Son of Dracula (1943)

Son of Dracula is notable in its unusually large number of black characters — five speaking parts — although all of them are marginal, not even important enough to be neck-bite victims. It’s indicative of the time: all of the black people are servants, but at least they’re not particularly demeaning characters. They’re flat, reactionary, just there.

As for the plot, it’s less Son of Dracula than Inferior Version of Dracula. Dracula (Lon Chaney, Jr.), cleverly disguised as Alucard (If you hold his name up to a mirror, will anything appear?), comes to the US for the fertile blood and soil of the New World. He settles down with Louisiana plantation owner and vampire groupie Katherine Caldwell (Louise Albritton), who marries him because she wants to live forever; she wants to learn how to fly — high. She feels it coming together; people will see her and cry. FAME!

Chaney is a laughable Dracula: dull and supposedly Romanian, but with an accent more American than the American characters — something akin to Kevin Costner in Robin Hood. Still, it’s an attractive film, but when the central character is so ridiculous, who cares?

“Just smile and take the hat, man. Nothing going on here.”
“I like asses.”


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