A Sequel's 1936 Dose From Universal
Was This Daughter A Patch On Dracula?
Censorship stripped horror to bones after PCA enforce took hold. You couldn't say Boo without arousing them. Wild-wooly first drafts for Dracula's Daughter were ground to chalk by Breen's bunch, what finally got on screens denuded to pabulum by timid monster merchants. All they could do was beef advertising and instill hope of thrills increasingly unfilled. Did chillers fade partly for a public tiring of mislabeled product? I've made allowance for Dracula's Daughter since 1964's first encounter, that being tough sometimes for friends' insistence (repeated) that it's a dog. Sometimes age opens eyes and not-so-belated appreciation (I'd come around to DD's spell not long after childish letdown). There was apparently many a false start to production, Bela Lugosi intended for reprise of his vampire king, but all we've got of him are on-set visit posing with title lead Gloria Holden.
D's Daughter seeks vampirism cure via precode rake Otto Kruger, horror fans' appreciation for him surely increased for modern exposure to all and sundry character triumph among other than monsters. Kruger's Dr. Garth is impatient here, as well the actor may have been with DD's far-out content. Edward Van Sloan gets a better whack at Van Helsing than the original Dracula allowed, thanks to five years and talkie progress in the interim. Gloria seduces Nan Grey to latter-day delight of subtext-seekers: it's there in Holden's appreciative gaze and our wistful imagining of possibility. So much of classic horror is earnest reading between lines. An always Universal greatness was houses (or castles) beautiful in which monsters dwelt, making their constraint otherwise matter less. We could turn down volume on these and still get our kicks. Atmosphere is where quality DVD really pays, and better still are those Uni chillers so far on Blu-Ray and others being streamed. My next view of Dracula's Daughter will hopefully be HD-enhanced for further dose of revelation.