In 1918, an English family are terrorized by a vampire, until they learn how to deal with it. They think their troubles are over, but German bombs in WWII free the monster. He reclaims the soul of his wolfman ex-servant, and assuming the identity of a scientist who has just escaped from a concentration camp, he starts out on a plan to get revenge upon the family.Written by
Ken Yousten <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The action of the prologue takes place beginning 15 October 1918, while the balance of the film takes place in late summer, early autumn of 1940 (according the the Regent Hall concert program shown). See more »
When the gravediggers remove the stake from Tesla's chest, it's tossed aside inside the coffin, where it makes a metal clanging sound (the stake also appeared to be metal). Earlier, the professor clearly stated that the vampire can only be killed with a wooden stake. See more »
In 1918 Lady Jane Amsley (Freida Inescort) helps kill Armand Tesla (Bela Lugosi) with a stake through the heart and reform his werewolf helper Andreas (don't ask). 26 years later Tesla's stake is accidentally removed during a Nazi bombing and he decides to take revenge on Lady Amsley--through her son and his bride to be (Nina Foch).
I saw this many times on TV as a kid and loved it. Seeing it as an adult it (sadly) doesn't hold up. The lapses in logic in the plot that I happily ignored in my youth come glaring out now. For starters--a WEREWOLF assistant? How? And why? Also the makeup on Andreas is pretty laughable. And it seems he does Tesla's laundry (!!!) too. How did all the fog get in the house when Tesla goes after Nicki? And a stake in a heart doesn't totally kill a vampire? Lugosi also looks pretty terrible here--but he was in his 60s and a drug addict.
As for the good things--the acting is good. Inescort and Foch are very good and Lugosi is excellent (but he always was). Matt Willis is also pretty good as Andreas. The movie looks great and is very atmospheric. Also I like how they worked WWII into the story. I LOVE the glowing crucifix on the organ (always impressed me as a kid) and the final scene is memorable.
This is probably remembered as one of the three times that Lugosi played an actual vampire--the other two were "Dracula" and "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein" ("Mark of the Vampire" doesn't count). Overall it's OK but the gaps in logic were too big for me to forget. It's OK viewing--just turn your brain off.
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