I’ve been a member of the Alamo Drafthouse Victory program for a few years. I got an email about a free screening of a 1931 Spanish-language version of Dracula, and decided to reserve a couple of seats by buying the five dollar meal vouchers.
I drove down to Houston Sunday, and got out to Katy to the new Alamo Drafthouse. It had been a couple of years since I went to Houston for a screening, and they have since closed the one I went to back then. Ah, well…
I do like the new place, and will have a write up about it soon.
There was a Dracula specific preshow for the film, as well as an introduction from the program director.
Now, real quick – this version of Bram Stroker’s Dracula was filmed at the same time using the same sets as the Bela Lugosi classic, just with a Spanish cast, with actors from Mexico, Spain, and Cuba. And its about a half hour longer than the English language version. Its been quite awhile since I watch the English version, so I can’t say right off what the differences would be between the two of ’em.
Count Dracula has a lawyer handle an estate rental, and travels overseas to take over an estate next to an asylum. After witnessing Dracula feed on the ship’s crew, the lawyer, Renfield, goes insane & is housed in the asylum. The vampire targets the asylum’s doctor and his daughter even while Van Helsing discovers the count’s secret nature.
For such an older film, it was fairly well done. Yes, you can see the strings on the bat, on the spider. Yes, there is some overacting, especially from Eduardo Arozamena’s Van Helsing & his reaction shots. But Pablo Alvarez Rubio’s Renfield is a clear highlight of the movie.
I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, and I’m glad I went to see it.