Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Episode 20 — Dracula (1931)Director Tod Browning and cinematographer Karl Freund collaborated during the production of Dracula to create some of the most lasting icons in horror film history. Bela Lugosi (Dracula), Dwight Frye (Renfield), and Edward Van Sloan (Dr. Van Helsing) are still the portrayals to which all later incarnations are compared. Though Lugosi is the star, your Classic Era Grue Crew all agree that Dracula is Dwight Frye’s movie as he changes from a serious and dignified professional to an unpredictable, maniacal, and downright disturbing lunatic. Unfortunately, the characters of Lucy (Frances Dade) and Mina (Helen Chandler) are barely more than props to be victimized by Dracula and saved by Van Helsing and John Harker (David Manners). On the other hand, Renfield’s attendant Martin (Charles K. Gerrard) provides the very definition of comic relief. One of our Grue Crew also proclaims their love for Lupita Tovar, who plays Eva, the Spanish language version of Mina. You’ll also find the answers to these questions:
- How does the Tod Browning version of Dracula compare to the Spanish language production?
- What could the Looney Tunes bad-behaved version of Little Red Riding Hood possibly have to do with Dracula?
- How many degrees of separation are there between the Spanish language version of Dracula and the Star Wars film, Rogue One (2016)?
- “Someone just kind of handed him (Dwight Frye) this steak of a role and he just sunk all of his teeth into it and chewed it for all it was worth.”
- “Was I the only one, when you would see Martin on the screen, that was thinking of Eric Idle from Monty Python?”
- “The woman had many, many issues. She surpassed issue and went straight to subscriptions.”
- “Who decided an armadillo was scary?”