Drácula (Dracula, Spanish Version) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Drácula (Dracula, Spanish Version) Reviews

Page 1 of 7
½ January 14, 2017
Upped my rating because it is artistically superior to the English language version (though Lugosi is a better Dracula).
October 23, 2016
Fascinating version of the "Dracula" tale that was actually shot at the same time as the Bela Lugosi classic, even using the same sets (reportedly, the American crew shot during the day and the Spanish crew at night). While the film is essentially shot for shot the same, director George Melford made it much more cinematic, using sweeping shots or more daring angles to tell the story (as a result, it is also 30 minutes longer). It makes for a fascinating study in the importance of camera work to tell the story and in many ways, is better than the American version. The one part it is lacking is in its Dracula, as Carlos Villarias does a fine job in the title role, but doesn't quite match the brilliance of Lugosi, who set the standard for all to come. Overall, well worth watching for fans of Dracula and students of film.
½ September 28, 2016
Unfortunately because even film-lovers can be wusses and tend to stay away from subtitles, which takes some getting used to but can be a learned skill just like any other, this film has been horribly neglected. Thankfully it was included in the recent Universal Studios Dracula Franchise Collection--at least the DVD set I purchased. I must admit I like this basically as much as the Tod Browning-helmed, Bela Lugosi-starred, English-language original. Fine, underappreciated work by everyone involved.
½ September 28, 2016
Unfortunately because even film-lovers can be wusses and tend to stay away from subtitles, which takes some getting used to but can be a learned skill just like any other, this film has been horribly neglected. Thankfully it was included in the recent Universal Studios Dracula Franchise Collection--at least the DVD set I purchased. I must admit I like this basically as much as the Tod Browning-helmed, Bela Lugosi-starred, English-language original. Fine, underappreciated work by everyone involved.
½ May 30, 2016
Kinda better than the American version. Well, certainly better than the American version as released, and maybe neck and neck with the Philip Glass American version.
September 3, 2015
The Spanish version of Dracula suffers from a lack of Lugosi but is great in its own right.
½ April 23, 2015
Despite being basically a alternative version of the Bela Lugosi film, this edition is longer, more cinematic, and creepier. While the pacing is slower and the acting not as memorable, it still pulls off the atmosphere and story nicely, and in some ways, better than the English-counterpart.
December 27, 2014
A More erotic and coherent version than the English version of this Classic. But then Latin censors were more understanding of Dracula's "erotic charms"...
½ December 27, 2014
There's a tendency to say that this version of "Dracula" is better than it's more famous cousin. I wouldn't say that. They complement each other, one is strong where the other is week and vice-versa, neither really being meaningfully better or worse than the other. The Spanish version is a more lusty and lively take on the material. It's loose where Browning's "Dracula" is stiff and is generally an edgier film. The actors playing the heroes are easier to warm up to. Where it really suffers is not having Bela Lugosi and Dwight Frye on hand. Carlos Villarías is just fine as Dracula, but Lugosi is magnetic. Pablo Álvarez Rubio is really good as Renfield, but he lacks Frye's oddball, otherwordly appeal. The first half hour of this version particularly suffers. Where Browning's version initially grabs you by the throat, this version is a poor copy.
November 9, 2014
Shot at night and on the same sets at the exact same time as the famous Bela Lugosi classic, this Spanish version of the tale is in some ways better than the Lugosi version, but in other ways not. In part this was due to seeing what they'd shoot during the day and trying to improve upon that. The guy playing Dracula isn't as good though, but the film has the atmosphere and adds in a little more style. Sadly it still isn't that much fun to watch.
½ November 6, 2014
Cool to see this version but in my opinion, Lugosi is the best Dracula and Dwight Frye completely outshines Rubio as Renfield.
Super Reviewer
September 15, 2014
A stunningly atmospheric horror tale shot during 1931 Dracula's off time, this Spanish language version bests it's legendary English counterpart by a bloody great degree. Like English version director Tod Browning, George Melford came from an impressive run in silent film (The Sheik). It shows. Whereas the former evinces a sloppy Devil-May-Care approach to Bram Stoker's novel, the latter took full advantage of the production's studio resources, crafting an oftentimes more frightening scaremaker. Admittedly, the English language version remains more iconic for two reasons: Lugosi's introduction and Browning's spine-tingling take on the ghost ship just can't be touched.

In this unrated Spanish language version of the horror classic, the ancient vampire Count Dracula (Carlos Villarias) arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina (Lupita Tovar).

Granted, some tropes came down to culture (Mexico allowed for more cleavage and actual rats used in place of opossums), but the shadows fall in the right place as did the thrills. Of course, nothing at the time trumps Bela Lugosi in the titular role. In fact, wild-eyed vampire Carlos Villarias sometimes looks like a goofy game show host when he should be playing up the Latin lover angle. Vibrant Lupita Tovar and seemingly psychotic Pablo Alvarez Rubio (as Renfield), however, make up the difference.

Bottom line: Fangs for the Memories
June 9, 2014
After watching the Bela Logosi version I stumbled upon the Spanish version in the extras on the blu ray disc. while watching this film I noticed how much effort was put into it. This is without a doubt one of my favorite movies.
½ February 19, 2014
At the same time Universal Studios was producing the classic "Dracula" film starring Béla Lugosi, they were making another version of "Dracula" with a Spanish cast and crew on the same set; this was apparently common practice in the early days of the sound era in cinema. But this isn't just "Dracula" spoken in Spanish; it's very much a different interpretation. Scenes play out differently, and there are different cinematic techniques. The result is a film that's a classic 1930s horror film in its own right.

