Moody, dark, gothic..no, NOT my ex GF, but this classic movie adaption of the stage play based on one of the most boring novels ever written.Lets be honest the novel "Dracula" would put a hard core insomniac to sleep faster than John DeJong scores heroin at an InSync concert. I mean it, the novel is a crashing bore.
The stage version, as well as this, the film, rock. Why? Because the novel's padded fluff of Romanian court life and Victorian politics has been stripped away to leave what is core: The dark, foreboding tale of the undead.
And WHAT an undead.
Bela Lugosi, creating THE ABSOLUTE most famous character in cinema history, chews his role and sucks it dry. He IS Dracula (the Dracula of the play and novel, NOT a vampire like Max Schrek or Willem Dafoe playing Max Schreck) He oozes Eastern European charm and wit, while his fangs glisten for YOUR BLOOOOOD!
Dark sets and moody music add to the tight direction, and the sound effects, years ahead of their time in the early 30's, only make things worse (by which i mean better). Case in point..the creaking stairs, the crack of the door as it opens, the almost inaudible breathing of Dracula AS HE SPEAKS.
A brief note: A Spanish version, using the same script, sets, and costumes, was filmed alongside the English production. The Spanairds shot at night, the English during the day. By all account, the Spanish version (which features different actors)which was directed by George Melford.A bit long in the tooth, but still the king..numero uno, the grandfather, the MAN, the HVIC (Head Vampire In Charge) and he would RIP Buffy to shreds.