100 Years of Horror: Dracula and His Disciples (1996)
*** (out of 4)
This episode in the series takes a look at the various actors to play Dracula over the years. We start off with a brief history of the book Dracula and then move to the best silent version, NOSFERATU, which ended up getting pulled from screens back in the day. A few of the plays are mentioned but we then get to Bela Lugosi who would play the role on stage before going to Universal for the 1931 film. From this point on we look at his other attempts at playing "vampires" in such films as MARK OF THE VAMPIRE and THE RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE. The films of John Carradine (HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN/Dracula) are also discussed and then we hit Christopher Lee and his Hammer versions (for whatever reason the Franco films is left out).
Those die-hard horror fans probably aren't going to learn anything they don't already know but that's not a nitpick at the film. The quality of this documentary is very good and I think it did an excellent job giving a quick (22-minute) rundown of the genre and the various men who have played the role. There are clips from all of the movies and we even get some outtake material to ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN and screen tests for Dracula. Those interviewed include Bela Lugosi, Jr., Christopher Lee (who also hosts), Roy Ward Baker, Peter Cushing, John Carradine, Nina Foch, Hugh Hefner, Caroline Munro and plenty others.
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