Friday, September 1, 2017

Who's Returning This Time?

I wonder how many films have started with "The Return of..."? Well, this one is no exception.

Wendy and I just finished watching The Return of Dracula (1958), a fun little fang-romp set someplace in not-so-sunny California. The famous Count, this time played menacingly but fanglessly by Francis Lederer, takes the place (after eliminating him) of an American family's visiting relative. Named Bellac Gordal (an obvious tip o' th' hat to Bela Lugosi, who died two years prior), the traveling Count begins adding to his vampire club.

It's fun, a bit cheesy, but it moves along nicely and has a good storyline. We only see blood at one point that I can remember. In an odd scene that was obviously spliced in, a newly-vampiric blind woman (Yes, they had to have a blind woman as the first victim. At least there wasn't a singing nun playing guitar for a sick girl.) is the first to get staked later, and the shot was definitely in color, as a miniature geyser of red blood spewed. All the rest of the movie was black-and-white.

Gage Clarke, who played Reverend Doctor Whitfield (yes, he's actually Reverend Doctor in the movie--I couldn't believe it, either), is a familiar face, having played in everything from Maverick to Alfred Hitchcock Presents to Gunsmoke.

Every Drac fan needs to catch this one.

Keep writing, friends.

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