Friday, October 5, 2018

Psychobabble’s 31 Favorite Universal Horrors: #27

Halloween season simply isn’t Halloween season without a regular dose of classic Universal horror (1923-1963). Every day this October, I’ll be giving you a steady IV drip of it by counting down Psychobabble’s 31 Favorite Universal Horrors!

#27. Dracula’s Daughter (1936- dir. Lambert Hillyer)

Dracula’s Daughter marks the first time a female monster was allowed to dominate a Universal horror (poor Elsa Lanchester only got a few minutes of screen time the previous year). Of course, this was 1936, so don’t dive in expecting a progressive spin on its themes as the film equates vampirism with bisexuality and the deeply conflicted monster behaves more like prey than predator, implying that a female monster is inherently a weak one. Blah. Nevertheless, Gloria Holden remains wonderfully spooky and haunted in the title role, especially during her late-night funeral for her dad in the woods. It’s a shame that James Whale did not get to make the outrageous movie called Dracula’s Daughter he’d been plotting. Ultimately, Hillyer’s flick is thin gruel compared to the hearty stew than Whale and screenwriter R.C. Sherriff had been cooking up.

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