US (dir. Tod Browning)
Cast: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan, Herbert Bunston, Frances Dade, Charles Gerrard, Joan Standing, Moon Carroll, Josephine Velez, Eduardo Arozamena, Daisy Belmore, Carmen Guerrero , Tony Isbert
Synopsis: After a harrowing ride through the Carpathian mountains in eastern Europe, Renfield enters castle Dracula to finalize the transferral of Carfax Abbey in London to Count Dracula, who is in actuality a vampire. Renfield is drugged by the eerily hypnotic count, and turned into one of his thralls, protecting him during his sea voyage to London. After sucking the blood and turning the young Lucy Weston into a vampire, Dracula turns his attention to her friend Mina Seward, daughter of Dr. Seward who then calls in a specialist, Dr. Van Helsing, to diagnose the sudden deterioration of Mina’s health. Van Helsing, realizing that Dracula is indeed a vampire, tries to prepare Mina’s fiance, John Harker, and Dr. Seward for what is to come and the measures that will have to be taken to prevent Mina from becoming one of the undead.
Review: I was really excited to see the Universal Pictures version of “Dracula”; so much so, that I kicked off my Universal Monsters Month by watching it before anything else. Some of the first horror movies I watched were of the vampire genre, which is no surprise considering the mid-1990s were rife with vampire related movies, TV shows, books etc. I guess every decade or so the vampire craze pops up, and today’s decade is no exception (I won’t even bother listing examples… ah, what the heck: “True Blood”, “Twilight”, “The Vampire Diaries”, “Daybreakers” etc.). However, interestingly enough, the 1930s weren’t exactly aplenty with vampire films, in fact besides the now classic Universal “Dracula” picture, there wasn’t really anything of note until the 1970s came along with all those Hammer vampire films.