6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Lugosi never-bettered as Vampire King,
By A Customer
This review is from: Dracula (Plus The Making Of) [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Many people often say that Dracula (1931) as a film is technically inferior to the other classic Universal monster films of the 1930s and 1940s. (I think that's just another way of saying that it's boring!) Upon the first viewing of this remastered cinematic milestone (see I can talk like that too!) one is tempted to agree with this opinion, however the images - once the video has faded - remain with you forever. I believe that the opening sequences of Tod Browning's 'Dracula' have never been bettered. Cobwebs, crumbling castles, crazy coach ride, vampire bats. All these images have now entered popular culture and are the mainstay of our annual Hallow'een festivities...and what about Count Dracula himself? Immaculately dressed in pristine evening suit with carefully greased-back hair (how DOES he stay so smart lying in that dirt-filled coffin all day?) and that strange, phonetic way with his tongue. You only have to THINK of the vampiric Count, and you can HEAR him speak..."I - Am - Drac-u-la!"
But this is not Stoker's conception; the popular image of Count Dracula is due to Lugosi's amazing portrayal. A portrayal that forever associated him with the horror-genre. His face WAS that of Dracula's. His voice WAS the sound of evil. Is it any wonder that he was typecast for the rest of his life? Poor man couldn't escape from those things - at least Karloff could take off the greasepaint at the end of filming! Thankfully we can all enjoy his flim-star-making, career-breaking performance once more when viewing this fantastic video. So what if the middle gets a little stagey and the ending is a tad dull? Lugosi and the first reel of the film make this an essential piece of horror history. It's influence and lasting appeal only proves just how effective these two factors were. Finally Dwight Frye is superb as the demented Renfield; his laugh is an aural delight from start to finish and his acting in this role is the stuff of legend. Ignore the negative comments that the critics say, don't even feel obliged to watch the film as a whole; just buy it now, relive it's magic, and pay thanks to the creature-feature that started it all.
What? Bela Lugosi's dead? See the film and make up your own mind!