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Return of Dracula & Vampire [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

3.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,773 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A curiosity, made on the cheap presumably, for the drive-in market that revived a long since dead Dracula myth that had last stirred back in 1944 in the House of Dracula with John Carradine playing the eponymous villain. Rather than setting it in mittel-Europe, the makers simply moved the story to contemporary California complete with moody teens, convertible cars and pious reverends. A Victorian Transylvainia with all the costumes and matte paintings that would entail would have been far too expensive for these spend-thrifts so it's off to a west coast farmstead (using mostly, day-for-night shots) and a disused coal mine. On the face of it, this doesn't sound too promising but the Dracula lair in the side of a mountain proves a very effective and the 1950's setting brings the Dracula myth to a unsuspecting and therefore innocent, modern day America more concerned with 'aliens' without papers. The trouble is, it's hard to watch this without comparing it to a film released 6 months later which kick-started the horror genre again - Hammer's 'Horror of Dracula' and which meant that this, 'The Return of Dracula', was relegated to a obscure footnote in the genre. There's the black and white of this, the colour of the other and yet, there's Kensington gore here in one brief sequence which makes you wonder how much more effective it would have been in glorious technicolour. The final scene set in the coal mine would have most benefited from a splash of colour. Although not as overtly se xual as 'Horror', there's still a unsettling lusting from Dracula to Rachel and from Tim to Rachel despite the 1950's Hollywood morality codes.Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have to say I quite enjoyed this double bill, having watched both movies in one sitting. They make a good pairing, as both were written for the screen by Pat Fielder, produced by Jules V.Levy and Arthur Gardner and directed by Paul Landres. Gerald Fried also composed the music for them. Having been released in 1958 and 1957 respectively, they are not full of blood and gore, but rely more on characterisation and a well-told story.
'The Return Of Dracula' ( aka 'The Curse Of Dracula' ) stars Francis Lederer in the title role, who comes to stay with a family in a small American town, posing as their European cousin. His intention , of course, is to make vampires of them. Francis Lederer certainly looks the part and he has the right accent, having been born in Czechoslovakia.
'The Vampire' ( aka 'Mark Of The Vampire' ) stars John Beal as a small-town American physician who rather stupidly swallows some pills entrusted to him by a scientist who has just died in mysterious circumstances. The effect of the pills is to turn him into a blood-sucking vampire who kills his victims at night. The storyline is really more Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde than Dracula. The excellent Kenneth Tobey plays the town sheriff.
These movies are in black and white and in widescreen. The quality is superb.
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Format: DVD
With such a simple title and being released in the 1950s which was more remembered for sci fi movies, it would be easy to dismiss, The Vampire. But it is rightly a horror classic. Way ahead of its time, there are genuine moments of terror, suspense and violence and surely the pill popping doctors actions are just a metaphor for drug addiction.

The Vampire is directed by Paul Landres who would be best known in his Hollywood career for directing television shows- some of them legendary. He gives us a look at Americana in the 50s, with the movie mostly shot on location in bright sunny California suburbs. This is the magic of the movie, one scene we are relaxed the next Landres can turn his movie into a nightmarish moment. Notice the scene with his secretary and the old woman have a brisk walk- all is calm and relaxed and them boom! one of them ends up dying vicously.

Criminally underrated- John Beal plays a single father who adores his little girl but sees little of her as he's a doctor on call. A dying friend gives him some pills and his daughter gives him one by mistake after her dad has a headache and he becomes addicted. At night he is the vampire. The make up is good and the all round acting by everybody works a treat. Sure it is a film of its time, but this is an open window for us all to glimpse back to the 50s.

A great movie. Please note this release also contains The Return of Dracula which will be reviewed later.
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By Ian Williams VINE VOICE on 13 Sept. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It really is one of the best monochrome transfers from films of this period (the mid-late 50's) that I've seen. It is very sharp throughout on both these films. Subtitles are also provided. They both have the same writer/director/producer team.

The Return Of Dracula had, or has, a certain cachet, not quite cult, but a fond respect ffrom horror movie fans. Unfortunately it hasn't worn very well and, while for the period it was moderately chilling, it now seems stiff and mannered. I've also come to hate (the portrayal of) 50's teens in these horror movies with a vengeance. I'm surprised the kids at the time didn't burn down the cinema for the patronising way in which they were presented (unless American teens really were like that).

The Vampire is pretty tame and everyone in the cast behaves with remarkable stupidity when it's blatantly obvious who the killer is.

Still, what a great transfer.
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