3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Drac and the femme fatale.,
This review is from: Son Of Dracula [DVD] (DVD)
Out of Universal Pictures is Son Of Dracula, directed by Robert Siodmak and written by Curt Siodmak and Eric Taylor. It stars Lon Chaney Jr, Robert Paige, Louise Allbritton & Evelyn Ankers. It is the third Universal Studios Dracula production after Dracula (1931) & Dracula's Daughter (1936). Plot finds the mysterious Count Alucard (Chaney Jr.) arriving in the Deep South of America at the invitation of Katherine Caldwell (Allbritton). Seems that Katherine is pliant to a bit of occult like dalliances, while the Count is after new soil and territory after having exhausted his use for Europe. Pretty soon the two are united in coupling which greatly annoys Katharine's boyfriend Frank Stanley (Paige). Motives are shifty and jealousy rages as the Count's trip to America eerily unfolds.
Lets get the obvious thing out the way first, the one that pretty much every one agrees on as regards Son Of Dracula. Lon Chaney Jr. is miscast as Alucard/Dracula, very much so, but he gives it a good go and really when viewing the film these days it barely matters. Also lets note right now the film's claim to fame for being the first to show the bat-to-man transformation of a vampire; John P. Fulton continuing to amaze with his special effects work. So what of the film as a whole then? With a 7 year gap between this and the poor Dracula's Daughter to help erase the memory, Son Of Dracula pretty much starts afresh. As a film from the studio of shriek it's standard 1940s stuff, tho this does throw in some twists and new touches to the legend as we previously knew it. The effects team deal in some nice mist moments to keep the atmosphere suitably eerie, and with the gorgeous Allbritton's portrayal of Kay Caldwell; Universal Monster Movies slips into film noir territory. This is after all directed by Robert Siodmak, who a year later would embark on a run of film noir movies that would contain genre classics like The Killers & Criss Cross. Yes some of it's bonkers, I mean Dracula getting married and hoodwinked in one movie? And there still remains the odd moment of unintentional hilarity, but if you can get past the Chaney miscast factor? Then Son Of Dracula is a bunch of creepy fun.
Hell, for the coffin in the bog/mist/rise and glide sequence this deserves a pat on the back. 7/10