I don’t like vampires. That may color the following remarks. The first Drac movie was good enough, if a bit slow, but after that it’s all capes and medals and spooky eye and bats. In the Universal pantheon, Drac is probably pitched between Frank and Wolfie, because the former is awesome and the latter is all grrr growl arrr, et cetera. But studio execs knew there was coin to be had with the sequels, so:
Here’s a hint the movie doesn’t take place in distant historical Translyvania:
Hot chicks in 40s hairdos! One of them has invited a count to her house for a party, and eventually he shows up. Cue the terror and the panic and the horror:
Derp. Hey. Wait. That’s Lon Chaney Jr. The Wolfman. Also Frankenstein. This is like the same actor playing Bond, Matt Helm, and Derek Flint. Or Kirk and Obi-Wan. He doesn’t have the Drac vibe at all, but then again, his name isn’t Dracula. It’s Count Alucard! A fiendish disguise, so devlishly clever! Will anyone learn the truth before it's too late?
There's something strange about taht man. Perhaps if I write his name slantwise:
Oh no! It can't be! But it is!
He’s like a middle-aged insurance-salesman Drac.
As you can probably tell, he's already gotten to the black-haired dame; she's totally on board. The movie is set in Louisiana, so it’s full of swampy humid atmosphere, none of which makes him take off his cape. He has come for a beautiful woman to take as his bride, despite the objections of a local boy who obviously saw the original Dracula movie and suspects this dude of being King Bloodsucker. Drac also bites a kid, but we learn this can be cured by painting crosses over the throat:
Now you know! The FX aren’t bad; they got the materializes-from-bat-to-human trick down pat. There’s a scene where Dracula’s coffin rises out of the swamp, and he rides across the water to his girlfriend surfing on a coffin. It's terrific. But then there's this.
Oh my pounding pulse.
There are some nice close-ups that have that Universal Horror Sheen, and must have seemed impressive on the big screen:
But in the end Dracula is something of a weakling - when his coffin is set on fire by the old boyfriend, he yells PUT IT OUT! PUT IT OUT! which of course the fellow is not inclined to do. The sun cometh, as always, and it's time for Lon to do his standard Anguish Face bit:
And it’s bones for Alucard. Not that this makes the slightest bit of difference to the story; he’ll be back in a sequel as soon as possible. And everyone knows it.
The movie gets high ratings from classic monster-movie buffs, possibly because they have elevated the genre above the realm of competent B-movie schlock, and feel compelled to make great claims for the thriller flicks of the early 40s.
This is not wise. Here's the trailer, including the pathetic PUT IT OUT! scene. Really, Dracula shouldn't be begging anyone for anything.