Saturday, October 9, 2010
Classic Horror Films - Day 9 (DRACULA - 1931)
After a harrowing ride through the Carpathian mountains in eastern Europe, Renfield enters castle Dracula to finalize the transferral of Carfax Abbey in London to Count Dracula, who is in actuality a vampire. Renfield is drugged by the eerily hypnotic count, and turned into one of his thralls, protecting him during his sea voyage to London. After sucking the blood and turning the young Lucy Weston into a vampire, Dracula turns his attention to her friend Mina Seward, daughter of Dr. Seward who then calls in a specialist, Dr. Van Helsing, to diagnose the sudden deterioration of Mina's health. Van Helsing, realizing that Dracula is indeed a vampire, tries to prepare Mina's fiance, John Harker, and Dr. Seward for what is to come and the measures that will have to be taken to prevent Mina from becoming one of the undead.
Bela Lugosi is Dracula in a commanding performance. His mannerisms and speech while some find distracting works for me as it makes his Dracula far different from other actors who have taken on this classic role. Dwight Frye is also good as Renfield and Edward Van Sloan is solid as Van Helsing. I was also impressed with actress Helen Chandler as Mina. I think she was very underrdated and never had the film career she should have had. Anyway this is a faithful and solid film adaptation of Bram Stoker's horror classic Dracula.