The Drudgeon reviews Dracula’s Daughter

Dracula's Daughteraka Daughter Of Dracula
71 min., 1936
Written by Garrett Fort
Directed by Lambert Hillyer
Language: English
My rating: ★★

Interesting sequel but overall pretty boring.

* * *

The movie picks up right after the events of Dracula.  Two bumbling cops enter the scene and see a dead Renfield and Von Helsing (Edward Von Sloan) being very proud of himself after driving the stake through Dracula’s heart.  Helsing is arrested and brought to Scotland Yard where he is told that he is going to be tried for the murder of Dracula, but Helsing has no worries because what he did was necessary.  He calls on his former student Dr. Jeffrey Garth (Otto Kruger) to come to his defense.  We then switch to a woman who is talking about her suffering being over because Dracula is dead.  Her name is Marya Zaleska (Gloria Holden), but her servant Sandor (Irving Pichel) still insists that she is evil and that nothing will change that.  Jeffrey and his secretary Janet (Marguerite Churchill) go to a party where Jeffrey meets Marya and they hit it off.  Marya wants his help to stop her dark emotions but Sandor doesn’t seem to like that idea.  Can Marya, the daughter of Dracula, beat the same feelings that her father had, or is she forever trapped in the life of a vampire?

Considering the year that the movie comes from, the acting has actually aged very well.  Gloria Holden does a great job portraying her struggle to be human but suffering by being a vampire.  There are times where she does slip up, but it’s nothing that takes away from her performance.  Marguerite Churchill is another one that is completely comfortable in her skin and in her role.  She seems to be the one of the group that is having the most fun with her part and she is a joy every time she is on screen.  On the opposite end is Irving Pichel.  He is way too stiff with his role and just when he seems to be slipping into the realm of enjoyable, he suddenly realizes what is going on and steps back into cardboard mode.  In the middle is Otto Kruger.  He can do a great job, but there are times when he is just painful to watch.

There are virtually no effects in the movie and that is okay because there wasn’t any real need for any.

My overall feel for this movie is very blah with sprinkles of interest.  Coming from Dracula where he embraces his vampire life and moving to Dracula’s Daughter where she wants nothing to do with it was an interesting choice.  They decided to take a different approach and it does work on a few levels, but on others it just doesn’t pick up any steam.  You do feel for Marya and it does seem that she really does want to live a normal human life and that’s where the movie really works.  Then we have the “relationship” between her and Jeffrey which takes a very forced turn.  Instead of fighting to be human as she has been, all of a sudden she wants to make him into a vampire and live with him forever.  It just a very uneven turn of events and it left me very annoyed.  Then again you can enjoy this movie for Marguerite Churchill alone, she is just fantastic.

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About The Drudgeon

I don't remember my real name or where I came from. All I know is that I'm traped in an underground cave with nothing but a TV, DVD player and a notebook and pen. They keep calling me The Drudgeon, I don't even know what that means. Someone keeps dropping horror movies in and yelling at me to watch them and write about what I watch. Then I eat the DVD and case, because they tell me if I consume the horror I will understand the horror. I think there are three of them. So if you are reading this right now, HELP ME!!!!!!! OUCH!!!! Someone just poked me with a sea urchin attacked to a pool cue, what the fuck is going on?
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