Who’s in this?
Francis Ledderer as Count Dracula posing as Bellac Gordal. He was born in what is now the Czech Republic. He came to America and began working in acting in the 1930’s. Worked fairly steady for several decades. He made quite a bit of money in real estate in California and continued to teach drama for years. He passed away in 2000 at the age of 101 (!). That means he was almost 60 when he did this film, he looks younger.
Norma Eberhardt as Rachel who the count becomes interested. She had a handful of roles around the 50’s and 60’s.
Ray Stricklyn as Tim boyfriend of Rachel. He had over 70 credits spread over five decades. He was in everything from Perry Mason to Seinfeld.
Laying down on the job huh?
What’s this about? A group of would be vampire hunters show up and hey the coffin is empty so no vampire to slay-how unfair. Well, the count is on a train reading the funny pages or something until he decides to kill another dude, throw his body off the train, assume his identity and take his tickets to leave Europe and go over to the states. Meanwhile a young woman named Rachel and her family are excited about picking up their relative is coming from Europe. Little do they it’s really Count Dracula-you blood sucking fiend! So Rachel is infatuated with him because he has been to places overseas. Silly girl, silly girl. The Count sets up his coffin in a nearby cave that looks awful clean and well lit for a cave. Meanwhile he’s sucking the blood from Rachel’s blind friend. The friend dies but not before giving Rachel a warning and a cross to use. An investigator show wanting to talk to “the relative” about a body they found thrown from the train. Boyfriend Tim doesn’t trust Rachel’s relative and he shouldn’t. The vampire lures Rachel to his cave where he tries to drain her of all her fluids-ewwww. Tim shows up to fight for his girl and gets Rachel to fight the trance and use her cross. She does and the count falls back off a ledge and gets impaled by a pieceof wood. Eeyoweeyoeeyowee! Then he turns to bones and roll the credits.
The negatives-This film has a very low budget and it shows. The acting varies from good down to slightly wooden. The film doesn’t do a lot to advance the legend of Dracula but rather they just change the setting.
The positives-Francis Ledderer does a good job like Lugosi before him and maybe even Chris Sarandon a few decades later of playing the interesting yet attractive older man who lures woman in with smooth methods before trying to put the bit on them. I thought the visuals were generally good enough given the budget and time. The film began a voiceover and some stock footage and I was bracing myself for a rough time, but it turned out to a pleasant surprise. The black and white looks great and even the “oh, golly gee whiz” attitude of Rachel works good for a Hollywood version of the 50’s.
Overall I liked it and will definitely watch it again.
Sorry for the smoke, but I just had to take my shoes off and rest my tootsies.