Dracula (1931)

a

DRACULA  has had the edge filed from its fangs after more than eight decades of faster, scarier horror films, and the pace of this antique groundbreaker may lull you into a nap. But there is still—and for always—Bela Lugosi, as the Transylvanian gentleman with an appetite for arteries.  Lugosi has been out-acted, but never duplicated.  His courtly Count is creepy not because he’s vicious like Christopher Lee, seductive like Frank Langella or icky like Gary Oldham, but because he seems depraved.  I mean, you can Twilight-it from here to eternity, but vampires want to slurp your blood, and if that’s sexy to you, you might want to experiment with something like a suntan or ice cream.  The opening sequences—with the cobwebby castle, the baroque stairways, the sheepish victim played by Dwight Frye—still hold sway.

                        “Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.”

renfield

Beyond these nostalgically musty bits of Gothic European weirdness, there is a lot of stagebound talk, and an anti-climactic final section. Short, at 75 minutes, directed by Tod Browning, with Helen Chandler, Edward Van Sloan and David Manners.

Frankenstein, released later the same year, holds up better.

dracula-1931

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s