RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE marks the first occasion in which Bela Lugosi donned the vampire's cape since the original DRACULA. In it, a vampire and his werewolf assistant are revived after a German air raid uncovers their tomb. Shortly thereafter, the two set off to exact their revenge against the woman who had imprisoned them by kidnapping her daughter. Lugosi shines with a power and charisma that had been lacking from his countless B-Movie performances in the years following DRACULA and WHITE ZOMBIE. In addition to the strong make-up work (particularly that of the wolf man Andreas), RETURN also offers a great number of dark Gothic set designs that access moody lighting which filters in behind the fog-drenched exteriors. Lew Landers draws obvious influence from the Universal classics, and surprisingly, he succeeds where Tod Browning's film often faltered. RETURN is fast paced, and feels much more cinematic compared to the stiff, theatrical acting that resulted from DRACULA's adaptation from the stage. The film is often overlooked, but proves to be an enjoyable and atmospheric Gothic Horror entry!
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If you liked RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE, check out:
DRACULA, THE WOLF MAN, CITY OF THE DEAD.