Sunday, October 14, 2012
31 Days of Halloween - Day 14 - Movie 1
After a series of attacks during World War I, vampire, Armand Tesla (Bela Lugosi) is tracked down and a stake driven through his heart. Then during World War II, German bombing uproots his hidden coffin, the stake is removed and Tesla plots vengeance against the people who tried to destroy him. He is aided by his werewolf servant, Andreas (Matt Willis) whose time of freedom from Tesla's control have made him something of an unwilling slave this time around.
In The Return of the Vampire (1944), Lugosi is essentially reprising his role as Dracula, only under another name. There's something more hostile and sinister about the vampire in this outing, which seems fitting since his opponents figured him out quickly the first time they encountered him, and are ready, and willing, to fight back on his return. Willis, as the tragic werewolf, is an interesting character. Even though he's a monster under Tesla's influence, he retains his mental faculties and powers of speech.
This movie has great atmosphere and moves forward at a nice pace. The war time setting brings an interesting background to the monster trappings. Overall, this is a really enjoyable movie.