Every guy wants to have a boy grow up to be like him, even monsters and killers. This has been proven to be very true by a slew of films from the 1940s. That's right- we're going back to the WWII Era, people. Are they the greatest generation of sequel-makers? Let's find out in the first review in the series...
An interesting note: Dracula's Daughter actually precedes this movie. Plus, this is an actual sequel to Tod Browning's classic film. But, this doesn't fit the theme that I established. Screw you, equally-good film that I will talk about later!
*The film takes the old setting of London (you know, the one from the book) and eschews that for the Deep South. Taking place during the good old days (as documented in Birth of a Nation) and before the bad days (as horribly-skewed by Birth of a Nation). A new man comes into town from out the country. That man's name: Count Alucard.
*Before the anime nerds attack me, let me set the record straight. This 'clever' disambiguation of the Dracula name originated in this film. Do you feel smarter yet?
*The story here is pretty simple. Dracula's heir shows up, romances a young debutante and angers a rich guy. In his attempt to kill the Count's son, he inadvertently kills his lady. It's a bit of weird science, since this happens due to the bullet going through our villain and hitting her as well. That is almost plausible, but still a bit silly.
*Let me address the weird and historic parts. Dracula's son is played by Lon Chaney Jr. Lon Chaney Sr. (of Phantom of the Opera) was originally supposed to play the part, but died. I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. If Chaney Jr. is the actual son of Dracula here (it is never really addressed), why does he look nothing like Bela Lugosi? To make things worse, this film came out just before House of Dracula, which re-cast (and re-animated) the Count as John Carradine. His son David would go on to play- wait for it- Dracula in Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat. My head hurts.
*This movie does give us a couple cliches that live on. Aside from the 'Alucard' part, this is also the first film to feature Dracula floating dramatically and turning into smoke. While not one of the biggest Dracula effects, it is notable.
*Is the movie good? Yes. It is not a classic like Browning's film, but it is a solid film. The atmosphere is good and the pacing is well-done. You will not be bored by this movie. You will be confused about whether he is really the son of Dracula though. Don't relegate this to B-movie status solely on its title alone though.
*If you think he was a good son, wait until you meet a bigger, hairier one. Stay tuned...