Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Son of Dracula (1943, Robert Siodmak)


The old Universal Studios monster movies were a lot of fun even if not all of them were really good or great. Son of Dracula is a pretty decent flick, very film noir and has Dracula pretending to be a count in a swampy backwater town. This place doesn’t believe in vampires but they’re about to rather quickly. He commences to romancing a local wealthy belle (Louise Allbritton)who owns that kind of giant old mansion you see in period type pieces.

Her boyfriend (Robert Paige) to be refuses to give her up without a fight, and I enjoyed Lon Chaney, Jr. in the title role although for some reason they didn’t let him do too much vampire activity. Perhaps it was limited by the ratings board, or the movie lacked the budget. Still there are some wonderful black and white shots that echo in my brain even if the story is a bit thin.

I’ll give the flick props for the ending, which was a bit different than I expected, and for being mostly well paced despite being a tad slow in certain parts. I encourage folks to check this out anyways, as Son of Dracula is one of those old school movies that clearly influenced later horror pictures, for better or for worse.

Let’s Get Criterion Presents: I Married a Witch (1942)


I had a crush on Veronica Lake before I saw this movie, all thanks to This Gun For Hire. She is much better in I Married a Witch, as she is front and center and runs the show. Fredric March is the descendant of the people who burned her and her father at the stake, nevermind that the Salem Witches were hanged instead. Magically reborn, she seeks revenge yet makes the classic romantic comedy mistake of falling in love.

This movie is based strongly on wit, classy jokes and a good amount of silly moments that are delightful. The movie does coast a lot on its good charm, yet that was enough for me. Lake and March have solid chemistry together and I was left satisfied and with the feeling that I Married a Witch will grow on me during a second viewing. Perhaps even during a third. They still make movies like this, sure, however it is not quite the same.

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