“The Angel of Death hovers over a great house. I see it in ruins. Weeds, vines growing over it, bats flying in and out the broken windows.” Do you see anyone marrying a corpse or living in a grave, too? Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, and Jeff Mohr – as they discuss Son of Dracula (1943), the third entry in the series of Universal Dracula films.
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 132 – Son of Dracula (1943)
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When Katherine, a beautiful Southern girl obsessed with thoughts of eternal life, invites Count Alucard to come to her mansion in the U.S., she unleashes a Pandora’s box of horror on unsuspecting relatives and neighbors.IMDb
- Director: Robert Siodmak
- Writers: Eric Taylor (screenplay); Curt Siodmak (original story)
- Selected Cast:
- Lon Chaney, Jr. as Count Anthony Alucard / Count Dracula
- Louise Allbritton as Katherine Caldwell
- Robert Paige as Frank Stanley
- Evelyn Ankers as Claire Caldwell
- Frank Craven as Dr. Harry Brewster
- J. Edward Bromberg as Professor Lazlo
- Samuel S. Hinds as Judge Simmons
- Adeline De Walt Reynolds as Queen Zimba (billed as Adeline DeWalt Reynolds)
- George Irving as Colonel Caldwell
- Etta McDaniel as Sarah
- Pat Moriarity as Sheriff Dawes (billed as Patrick Moriarity)
- Walter Sande as Mac, Deputy (uncredited)
- Sam McDaniel as Andy, Servant who greets Dracula (uncredited)
- Cyril Delevanti as Dr. Peters, the Coroner (uncredited)
Son of Dracula is Chad’s pick and he’s surprised at how much he likes it! For him, Lon Chaney Jr. has an imposing presence as Count Alucard/Dracula even though he is sans accent and doesn’t feel as dignified as Lugosi’s version. Overall he thinks it’s a cool story and the effects were better than he expected; especially the smoke/vapor transformations.
For Daphne, Son of Dracula feels more like Kay’s (Louis Allbritton) story than Dracula’s. Although Lon Chaney Jr. is physically imposing as Dracula, she is a little let down by his performance. She is, however, impressed with some of the actors and Robert Paige’s performance as Frank reminds her a little of some of George Bailey’s (James Stewart) frantic dashes to come in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).
On the surface, Son of Dracula felt a little lame to Jeff but once he got into it, it was better than he remembered. He also loves the smoke effects and the bat transformations and really appreciates the character of Queen Zimba, as short as her appearance is. The Classic Era Grue-Crew universally lament the plight of poor, poor, pitiful Frank.
As of this writing, Son of Dracula is currently available to stream from the Classic Horror Movie Channel, Wicked Horror TV, Tubi, Plex, and various PPV options. Of course, the Blu-ray is available in Dracula: Complete Legacy Collection [Blu-ray] and Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection [Blu-ray].
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule is one chosen by Jeff: The Fly (1958).
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