RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE (1944)
Article #396 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 4-15-2002
Posting date: 9-8-2002
When a vampire’s body is unearthed by a bombing raid on England during WW2, his stake is removed and he is reburied. He rises from the dead, and with the help of his werewolf compatriot, begins a reign of terror.
The fact that the movie takes place in contemporary England, and the fact that the vampire’s assistant is a werewolf are the primary novelties of this movie, which in other respects is pretty much your typical vampire movie with all the usual trimmings. Still, the primary emotion I felt about watching the movie was quite simple and unexpected; I found myself charmed by the whole thing. It almost ODs on atmosphere (that low-lying ground fog is everywhere, including indoors at times) and the surprises are few, but there is plenty of energy and fun in the proceedings, with even the comic relief being sharper than usual. Though I wouldn’t call it a great movie, it is a lot of fun, and features a good strong performance by Lugosi to add to the mix.