The Return of Dracula (1958) The Bobbysoxer and the Bloodsucker
Arguably, the better way was to make a bloody, sexy, violent movie like Hammer’s 1958 film The Horror of Dracula, but 1958’s The Return of Dracula from Gramercy Studios eschewed all of that to outfit its Transylvanian count with a poofy hairdo and a collection of suits that would be at home on the set of Mad Men. The Return of Dracula begins as John Merriman (John Wengraf) leads a priest, and a group of hired men into a crypt where he believes Dracula sleeps. Upon opening the crypt, it turns out that Drac (Francis Lederer) has already buggered off, and after loading his coffin on train, the Count knocks off an artist named Bellack. Dracula completes the artists’ voyage by ship to the United States, and soon makes himself at home with “cousin” Cora (Greta Granstedt), her son Mickey, and her ravishing young daughter Rachel. (Norma Eberhardt). Nosy neighbor boy Tim (Ray Stricklyn) suspects there’s something amiss with Cousin Bellack, and when Rachel’s friend Jenny dies under mysterious circumstances, it’s not long before Merriman shows up with his eye on the vampire’s trail.
Shadow of a Doubt. In that case, Joseph Cotton is a murderous Uncle Charlie come to hide out in a sleepy town, but his undoing comes in the guise of his all too smart niece played by Theresa Wright for whom he harbors a lecherous desire. Like Uncle Charlie, Dracula should have left the young gals alone, and he might have had a shot at blending into America unnoticed/ It’s somewhat baffling why Dracula would want to hide out with an average Middle American family. Sleeping all day is not exactly considered normal behavior after all. The Return of Dracula naturally doesn’t spend much time explaining itself; it’s more interested in having Lederer’s Count leer at Eberhardt. In a way it’s not spiritually unlike a pre-historic version of True Blood either. Sure Lederer is no Bill or Eric, but he does kind of look like a cross between Greg Proops, Luigi Pistilli, and Steve Martin in My Blue Heaven. That has to work for some ladies, right?