31 Days of Horror Part II: Day 24 – Dracula (1931)

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Director: Tod Browning

Cast: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan

Screenplay: Garrett Fort

85 mins. Not Rated.

 

Tonight, I wanted a classic. In the most simplistic and understandable way. I chose Dracula.

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When Mr. Renfield (Dwight Frye, Frankenstein, Drums of Fu Manchu) arrives at Castle Dracula to meet the mysterious Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi, White Zombie, Bride of the Monster), he succumbs to the Count’s convincing and becomes his slave. The Count is a vampire, a demonic force who feeds on the blood of the living, and he is heading to London to live in his new home at Carfax Abbey, where he meets Mina (Helen Chandler, The Last Flight, Christopher Strong), Johnathan Harker (David Manners, The Mummy, The Black Cat), Lucy, and Doctor Seward. As the Count begins claiming new victims, the equally strange Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan, Mission to Moscow, A Shot in the Dark) must do all he can to stop him.

Dracula is downright brilliant in so many ways. I love the lead performance from Lugosi and Van Sloan. The two play off each other so well. Dwight Frye’s work as the turned Renfield is also terrifying and unsettling even today.

Dracula continues to impress, and I suggest watching this film back-to-back with the Spanish language version (both made on the same sets at the same time). I also suggest viewing the film with the newer score from Philip Glass. Seriously, what are you doing right now? You should be watching this.

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I’m sorry. I shouldn’t tell you what to do. No wait, I don’t care. See the damn movie!

 

5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

For more 31 Days of Horror, click here.

31 Days of Horror Part II: Day 21 [Bottom 100 Wednesday] – #31: The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)

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Director: Coleman Francis

Cast: Tor Johnson, Conrad Brooks, Douglas Mellor, Barbara Francis, Bing Stafford

Screenplay: Coleman Francis

54 mins. Not Rated.

IMDb Bottom 100: #31 (as of 10/21/2015)

 

This week, I looked back at a classic (or anti-classic) of the science-fiction horror genre: The Beast of Yucca Flats. This film isn’t actually as bad as it seems. It still is boring as hell and very confusing, but when people have compared it to Plan 9 from Outer Space, I could disagree. Still a terrible film, but we’ll get to that.

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Joseph Javorsky (Tor Johnson, Bride of the Monster, Plan 9 from Outer Space) is a defecting KGB agent who has just been hit by a nuclear radiation blast and has now become The Beast, a monstrous man who is murdering the hell out of random strangers. That’s. About. It.

In this film from the terrible writer/director Coleman Francis (Night Train to Mundo Fine, The Skydivers), we get to see an underwhelmingly underdeveloped story with the notoriously terrible Tor Johnson at the forefront. This film doesn’t bother me so much with its many inconsistencies, but more so with the boredom I felt from its 54-minute runtime.

I have very little else to say about this piece of shit. So let’s cover the redeemability…possibly.

 

But is it Good?

No. Not the worst film of all time, mind you, but rather bad.

 

Can it be Fun?

I’d keep the MST3K version for fun. The film has almost no dialogue, so you can get the best experience.

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The Beast of Yucca Flats is truly awful (Ed Wood levels of awful). Yeah. Real bad.

 

1.5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

For more 31 Days of Horror, click here.

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