The Return Of Dracula (1958) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Paul Landres
Starring: Francis Lederer, Norma Eberhardt, Ray Stricklyn,
Rated: PG/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Olive Films
For those who like their vampires with that certain European panache, The Return of Dracula is sure to thrill. Francis Lederer (Terror is a Man) stars as the titular Count – this time using the pseudonym Bellac Gordal – as he travels from his Transylvania home to the United States. In the guise of being a distant relative on vacation, The Count takes up residence at the home of the Mayberry family in sunny California.
This old school black and white take on Dracula shows us the adventures of the Count after he off’s someone and then takes his place with his American family. The family not knowing any better welcomes him on in and then we watch as Dracula basically does what Dracula does and it’s a fun movie for the most part but isn’t as good as some other black and white horror films featuring Dracula you’ve probably seen. I think we have a good enough Dracula but and I am a fan of the overall look of the film. As a matter of fact, I think Olive does a great job with the transfer here and it only goes to make the atmosphere of this one be more front and center. Which that same atmosphere is probably the best thing this one has to offer up at the end of the day. It has mood and it has some style. I’m not going to say it isn’t cool seeing Dracula try to pull one over on a whole family but the movie isn’t without some very noticeable flaws.
The biggest issue I have with this one is that the movie isn’t the fastest moving film you’ll find out there. While the mood is certainly a positive, the thing also tends to spend a little bit of time, perhaps too much time, moving things along and that could be a choir for anyone who isn’t just super hardcore about watching another Dracula movie. For 1958 this one manages to do some nice stuff but I’m just not sure if I’d say it does enough for me to make me want to go back and check it out very often, especially with other great vampire movies out there that you’ll probably want to see a bit more often. But if you do check this one out you’ll at least get a good transfer and a pretty cool Dracula performance. The rest is a bit too much hit and miss for my overall taste.
Quality of Transfer: 88%