This film picks up right where the 1931 Dracula left off. The coppers show up and find Renfeld and Dracula dead. Van Helsing admits to staking Drac in the heart because he was an undead, blood sucking fiend. He is promptly arrested and carted off as are the two corpses- serves him right. All three are held at the police station. Hungarian countess Marya Zaleska shows up at the police station hoping to get Drac’s body. When the copper says no way she hypnotizes him with a ring- ewwww shiny and takes the body while he sits in a daze. She burns Dracs body with help from her assistant Sandor-pop sizzle or add your own flame sounds. The police wonder how the body got away. Meanwhile Van Helsing is still in trouble for murder so his former student and current doctor Jeffrey Garth is called in to help and he brings his sassy assistant Janet as well. Wait does everyone in this film have an assistant. Van Helsing tries to talk Jeffrey into believing he killed a vampire. At the same Countess Zaleska is thirsty so she sucks a guy on the street dry. Some doctors try to save him, but cannot and they notice the marks on his neck and the lack of blood-make note of that. The Countess meets Jeffrey at a party and takes a liking to him in a dark and creepy sort of way while Janet takes a disliking to the Countess in a jealous -she’s trouble sort of way. In between meeting with Jeffrey the countess feeds on a young woman named Lili. Lili survives but is in a daze. Jeffrey is brought in to see Lili in the hospital and realizes she has been hypnotized and through other things she says before dying our long nosed male hero knows the Countess did this and likely killed the man from earlier. Around this time the Countess says Drac was her daddy. Jeffrery confronts her and says he’ll call the police in and he leaves. Unfortunately Janet runs into the Countess around this time and Sandor grabs her. So finally it’s time leave London town and race off to
Pennsylavania Transylvania. Marya, Zandor and the now hypnotized Janet go into the castle. When they light up the windows of the castle the townspeople in the village below flip out ahhhheeeeeee Baron Frankenstein is up there making monsters-oh wait wrong series- ahhhheeeee Drac is back! Jeffery learns Janet has been taken and he hightails it to Transylvania and the castle. The Countess tells Zandor she thinks Jeffrey will follow and she will trade Janet’s life for Jeffrey being willing to be her eternal undead companion oh how sweet, but Zandor wanted that role. Anyways Jeffery show up and grudgingly agrees to be with the Countess because it’s in the script he loves Janet. Twwwwiing is the sound of Zandor putting an arrow into the Countess and a wooden shaft to the heart of a vampire=death, well actually it would mean death for you or me too but it really means it for a bloodsucker. She dies, Janet is okay and police show up in time to shoot Zandor before he can kill Jeffery. All is well so roll those credits.
Nothing to see here but an undead Countess and her assistant.
The negatives-The ending with going to Transylvania seems very rushed like everyone is racing to wrap everything up. It’s not explained why Lili remembers so much about being hypnotized and last s so long after her blood sucking encounter while the policeman remembered nothing of being hypnotized and the male victim wasn’t strong enough to relay any information. I know it helps advance the plot by giving Jeffrey information he can use, but it felt uneven. While Otto Kruger does well in his part as Jeffrey I have trouble buying that not one but two good looking woman (both much younger than he) were after a rather average looking guy like him.
You appear to have an insect on your neck. Here allow me to bite it off of your neck.
The positives- I love the angle of Van Helsing being accused of Dracula’s murder. Gloria Holden is fabulous as the Countess. The sets and camera work are strong even though it’s obvious they didn’t have a great deal of money to work with.
I’m sure that Dracula needed a sequel but this film makes a worthy attempt and the results it’s a likable film. It has a few holes and flaws, but the main cast and a story that plays off of vampire lure set in the first film help it through.
No, I am afraid that the arrow does not go with your outfit.