HOWEVER...this one is sort of graded on a curve. Back when these movies were being made, the English version would shoot during the day, while the Spanish version would shoot at night. Therefore, the Spanish crew got to watch the English raw footage in the evening, so they would figure out different camera angles and different uses of lighting. In those cases, there are times when this film is superior. But they had a huge advantage at their disposal; it makes me wonder what would've happened if the Spanish version shot in the morning, and the English version shot at night.

So it's going to be difficult for me to properly review this, because I already described the story in my review of the English "Dracula" last year. The best way I can review "Drácula" is to compare the execution of its scenes, based on the cinematography and the performances. But I'll give you a real quick rundown of the plot anyway. A man named Renfield (Pablo Álvarez Rubio) travels to Transylvania to see Count Dracula (Carlos Villarías), despite the villagers' warnings. Dracula is, of course, a vampire, and he makes Renfield his slave before they travel to England and meet the other characters of the story.

Carlos Villarías is really good as Dracula. While Lugosi played him sinister with that Devil's stare, Christopher Lee played him like a violent predator, Villarías plays him more like a mad-eyed lunatic. Often, his eyes are bugging out and he looks ready to snap at any second. The same applies for Pablo Álvarez Rubio as Renfield. The scene where authorities discover him on the ship cackling like a maniac is a prime example of his performance.

For the most part, I actually find the supporting cast better than the English version; I just think there's more conviction in their faces, particularly from Professor Van Helsing (Eduardo Arozamena) and Eva (Lupita Tovar), who has the same role as Mina. That's something else to mention; the characters' names are altered slightly to make them appear more Spanish. Jonathan Harker is now Juan Harker, Lucy Weston is now Lucía Weston, etc.

But the biggest differences in this film are the cinematography and the runtime. This film is roughly half an hour longer; part of the reason is the movie really takes its time. There are plenty of moments where the atmosphere takes over for long periods of time. That's a good change. But sometimes they have scenes go on longer, which I don't necessarily agree with. I feel like the English version did a good job with not showing everything; there was more mystery, like in scenes where Dracula hypnotizes someone. But there are good scene changes, like when Renfield passes out in the bedroom in Dracula's castle. In the English version, the scene fades out after he falls. In this one, he falls, and then Dracula's vampire brides slowly descend on him. That's a really impressive change because it still leaves that mystery, and adds a new creepy element.

There are also new camera tricks. In the original, when Renfield first meets Dracula, it's an ordinary still shot from afar as he appears at the top of the stairs. But in this one, it's more of a point-of-view shot as the camera moves up the stairs, with Dracula perched at the top. But again, it doesn't always work effectively. In the later scene when Van Helsing shows Dracula the mirror where he doesn't have a reflection, I prefer the English version because of how fast and angrily Dracula reacts. In this version, it's sort of unnecessarily delayed and actually kind of awkward. Also, the moment where the maid faints after Renfield laughs doesn't seem right here. It doesn't seem like the kind of laugh someone would faint from; the English film had it down perfectly.

Now for all my nitpickings, let me make it clear: "Drácula" is a great movie. It still has that eerie, disturbing atmosphere thanks to its great use of shadows, and the performances are solid. Because it stands out so much from the English film, it firmly establishes its own identity, and can't just be called a remake. Like the English version of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," it's its own interpretation in comparison to the version that already existed.

This movie was thought lost for decades before turning up in the 1970s; I'm very glad for that, because this is a movie that deserves to be seen by horror fans, just as long as they don't mind having to read subtitles. So while I definitely prefer the English film to the Spanish one, I acknowledge this movie's strong points, and in some cases, its stronger points. It's flawed, but it's still a real treat.
November 1, 2013
I Don't Like The Spanish Version Of 1931's Dracula, I Only Like The English-Language Version Of 1931's Dracula With Bela Lugosi, I Don't Watch The Spanish Version Of 1931's Dracula On The 75th Anniversary Edition DVD On Disc Two Of 1931's Dracula That I Own, I Only Watch The English-Language Version Of 1931's Dracula With The Original Soundtrack Not The English-Language Version Of 1931's Dracula With The Philip Glass Score On The 75th Anniversary Edition DVD On Disc One Of 1931's Dracula That I Own.
½ September 10, 2013
A little more stylized than the 1931 original, #UniversalStudio 's #SpanishVersion of #Dracula is a little bit better than #BelaLugosi 's take on the #PrinceofDarkness 3.5/5 #bluray
July 9, 2013
I believe this film is every bit as good as the English version and in many ways better. The cinematography when Renfield is going to visit Dracula is much improved in this version. The man who plays Dracula in this one gives off a more crazy vibe than threatening -- Lugosi's dracula was more threatening and almost makes you wish he was in this spanish one as it's superior in almost every other way.
½ March 3, 2013
I've heard that some people prefer this to Lugosi's Dracula, but I couldn't disagree more. Had great difficulty taking the main actor seriously as the Count. He was basically just Emilio Delgado in a cowl.
February 27, 2013
The Best version of Dracula out there.
½ February 24, 2013
By now, I'm sure you know the story of this version of Dracula, aka filmed at night, same sets as the Original Universal Dracula. Is it better? Well, it all depends on your point of view I guess. I think Lugosi is the better vampire, but Pablo Rubjo plays a far better Renfield! I think it was interesting to find out in the documentary about the original Dracula, that the Spanish producers would watch the original cinematographers at work and say 'we can do better then that!' and which they did. Some scenes flow FAR better, and there's a lot more foreboding and more sexuality then the Universal's attempt. Also the film pays a lot more attention to Renfield this time out, which sort of drags the film down (Yeah yeah, the rats, get on with it will ya?) and the ending has a far more satisfactory conclusion. So I guess my mind is made up.. what about yours?
Page 1 of 7