Blu-ray Review: The Return Of Dracula

return of dracula blu

The Return of Dracula was directed by Paul Landres from a script by Pat Fiedler. The film stars Francis Lederer, Norma Eberhardt, Ray Stricklyn, Virginia Vincent, John Wengraf, Gage Clarke, Jimmy Baird and Greta Granstedt.

For those who like their vampires with that certain European panache, The Return of Dracula is sure to thrill. Francis Lederer 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. Quicker than you can say “I like my stake rare,” The Count … er … Gordal is up to his old nocturnal tricks and comes under the scrutiny of young Rachel Mayberry (Norma Eberhardt) whom Gordal has set his sights on, which may be her undoing.

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We’ve gotten so many different incarnations of Dracula over the years it’s hard to remember most of them, mainly because most of them were really bad movie. The memorable classics have lived on and the rest have pretty much been forgotten about. The Return of Dracula is one of the more obscurities featuring the Count and the reason why is because the movie really isn’t that good of a watch. It’s actually pretty boring until the finale where Bellac tries to charm Rachel and thankfully the locals intervene and the charming fiend is stopped. I have a small issue with the acting too because old movies like this were notorious for actors overacting and this one is no different. Not all of the actors were guilty of this, but it’s evident on screen that a few of them simply overdid it. There’s really no special effects or anything like that in this movie but we do get to see a little blood gushing in this black and white feature.

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The front of the packaging features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details and some images. The Blu-ray features the movie logo and a pair of matching evil eyes. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were really good. I did notice some grain in a few scenes but considering the age and obscurity of this old movie that’s easily forgiven. Aside from that, I didn’t have any other issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, The Return of Dracula is one of the more obscure Dracula titles and the reason being is probably because the movie really isn’t that good of a watch and is way too tame. Francis Lederer just didn’t look the part as Count Dracula who was posing as cousin Bellac Gordal. This outing deals more with the gullible family that takes in this undead stranger who is pretending to be their distant relative than the evil that’s prowling around in their small town. Sure, the vampire has some screen time and he gets to take a bite out of a few victims, but it’s just not enough to keep the movie interesting and that’s unfortunate. The big question is, does this obscure Dracula movie deserve to be dusted off and given this new release? Yes, because it’s still a small part of Dracula’s cinematic history. 1958’s The Return of Dracula will make its Blu-ray debut on October 18th courtesy of Olive Films who did a really good job with this high-def release.

Distributor: Olive Films

Run Time: 78 Minutes

Rated: PG

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1) B&W

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: 

  • Trailer (02:13)

 

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