MARK OF THE VAMPIRE
1935, MGM Repertory, 60 min, USA, Dir: Tod Browning

Scholar Lionel Barrymore, an expert on vampirism, is called in to investigate a series of vampire attacks in a small European village. With the help of inspector Lionel Atwill, he gets to the bottom of things in this classic horror tale, a remake of Browning's earlier LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT.


DRACULA (1931)
1931, Universal, 75 min, USA, Dir: Tod Browning

Director Tod Browning (FREAKS) and actor Bela Lugosi established the Transylvanian count as one of the archetypal movie vampires and a monster icon for Universal Studios’ golden era of classic horror films. This adaptation of Hamilton Deane’s then-popular stage play of Bram Stoker’s novel is quite different from Murnau’s silent NOSFERATU, and from later works coming from Hammer Studios from the 1950s through 1970s and Francis Ford Coppola in 1990. Real estate agent Renfield (played by everyone’s favorite madman, Dwight Frye) goes insane after visiting Dracula (Bela Lugosi) at his Transylvania castle and is thereafter confined to a London asylum, though he does the count’s bidding as a hypnotized slave when Dracula comes to Britain and moves into deserted Carfax Abbey. David Manners is Jonathan Harker and Helen Chandler is his lady love, whom Dracula wants to make his bride. Edward Van Sloan, a fixture in early Universal horrors, is Professor Van Helsing.


THE UNHOLY THREE
1925, Warner Bros., 86 min, USA, Dir: Tod Browning

One of director Tod Browning's earliest evocations of death, perversity and deformity, this silent masterpiece follows a crime syndicate comprised of a dwarf, a strongman and a ventriloquist (as the latter, Lon Chaney dresses up as a woman in one of the many instances of transvestism in Browning’s ouevre).


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