(Review originally written at 9 July 2005)

I'm not going to spoil anything for you but the story was much different from what I expected it to be. The ending was highly original to say the least. One of the first real surprise endings for a movie in movie history? I wouldn't at all be surprised if this was the case.

The movie is a sort of remake of "London After Midnight" from 1927, also directed by Tod Browning. A literally still as of today lost movie, with Lon Chaney in the main part. The movie starts of as a typical Dracula movie, with once more Bela Lugosi in the role as the Count, as the movie progresses the story is taking a twist, which I'm not going to spoil.

Lugosi fans don't get high hopes. Lugosi's role is fairly small and he doesn't have any lines (untill the ending). Still true fans should be able to still appreciate his presence and grimaces. The real main character is played by Lionel Barrymore. It can't exactly say that I'm happy about this to be fair. I really don't like this acting and he was even irritating me at points. I would have had much more preferred to see Edward Van Sloan reprise his Van Helsing role. Afer all Professor Zelin and Van Helsing are basically the same sort of characters so I don't understand why they didn't tried to get Van Sloan back, to reprise his role? It was kind of fun to see Lionel Atwill in this. Atwill has played various roles in dozens of Dracula and Frankenstein movies, before and after this one.

Horror fans will most likely be disappointed by this movie and perhaps will even feel cheated afterward. Still this movie is a 'little classic' that deserves some more recognition, were it alone for the daring and unusual twist in the movie. And oh, I just love the final lines of Lugosi in this movie!


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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