Retro Review: Son of Dracula (1943)

Back to the Universal sequels.  Son of Dracula with Lon Chaney Jr., strange movie, but it is actually pretty damned good.  I bought a Dracula Double Feature with Dracula’s Daughter and Son of Dracula.  The menu popped up and I clicked on what I thought was Dracula’s Daughter, turns out, I was watching Son of Dracula.  I was watching and Lon Chaney popped up and I was confused, especially when they called him Count Alucard…Dracula backwards.  This is the third part of the Dracula trilogy, Dracula’s Daughter being the second movie.

I was pleasantly surprised with this movie.  The story was to my liking and I could tell, years ago these movies could be more “mystery thriller”.  I can see how they could have terrified people in the 1940s.  To me, the Universal films are still entertaining, even when seeing them multiple times.  A few years ago I finally saw Son of Frankenstein and loved it.  I think you have to be mentally prepared for the movies.

Son of Dracula, to me, it has a smart story, good writing.  Count Alucard arrives in America and is invited by Katherine.  The movie takes place in New Orleans, which is great.  Count Alucard comes the night Katherine’s father dies of heart failure and leaves his estate to his daughters, “Dark Oaks”.  Katherine eventually marries Alucard and her boyfriend Frank confronts them.  He is attacked by Alucard and Frank shoots him.  The bullets pass through Alucard and seemingly hit Katherine, who is standing behind him.  Frank thinks he has killed her, but Alucard has already turned her into a vampire.

Annex - Chaney Jr., Lon (Son of Dracula)_04

There is a strange plot twist that really works.  We think Alucard has Katherine under his control, nope.  She is manipulating him into making her a vampire to have eternal life, which she would then share with Frank.  The story is a little bold for its time and I am not sure if it came off that way.  I really enjoyed this movie along with the characters, even if a few came off stiff.  Seeing Lon Chaney Jr. as Dracula or Alucard was a little strange, but as the film goes on, it works well.  He is no Bela Lugosi, but not too bad.

The special effects were surprisingly well done for a movie in the 1940s.  The mist effect and the usage of the mist effect worked very well.  The other thing I thought was a stand out, the score was nice and creepy.  The Gothic setting wasn’t there, but the music brought the Gothic, creepy sound.  It was a nice touch.

I liked this movie and yes, I totally recommend.  It is a little slow, but there is something about it that works.  If you haven’t, Halloween time would be perfect for a Dracula trilogy viewing.  I will be doing this for sure in October.

IMDB.com has a rating of 6.2

I give this a flat 7.0, surprised and I enjoyed this very much.

I have dug in to four Black and White, Universal movies the last few days and it has been fun.  I also watched She-Wolf of London, Dracula and the Invisible Man.  All quality films and it is time to get back to the roots of horror.

About Ray Marek III 409 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)