Son of Dracula (1943)
Directed By: Robert Siodmak
Starring: Lon Chaney Jr, Louise Allbriton, George Irving, Evelyn Ankers, Robert Paige
Synopsis: The mysterious Count Alucard arrives in America at the invitation of a rich plantation owner’s daughter. Katherine knows Alucard’s secret, and desires immortality for herself, but doesn’t plan on spending the rest of eternity with him.
Thoughts: After a bit of a break, Universal returned to the story of Dracula, this time time with his Son, who is using the oh so clever name of Alucard. It is more than a little weird to see Lon Chaney Jr playing the role of Alucard, I kept waiting for him to turn into a werewolf at the first site of a full moon.
Even though it is still a decent watch, this is probably my least favorite sequel to Dracula. It seemed rushed and as if the actors weren’t really into it. I think that Universal intended for the effects to be the real star here. Son of Dracula marks the first time that the bat to vampire transformation is shown on screen. There are a handful of other effects in the movie as well, and honestly, that is the most memorable aspect of the movie. If you can mentally transport yourself back to that era, the effects are pretty amazing to behold.
Son of Frankenstein was directed by Robert Siodmak, who would go on to direct a handful of popular film noir titles in the 40s. Son has hints of this Noir style in it, but I think even more could have made this a better movie.
After Son, Dracula and his brethren would share screen time with some other Universal greats in both of House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula, among a few others. Those mark some of my favorite Universal flicks from this era, as they are fast paced and jam packed with horror icons. Look for a review to House of Dracula soon.
Son of Dracula is worth seeing for fans of the Universal classics, and really, it’s only 80 minutes long, so there are worse ways to burn your time. It seems like I end up watching it in succession with the other Universal Dracula flicks found in the Legacy Collection. Like I’ve said before, those are easily worth owning.