For an introduction to the concept of 61 Days of Halloween, as well as a list of previously featured titles, please go here.
Son of Dracula (1943)
As I mentioned in the previous post about this series of films, and in other prior, one wants something a little different in the sequels to an original success; not so different that the intentions of the film have changed, but different enough to avoid rote repetition. The Dracula series from Universal, if nothing else, at least accomplished the goal of always offering up something different in its sequels.
How this film changes things up is not just making it about the Son of Dracula rather than his daughter but the approach becomes different as well. The film becomes one about a love triangle, and a Film Noir-like plot hatched by one of the characters involved, and, yes, a touch of madness as well, which is par for the course.
This is what lends the spark and intrigue to the tale, how vampirism is used in the motivations of the characters. It’s also interesting that here shifting the tale from England to America, thus, taking much of the Gothic element out is addressed as part of the story, and is part of the new count’s motivation and not just ignored. There is a touch of the old world through a supporting character who functions fairly well; not just as that link but also for needed expository information.
This is also the first of two consecutive films in the series that will feature Lon Chaney, Jr. However, true to the form of the series, and of Chaney’s career; he will not be Dracula in the next one.
As third installments in series go this is a pretty darn good one overall and has quite a bit of intrigue to it.