Dracula, Louise Allbritton stands out a close second with her creepy appearance, ranging from her unusual dark and gloomy hairstyle to icy facial expressions. Even before she becomes the wife of the mysterious Count, her Katherine is already obsessed by the supernatural. Her sister, Claire, played by Evelyn Ankers (who appeared opposite Chaney in THE WOLF MAN (1941) and THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942)), is the logical half of the Caldwell sisters, and although she doesn't get to belt out a scream or two as she did in the aforementioned films, her presence adds to the story, as does J. Edward Bromberg's Professor Lazio, the authority of the Dracula legend. Bromberg's role could have very well been Professor Van Helsing (as previously played in the first two Dracula films of the 1930s), but instead, his role was inspired by him. Robert Paige, another Universal contract player, does well with his Frank Stanley performance, rising above the usual mediocre love interest-types of the day.

The supporting cast includes Samuel S. Hinds as Judge Simmons, Etta McDaniel as Sarah; Patrick Moriarty as the Sheriff; and Adeline De Walt Reynolds as Queen Zimba, the fortune telling gypsy, who after warning Katherine of her destiny and danger in marrying a corpse, she is met with a destiny of her own when encountered by a vampire bat that puts an end of her fortune telling forever. Reynold's brief bit as the fortune telling old hag is reminiscent to the kind of role Lucille LaVerne (of silent and early talkies) that made her famous.

In spite of its misleading title, Count Alucard is never mentioned as Dracula's son, but as Count Dracula himself. SON OF DRACULA, which runs at 78 minutes, is the last really good and near original Dracula film of the 1940s. Before Bela Lugosi would do one more encore as Dracula in 1948's ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, the Dracula character would be revived again in two quickie installments (HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN in 1944; HOUSE OF DRACULA in 1945) with John Carradine taking over as the Count, but only minor secondary performances.

SON OF DRACULA, which formerly played on the cable television's Sci-Fi Channel and American Movie Classics, is currently available on video cassette through MCA Home Video. This sure makes recommended viewing for a dark and gloomy Halloween night, or any night for that matter, particilarly for any classic horror movie lover.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

November 2, 2006
Very ridiculous and not scary at all, it looks great. If you love to drink in a very disgusting manner, you'll love this.
Dann M

Super Reviewer

October 4, 2012
Lon Chaney, Jr. takes up the mantle of Dracula in Universal's third installment of the series, Son of Dracula. The story continues in America as a young heiress to a southern plantation falls under the thrall of the mysterious Count Alucard, who she met while touring Eastern Europe. Chaney does a fair job and has an on-screen presence that gives the film a certain mystique. Additionally, the film takes the story is an interesting direction and has a few unexpected twists. Son of Dracula is smart and well-crafted, with a fresh take on the Dracula story.
Byron B

Super Reviewer

January 7, 2008
Deals with some interesting metaphysical concepts. Count Alucard (Ha!) travels to the American South. Lon Chaney Jr. has some strong moments, but generally doesn't fit the role. This time another morbid woman, Katherine, wishes for the undead eternal life that being a vampire can offer. Instead of the Count seducing the woman with his eyes and diving right in to bite her neck like a beast, he tries to blend in as a gentleman. Dracula is becoming more and more gentlemanly rather than monstrous. The woman leads the Count to believe she loves him, while leaving her fiancee, Frank, puzzled, and they visit a justice of the peace before planning a consummation that would fulfill her desire to be undead. Frank confronts them and in trying to kill his rival Alucard, nee Dracula, he fears he has killed Katherine, but he is confused. He seeks the help of another doctor and turns himself in to the police. The doctors in these horror movies always have the ridiculous combination of being a trusted scientific mind in the community and believing in the supernatural. This Dr. Brewster seeks the knowledge of Hungarian professor Lazlo who knows the legends. The two of them lead the charge to stop Dracula's plot. They don't realize the extent to which Katherine is responsible for the plot and not Dracula. She loves Frank and wishes to get rid of anyone in their way.

It is difficult to judge one movie in this Dracula Legacy Collection as being better or worse than another. Each has some stronger and weaker elements, but I think most balance out, so I had to rate them the same. The writing and acting was pretty strong. This addition to the Universal Dracula series took itself seriously enough that it did not fall into cheesiness. Visual effects showed improvement too. The rubber bat was more controlled and there was at least a primitive attempt at showing the transformation from bat to man. Dracula finds a better hiding place for his coffin in the swamp, rather than being an easy target in the basement of whatever large house he is living in. As usual the rules are always being changed in these old horror films, so now we have it clearly stated that vampires can be killed by a stake through the heart or by burning their casket with their native soil before they can return to it at daybreak. Also vampires can transform into a cloud of smoke now besides a bat, werewolf (though this is never explored to keep it separate from Universal's other franchise), or rat (this being only used up to this point by Nosferatu). The death of a vampire is finally shown more explicitly too. But it doesn't matter because these monsters always live again to appear in another flick.
Jeff B.
Jeff B.

Super Reviewer

September 15, 2014
Sucking out whatever blood remained in the inspired and inspiring original, this oftentimes silly creature feature turns a Gothic classic into classic Southern-fried camp. Of course, when the antagonists name - Count Alucard - is Dracula spelled backwards, you know youre in trouble. The film doesn't spool out but one reel before gifting audiences with the following line of dialogue: "There's no magic in dried lizards and dead chickens." It's an unfortunate line spoken by an unfortunate actor. Bestowing doltish supporting roles on a third tier HWood cast doesn't help matters either.

In this unrated continuation of Universals Dracula series, a mysterious count (Lon Chaney, Jr.) finds his way from Budapest to the swamps of the Deep South and finds himself fighting a medical doctor, a university professor, a jilted fiancÚ and the woman he loves.

