25 April 2014

Dracula's Daughter (1936)
72 min.
Directed by Lambert Hillyer.
With Gloria Holden, Otto Kruger, Edward Van Sloan, Marguerite Churchill, Irving Pichel, Nan Grey, Gilbert Emery, Hedda Hopper.
Holden is a standout in this first sequel to Tod Browning's classic Dracula (1931).

At Carfax Abbey, vampire expert Dr. Van Helsing (Van Sloan) offers up the bodies of Dracula and Renfield to the disbelieving London authorities.

But when Dracula's corpse is stolen from the police morgue, things begin to look even weirder to Scotland Yard.

Meanwhile, the mysterious Countess Marya Zaleska (Holden) has taken up residence in London, and seeks the help of noted psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Garth (Kruger).

Seems Zaleska is *really* Dracula's very own neck-biting vampire daughter, and she hopes Garth can use modern psychiatry to release her from the horrible curse of blooddrinking that torments her every waking moment.

Yeah, like that'll work.

Of course, until she finds a cure, she can always feed off a handful of helpless streetwalkers around town!

This 1936 followup is surprisingly good on nearly all fronts: there's confident direction from Hillyer, a sympathetic but powerful performance from Holden, loads of moody ambience, and excellent supporting work from Kruger, Pichel and Churchill.

By far, the best scene is Holden's thirst-wracked seduction of poor model Grey.

Followed by Son of Dracula (1943) with Lon Chaney, Jr.

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