Thursday, October 5, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: Drácula (1931)

Drácula (1931)
Ok. So LAST night was supposed to be Foreign Language and tonight was supposed to be Twist. I got them reversed.

It works out because when I was planning on watching Spanish language movies, there was one that I knew I HAD to watch. The 1931 Universal Studios Spanish language Drácula.

Drácula (1931)

I watched this one all the way back in 2010. I wanted to rewatch it this time just listening to the Spanish. I have to admit, I was very, very pleased.

First, it flows better. Reading the English captions caused me to miss so much the first time.

Secondly, I am pleased with how my Spanish is progressing. 

Here is part of my original take on the movie, if anything, it is even more true now.

The differences are subtle but still noticeable.

This production for example seemed to learn from the mistakes of the previous day's shooting.  Also, because the censors didn't care about the Spanish version, they got away with more sex appeal.  For example, the dresses revealed more cleavage, and Lupita Tovar's performance as Eva (Mina) in general. There is a great documentary feature on the DVD with Tovar where she talks about how she liked her costumes more than the "conservative" American ones.

I am glad I finally got to see it. Carlos Villarias will never really get mentioned in the same breath as Bela Lugosi, save as a comparison, and his acting was not great.  But there is something about the roll that he also made his own; despite what looks and sounds like a Bela Lugosi impression. In Spanish.

I give Villarias some more credit now that I could actually understand what he was saying. But the set was just amazing.

Now I want a Dracula/Zorro crossover set in 1836 where Dracula decides to first go to Alta California before his trip to Victorian England.  "El Conde Drácula contra el Zorro!"

ETA: I guess this was a comic in the 1990s! Though this time Dracula and Zorro meet each other halfway in Spain. Makes sense to me.

Have to remember that tomorrow night is Anthology.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 6
First Time Views: 2

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge


PT Dilloway said...

So instead of just redubbing the English version they actually used different actors to reshoot it? Seems more expensive. Probably why they don't do that anymore. Also they make them in so many languages now it'd be ridiculously expensive to have to reshoot for every single one.

Recently on the Pluto TV Rifftrax channel I watched Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace that was made in Germany. The weird thing is Holmes is played by Christopher Lee, who obviously knows English, and yet when they redubbed it for English, they used a different voice for him.

Anyway, I hope Villarias' life had a better ending than Lugosi's. And a Dracula/Zorro crossover would be pretty great.

doccarnby said...

I got the big old Universal Horror Legacy collection and watched them in release order several years ago, with the exception of this one which I put at the end so I bookended my watch with Dracula (not something I'd do in hindsight, if I were doing it now I'd watch them back-to-back). It's strange to watch, in that they are both basically the same movie so as you say it's more about the subtle differences. I personally prefer the English version, Bela Lugosi's iconic for a reason and I remember preferring the pacing, but the Spanish version has so much to offer. In a way it's the perfect "I want to rewatch Dracula '31" movie because it's both the same, but the differences are also rewarding.

I want to check out that Zorro meets Dracula comic, that sounds like fun.