The worst part of this flick ends up to be the lead performance. In taking over the role that his father was suppose to make famous before cancer took him, humdrum vampire Lon Chaney, Jr. brings about as much terror to the proceedings as fuzzy Muppet Count Von Count on Sesame Street. Oh, his tenure as a werewolf shows that he's capable of such range but there's none of that evident in this monstrously unscary Dracula follow-up. Robert Siodmak, who directed undisputed horror classic The Wolf Man in 1940, brings a great deal of atmosphere to the photography but not so much to the script. Rather than the sequel that Dracula deserves, he turns out some vamped up voodoo phooey. J. Edward Bromberg even sports an Eastern European accent in his thankless role as Professor Lazlo, a discount bin Van Helsing.

Bottom line: Slow Count
Dracula787
Dracula787

Super Reviewer

October 31, 2007
Another poor Dracula sequel. Not a true sequel, just another take on the Dracula story, this time in the South. Some seat transformation effects, but they get old fast. Still, it deffinately had its moments.
January 16, 2013
Robert Siodmak made a great looking film, which I found engaging even if Lon Chaney Jr. doesn't really bother to try to sound as if he's ever even BEEN to Europe, much less is a Transylvanian.

Worth a look, give it a rental.
kenscheck
April 23, 2012
Kind of decent, despite being a part of one of my least favorite series in the Universal Monster catalog, and the completely misguided casting of Lon Chaney, Jr. as Dracula's son Count Alucard (which is Dracula spelled backwards). A vampire, especially one in the Dracula vein, needs to be a little more hypnotic and somewhat alluring...Chaney is not these things. He was great as the Wolf Man, and kind of okay as Frankenstein's Monster (at least better than Lugosi was)....but as a Vampire he is dull and odd. Still...the movie has the same atmosphere and style that I love to enjoy around Halloween time. Script is weak, the casting of the lead is weak....but it muddles through a bit.
January 13, 2012
Son of Dracula comes next as Dracula had a son, but has hidden his identity as Alucard or Dracula backwards. Lon Chaney Jr. plays the count this time and the film manages to bring a few thrills, but everything felt very limited as in horror wise. Performances are good, but I have to argue that this film could have been suspenseful. I will blame the moral production code that became a noose sense. I enjoyed certain scenes about this film, but things got spoiled and become utterly predictable that any chance of mystery or horror quickly died. I will recommend this still. It is on the Dracula Legacy Collection with the following The House of Dracula.
holmennnguy
July 29, 2008
Son Of Dracula is a great installment in the long lasting Dracula saga. This time Lon Chaney plays the Count. The plot revolves around a mysterious man, Count Alucard (read it backwards) who shows up, and then mysterious murders are committed. Mr. Chaney does a pretty good job with the role. The first act was magnificent- scary, tense, entertaining, suspenseful, and creepy. But I thought it went downhill from there.
January 13, 2008
it wasnt a bad movie, but i dont think lon chaney jr was meant for this role. for 1 thing, lon was a big guy, both heightwise and widthwise. you can see it when he's wearing the cape and its too short-im prety sure that role was meant for someone else cuz also when you think of vampires, you think of short, and/or skinny people, like lugosi or carradine. anyway, it was quite a shock to see lon chaney with a mustache and tweezed eyebrows, but theres no mistaking that thick voice and american accent of his
Ken D

Super Reviewer

December 30, 2007
Just an above average vampire movie. Lon Chaney Jr. always seems to bring something to the Universal monsters of the thirties and fourties. Nothing speicla about the story though, except that it takes place in America.
wizardoftacoma
December 28, 2006
pretty standard Dracula movie, this one puts Lon Chaney Jr The count, calling himself Count Alucard (Lon Chaney, Jr.)
Jeff B.
Jeff B.

Super Reviewer

September 15, 2014
Sucking out whatever blood remained in the inspired and inspiring original, this oftentimes silly creature feature turns a Gothic classic into classic Southern-fried camp. Of course, when the antagonists name - Count Alucard - is Dracula spelled backwards, you know youre in trouble. The film doesn't spool out but one reel before gifting audiences with the following line of dialogue: "There's no magic in dried lizards and dead chickens." It's an unfortunate line spoken by an unfortunate actor. Bestowing doltish supporting roles on a third tier HWood cast doesn't help matters either.

In this unrated continuation of Universals Dracula series, a mysterious count (Lon Chaney, Jr.) finds his way from Budapest to the swamps of the Deep South and finds himself fighting a medical doctor, a university professor, a jilted fiancÚ and the woman he loves.

The worst part of this flick ends up to be the lead performance. In taking over the role that his father was suppose to make famous before cancer took him, humdrum vampire Lon Chaney, Jr. brings about as much terror to the proceedings as fuzzy Muppet Count Von Count on Sesame Street. Oh, his tenure as a werewolf shows that he's capable of such range but there's none of that evident in this monstrously unscary Dracula follow-up. Robert Siodmak, who directed undisputed horror classic The Wolf Man in 1940, brings a great deal of atmosphere to the photography but not so much to the script. Rather than the sequel that Dracula deserves, he turns out some vamped up voodoo phooey. J. Edward Bromberg even sports an Eastern European accent in his thankless role as Professor Lazlo, a discount bin Van Helsing.

Bottom line: Slow Count
VINCENT
June 23, 2014
Beautiful black and white cinematography, entertaining script and the memorable first 'man to bat' transformation onscreen ever, son of dracula is perhaps the best sequel of the dracula movies.
December 29, 2013
This somber film is better than the first two "DRACULA" films. Irrational plot twists bog down what could have been a great vampire film. Lon Chaney Jr 's Count lacks the brains to dispatch a Van Helsing imitation and a country doctor ? Get outta here.
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