‘Dracula’ double feature a Halloween treat

By Bob Bloom

Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiweicz is confident an audience exists for “Dracula.”

Mankiweicz will present insights on the 1931 classic, starring Bela Lugosi, as ben mankiewiczwell as the Spanish version of the movie, which was shot at night on the same sets used in the better-known feature.

The vampiric double feature is a coproduction of Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies. The films will be shown on Sunday, Oct. 25, and Wednesday, Oct. 28.

Though both movies — which were adapted from a 1920s stage adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel — look relatively stagebound, Mankiweicz said the film’s “don’t look playlike. I think there is an audience for the films.”

Nor is the TCM host concerned about the slower pace of both films in relation to the frenetic editing and pacing of today’s movies.

He is quite certain the double feature will attract a younger audience, citing the demographics of attendees at the annual TCM film festival.

The abundance of older features on Blu-rays and DVDs have helped give younger filmgoers an appreciation of classic movies. “They can learn so much more on how to pace and set a scene from Tod Browning over Michael Bay,” Mankiweicz said.

Though he has not seen the Spanish-language “Dracula” for several years, he said that, it is among the best of the foreign-language adaptations of that era.

During the late 1920s and early 1930s, when studios converted from silent to sound pictures, many studios produced foreign-language versions of their features to attract overseas distributors and viewers.

Many, Mankiweicz said, were inferior to the originals. “Dracula” is one of the exceptions.

However, Mankiweicz is biased, as he considers Lugosi the “definitive Dracula.”

He encourages film buffs and others to view the double feature on the big screen. The feeling these movies elicit is “very powerful.”

For ticket information or to find a theater near you that is showing the “Dracula” double feature, go to www.FathomEvents.com.

Bloom is a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. His reviews appear at ReelBob (reelbob.com) and The Film Yap (filmyap.com). He also reviews Blu-rays and DVDs. He can be reached by email at bobbloomjc@gmail.com or on Twitter @ReelBobBloom. Other reviews by Bloom can be found at Rottentomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.