This was the third installment in the Dracula franchise. Unlike the second, Dracula’s Daughter, there is not much striving to be unique. The bloodthirsty count had already been killed off, and done in such a way that he could not return. That was the admirable decision I blogged about in the last review. However, the filmmakers realized they needed to bring him back. So what do they do? Come up with a Son of Dracula, played here by Lon Chaney Jr. The result is a similar story to the original, only it is set in the bayous of the deep south as the count attempts to control a woman he falls in love with.
The new vampire’s name is Count Alucard. In one cringe-inducing moment, a character who senses something is not right blurts out, “Alucard is Dracula spelled backwards!” Such an ambigram is as creative as Son of Dracula gets. One thing that is not clear is, who is this Count? As the title and early part of the movie suggests, it would be Dracula’s actual son. By the end of the movie, he is portrayed as being Dracula incarnate. It does not really matter, and neither notion would affect the outcome or the overall plot.
Normally, this is where I would summarize the film in question in greater detail. But here, there is no need. It’s Dracula running around biting and seducing, whilst everyone and their mother is out to destroy him. The only remarkable thing about Son of Dracula is the performance of Lon Chaney Jr. I can’t stand the mustache, but his tall and imposing physique is something which would set a trend for future Counts. Bela Lugosi, in all his glory, was delicate and almost fragile. He was dapper and suave. Chaney is tall, strapping, and powerful. He is full of an underlying anger. It’s not quite the rage and tenacity of Christopher Lee, but I cannot help but feel Lee was indeed influenced more by Chaney than any other portrayal of Count Dracula. 5.5 out of 10 stars.
Also starring Robert Paige, Louise Allbritton, Evelyn Ankers, and Frank Craven. Directed by Robert Siodmak.