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1935 horror film directed by Tod Browning

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A Campy Murder Mystery With Bela Playing a "Mute" Count Mora

  • Jul 15, 2013
Rating:
+3
I came across a copy of this film in my library and as it had a cast of Bela Lugosi, Lionel Barrymore and Lionel Atwell, I thought I would give it a shot.  The first thing I noticed was that this film was from MGM and not Universal so already there were some differences in the quality (this movie seemed a lot more "campy" than the Universal classics).  The movie starts out with a wealthy guy living in a mansion in some European town being found dead with two puncture wounds on his neck.  The town doctor swears he was killed by a vampire who drained his blood through the wounds.  Inspector Neumann thinks differently.  He claims he was murdered by someone in the house for money.  Everybody is a suspect.

Meanwhile everyone in the town including the gypsies say that it is Count Mora who lives in a castle.  We later see Count Mora in his castle as night falls, walking through the castle that has no furniture and is overrun with vermin and what appears to be a single rat.  Mora has a bloodied wound on the side of his head and is accompanied by a woman who looks like a scary Lily Munster.  Throughout the film the two of them just seem to appear out of nowhere and neither of them speak.

There is an interesting scene where the woman seems to be transitioning back from a bat to a human and appears to swoop down to the ground.  This was a pretty amazing effect for 1935.

Overall, the movie is just a campy murder mystery with a weird ending that I am not sure I understand.  The DVD does offer to watch the film with commentary which may help me understand it better but I don't feel I really want to sit through it again.  The campiness of the film (unlike The Bride Of Frankenstein) really detracts from the film and it really is not up to snuff with Universal's Dracula or even Dracula's Daughter.  Bela played a much more interesting vampire in a later film (I think it was called Return of the Vampire) which I would recommend watching over this one.

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July 16, 2013
I need to be in the right mood for 'camp' :)
 
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More Mark of the Vampire reviews
review by . August 19, 2009
Mark of the Vampire was the last time Tod Browning and Bela Lugosi would work together on a film.  The story is a reworking of the lost Lon Chaney Sr. film London After Midnight.  This vampiric tale is mixed in with a murder mystery. I found the end results to be very trippy, unusual and entertaining. What I thought was going to be a routine horror story had a very funny twist. To give it away would be telling. If you're in the mood for something different then by all means watch.   …
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I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … more
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About this movie

Wiki

A sound remake of London After Midnight.

The last time Tod Browning and Bela Lugosi would work on a film together.

The running time was trimmed from 75 minutes to 60.

view wiki

Details

Genre: Horror, Comedy
Release Date: April 26, 1935
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Runtime: 60 minutes
Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
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