Monster of the Day #1168

Stupid bad Internet connection. Anyway, here’s today’s entry, about 12 hours late.

This fairly obscure film is sort of interesting because it does what the Night Stalker TV movie did with far greater success; updating gothic vampires and bringing them to modern day America. While Universal brought it’s monsters to the modern day, it was always in fairy tale-ish settings, like the Bayou or the fog-drenched plantation house in Son of Dracula. This film brought the Count to middle class California–it’s really sort of a riff on Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt (a great film)–and pointed the way for a lot of horror films to come, including titles made today.

Amusingly, again because of the Shadow of a Doubt thing, the film has similar plot elements to Billy the Kid vs. Dracula, with the Count assuming the identity of the uncle of a pretty young thing he intends to make his bride.

The actor reprised the role of Dracula in a Night Gallery episode adapted from a Manley Wade Wellman story.

  • If I recall correctly, it kind of falls a part at the climax, but it really was decent. Maybe not Horror of Dracula (it’s competitor) but pretty good.

  • Ken_Begg

    Yes, being released the same year as HoD really did this one no favors.

  • bgbear_rnh

    Makes me think that Joseph Cotten would have made a good vampire. Orson Wells too.

  • zombiewhacker

    IIRC, the star Francis Lederer also inadvertently ushered in the Filipino horror craze when he starred in Terror Is A Man (although technically that sub-genre didn’t get into full swing until at least a decade later.)

  • Rock Baker

    The same year also saw AIP’s female teenage vampire movie, BLOOD OF DRACULA. It was a good time for monster movie fans!

  • Eric Hinkle

    Dumb question, which movie is this?

    And that Manly Wade Wellman episode, was it ‘The Devil Is Not Mocked’? With Dracula and the gang versus the Nazis?

  • The Return of Dracula and yes, it’s “The Devil is Not Mocked.”

  • Eric Hinkle

    Thanks. From Wikipedia it says that this film was almost forgotten when later that same year the first Lee Dracula was released. Just looking above I can see how this had a hard time measuring up to Christopher Lee.