Return Of Dracula (1958/United Artists/Olive Films Blu-ray)
B+ Sound: B+ Extras: D Film: C
director Paul Landres (who directed episodes of The Lone Ranger
and The Vampire) brings his vision to the 1958 Vampiric tale
The Return of Dracula - that doesn't really add much to the
history of the character or try anything new but is still a gorgeous
looking black and white film that especially looks good on Blu-ray
disc. With a terrific score that reminds me a lot of Stanley
Kubrick's The Shining in terms of its theme, the film also
boasts a decent cast with Francis Lederer (Terror is a Man) as
Dracula, Norma Eberhardt (Problem Girls), and Ray Stricken
(The Lost World).
go into this expecting a lot of blood and gore or Hammer-like
imagery, this Dracula is more European and non-traditional. In fact,
one reason this film didn't get as much attention upon its initial
release was because of Christopher Lee's iconic rise to stardom and
taking over of the Dracula role that same year which, in all
honestly, Horror of Dracula is a far superior film not only in
terms of production design and gothic imagery, but cinematically as
Return of Dracula centers around Count Dracula (Lederer) who goes
under the name Bellac Gordal (much like how Lon Chaney Jr's Dracula
went under a different name in Son of Dracula) and travels
across the world from Transylvania to America (California to be a
fact, surprise surprise) to meet Cora - member of the Mayberry Family
and aims to make her daughter Rachel Mayberry (Eberhardt) his new
Vampiric Bride. Wise to the fact that the Count isn't all he seems,
Rachel soon becomes helpless to the powers of the Nocturnal stranger.
film looks like it was shot last week on Blu-ray disc - shining in
1080p black and white 1.85 X 1 high definition image that adds to the
film's charm for me personally. The sound mix has been remastered in
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 lossless Mono and sounds as good as it
can. The film is in great shape considering its age, with impeccable
detail on the contrasty shadows and skin textures.
only extra is the trailer - which makes the film out to be a bit
creepier than it actually is.
seen just about every Dracula film, this one would go lower on my
list but the presentation here is pretty top notch.
long while ago, Film Score Monthly issued the soundtrack to this film
on CD that also included Gerald Fried's music scores for I Bury
The Living, The Cabinet of Caligari (1962), and Mark of
the Vampire. It is a Limited Edition limited to only 2,500
copies and is still in print as of this posting. You can read
more about it at this link...