MY SON, THE VAMPIRE (1952)
(a.k.a. OLD MOTHER RILEY MEETS THE VAMPIRE)
Article #586 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-22-2003
Posting Date: 3-17-2003
A mad scientist known as “The Vampire” ends up getting shipped the wrong crate; his real shipment (which contains a robot) was shipped to Mother Riley.
Bela appeared in a horror comedy with Abbott and Costello. He also appeared in movies with the Bowery Boys, the Ritz Brothers, Abbott-and-Costello wannabes Brown and Carney, and Lewis-and-Martin wannabes Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo. On top of all this, he tops it off by appearing in one with Arthur Lucan, a British drag comedian who played Old Mother Riley in a series of very lowbrow comedies. It does make you wonder what Bela had in mind, but I actually think that he liked doing comedies; in fact, he seems to be having an immense amount of fun here, especially in a scene where he flirts with Mother Riley and tempts her with steak and liver. Sure, the movie is silly and stupid, but it’s done with a fair amount of energy, and a few of the gags do come through all right, though some will just leave you scratching your head, especially if you’re not attuned to British humor. Still, if you like to see Bela have fun, this isn’t a total waste, and the curiosity value is strong enough that I think it’s worth catching at least once for Lugosi fans. Incidentally, the “MY SON, THE VAMPIRE” title was for a sixties rerelease of the movie in which an Allan Sherman novelty song of that title was grafted onto the proceedings in the opening scenes.