Day 26 – Dracula’s Ghost (2017)

2018 Countdown to Halloween – Day 28: Dracula’s Ghost (2017)
Cast:        Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula
Lionel Atwill as Dr. Otto Von Neimann
Fay Wray as Ruth Bertin
Melvyn Douglas as Karl Brettschneider
Dwight Frye as Herman Gleib

Produced by C.S. Lamb

Plot: Who is responsible for the bodies being found drained of their blood? Vampires are rumored to be lurking in the village. Is it the odd fellow named Herman? Or is it the legendary Count Dracula?

Richard’s Review: I knew going into the film that this was a love letter to the classic horror genre. Producer C.S. Lamb had created this 54 minute flick using mostly footage from The Vampire Bat (1933), while adding clips from other public domain sources to slightly change the story so that the villain of the piece is Count Dracula. I also knew it was intended to look like some long lost worn film print. So, knowing all that, does it work?

The film print quality is indeed rough at times with some very dark scenes that leave it hard to tell what is going on. Unfortunately, the production quality is low too, which really hurts the presentation. The story flows rather well despite the repetitive clips of Count Dracula. But, with nobody ever mentioning the name of Dracula at any point, the story becomes disjointed. The ending is very rushed and makes no sense but this should have been expected considering the small amount of Dracula footage Lamb could use.

Another writer and producer are credited, which may be real names or not, but the original writers and directors are not mentioned at all, which is a major oversight. Proper credit should have been given. Lamb does promote this film as a novelty and is very upfront that it is not high definition. Yet, the cover is very well done, leaving one to think it’s worth the high price tag of $20. Unfortunately, it is not. My DVD had a minor production glitch and no image on the burned DVD. I loved the spirit in which this was made but it should be free on YouTube. Maybe worth $5 but not the $23.50 I paid for it. Therefore, I cannot recommend adding this to your collection.

Karla’s Thoughts: There is definitely some great atmosphere buried in the overly dark print. It’s so dark at times that it’s hard to make out what is happening. There is little character development, which is common to cheap films of the time period. Despite that, it was an interesting film but the ending, or lack thereof, was greatly disappointing. I’d watch it again if it’s on TV but I wouldn’t seek it out.

Trivia:

  • Producer C.S. Lamb created this “lost” classic using mostly elements from The Vampire Bat (1933) and Bela Lugosi snippets from the Dracula (1931) trailer and White Zombie (1932), amongst other sources.

Availability: Dracula’s Ghost is available on DVD from the creator on eBay.

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