Son of Dracula

Son of Dracula ★★½

This was the third Universal film with the Dracula character after Dracula in 1931 and Dracula's Daughter in 1936. Lon Chaney, Jr. takes a turn as the undead Count in this one, from 1943. He makes a pretty lugubrious villain. The movie keeps him mostly at a secondary level throughout, but the project still feels pretty stilted and slow. The movie is very talky, with far more dialogue than necessary.

The story isn’t very compelling either: Dracula appears at a Louisiana plantation where Katherine Caldwell (Louise Allbritton) and her family live. Katherine is some kind of mystic or telepath or something. Pretty soon she and the Count are married and running the place. This all comes as a surprise to her ex-fiance Frank (Robert Paige, looking distractingly like Raul Esparza), who tries to intervene.

There are only occasional scenes of interest, with some of the special effects pretty good for 1943. We see Dracula appear in a cloud of smoke. We see him turn into a bat. Not bad for that day, but the whole production feels rickety by today’s standards.

This is must-see for Universal horror fans, modestly interesting for others.

Cast Note:

*Etta McDaniel plays Sarah, a maid in the house of Dr. Brewster (Frank Craven) in this movie. She appeared in dozens of films in the 1930s and 40s. She was one of three McDaniel siblings working in Hollywood at the time: Older brother Sam was an actor. Younger sister Hattie was also an actress, most famously in Gone with the Wind.

*From my 2022 WanderList - One movie inspires the next

George Irving played General Neville in Three Bad Men - He played Colonel Caldwell in Son of Dracula.

Block or Report

Wes liked this review