Director: Lambert Hillyer
Written by: Garrett Fort, John Balderston
Weapon of Choice: Arrow
Based upon: none
Other movies in this series:
Son of Dracula
House of Frankenstein
House of Dracula
Rish Outfield's reviews
The sequel to 1931's Dracula. This, like Bride of Frankenstein, tries to be a much more direct sequel to the original than the later films, but unlike "Bride," this one fails to equal the good qualities of the original in nearly every single detail, let alone surpass them. A lot of that fault has to lie in the screenplay.
It takes place a minute or two after Dracula left off. Edward Van Sloan returns as Van Helsing, who, interestingly enough, is arrested and charged with Count Dracula's murder. Enter Gloria Holden as Countess Zaleska, the titular vampiress. Doctor Garth is the main hero, a psychiatrist who Zaleska invites to join her in undead land. She has a manservant named Sander who does her grunt work. Zaleska hypnotizes her victims, which is neat. But oddly, she is not evil incarnate as was her father. She tries to fight her condition, to control her cravings and vampiric ways. Marguerite Churchill plays Janet Blake, the cute secretary "girl" character. With the way she talks, she is actually quite amusing, and she is very attractive in a picture of your grandparents when they were young sort of way.
Set in London, it all seems very British. Or perhaps I just feel that way because I suck. Regardless, half of the cast is American, half is English. Odd. Even stranger is something I noticed about Zaleska herself. The question I asked myself at the end was--is she a vampire REALLY? Or does she only imagine herself to be one? I never felt any closure on that. We never saw her fly or not reflect or turn into mist or become a bat or suck blood or act superhuman in any way, and it was odd--she very well may have been a regular human being who thought she was a vampire.
Another big question I never got the answer to was, Is this pre-Code? There was something of a sexual thing going on with the Countess and Lily, one of her victims. Was it just me? Did anyone else notice this? That may be the most noteworthy aspect of this film. It's not great, but not too bad--these old films are definitely charming, just as mirrors of their times and the mindset of America. Even so, Dracula's Daughter is hardly a classic, due muchly to the fact that Zaleska isn't as exotic or frightening/appealing as was Lugosi. Kids don't want posters of Zaleska. Well, maybe kids with severe psychological disturbances.
Line To Remember: Van Helsing: "The strength of the vampire lies in the fact that he is unbelievable."
I'd Recommend It To: Well, I don't know. It's interesting to watch as a follow-up to Dracula, but it's not really necessary, and no one would be the better for having seen it.
Note: The title, Dracula's Daughter, is just awful. Perhaps they hadn't realized yet that sequel titles are better with an "Of" rather than a "‘s" ("Bride of Frankenstein" rather than "Frankenstein's Bride," whch doesn't sound all that bad, actually. "Son of Dracula," "Ghost of Frankenstein," "Revenge of the Creature," "Mark of the Werewolf," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Return of Count Yorga," etc.) (Now that I mention it, though, "The Clones Attack" sounds better than "Attack of the Clones," hmm. But I digress).
Posted: November 14, 2001
The tyranist's thoughts
Long before anyone made way too many Police Academy movies, Universal was busy establishing the word "franchise" in the movie world with their monster movies. Some worked out better than others, such as the Frankenstein movies. Now, I would never compare Dracula's Daughter to the best of the Police Academy movies, it is much better than that. But I will say that I'm not entirely sure this movie should have been made.
The credits claim that it was "inspired" by Bram Stoker's novel. I'm not sure what part of the novel inspired it. There seems to be more of a relationship with the first movie than with the novel, but even saying that is stretching things a bit.
Still, in this day and age when there are hundreds of vampire flicks, I suppose on some level they were inspired by Stoker. Either they are trying to duplicate his novel on the screen or simply trying to be as different from his novel as they can. Both start from the same place.
Dracula's Daughter wasn't horrible, but it wasn't the best of the Universal monster movies. Not even close. It seemed they wanted to make the vampire sympathetic, but it really didn't work. She lacked the mystery and foreignness that Bela brought to the role, but also lacked the warmth and character necessary to make her seem like one of us. Oh, and it certainly didn't help to have the evil henchman.
I hate to say that you shouldn't see this; it is better, by far, than a lot of horror flicks, but since it might be hard to track down, maybe you shouldn't go out of your way. See it if you like the old Universal horror, otherwise, it isn't necessary. Posted: July 12, 2004
Total Skulls: 5
|Rips off earlier film|
|Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie|
|Future celebrity appears|
|Former celebrity appears|
|Girl unnecessarily gets naked|
|Death associated with sex|
|Unfulfilled promise of nudity|
|Characters forget about threat|
|Power is cut|
|Phone lines are cut|
|Someone investigates a strange noise|
|Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door|
|Camera is the killer|
|Victims cower in front of a window/door|
|Victim locks self in with killer|
|Victim running from killer inexplicably falls|
|Toilet stall scene|
|Car stalls or won't start|
|Cat jumps out|
|Stupid discovery of corpse|
|No one believes only witness|
|Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth|
|Warning goes unheeded|
|Music detracts from scene|
|Death in first five minutes|
|x years before/later|
|Dark and stormy night|
|Killer doesn't stay dead|
|Killer wears a mask|
|Killer is in closet|
|Killer is in car with victim|
|Villain is more sympathetic than heroes|
|Blood spatters - camera, wall, etc.|
|Poor death effect|
|No one dies at all|
|Little kid lamely survives|
|Dog/Pet miraculously survives|
|"It was all a dream" ending|
|Unbelievably happy ending|
|Unbelievably crappy ending|
|What the hell?|