Dracula’s Daughter (1936)

Conversely, here I think we do have a sequel that beats the original. Not to say that this is a great film, necessarily, but it struck me tonight as being better than I recalled the last time I watched it… It’s rather plainly made, to be sure, having been a victim of Universal imploding in the mid-30s; with the studio spending rather above its means, the initially high budget got slashed and the A-list cast went with it, and once uncle Carl had the studio removed from his control the whole horror genre at Universal got slashed too for a while under the new ownership. Still, though it’s basically a B picture, efficiently if much less personally made than Whale’s films, it’s quite good entertainment, and the plot’s attempt to make the vampire sympathetic (a victim of Dracula trying to free herself from his curse) is interesting, to say nothing of the lesbian, or at least bisexual, overtones, which were more than tacitly acknowledged in the studio’s advertising. Like Dracula, we may wonder what might’ve been had original plans come to fruition (I only discovered tonight that James Whale was originally slated to direct it), but what we have is still worth watching.

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