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Spanish Dracula / Dracula: The Spanish Version

USA 1931
produced by
Carl Laemmle jr for Universal
directed by George Melford
starring Carlos Villarías, Lupita Tovar, Barry Norton, Pablo Álvarez Rubio, Eduardo Arozamena, José Soriano Viosca, Carmen Guerrero, Amelia Senisterra, Manuel Arbó
screenplay by Garrett Fort, Baltasar Fernández Cué, based on the novel by Bram Stoker & its stage adaptations by Hamilton Deane & John L.Balderston

Dracula, Universal horror cycle, Universal's Dracula, Van Helsing

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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As this movie was only filmed as the Spanish language version of Tod Browning's Dracula, the story is pretty much the same as in that movie & can be read there in greater detail, here is only a quick overview:

Renfield (Pablo Álvarez Rubio) comes to Transylvania, to sell Carfax Abbey to Cout Dracula (Carlos Villarias), but soon falls victim to the count, who is - as if you wouldn't know it - a vampire. Weeks later the ship with Dracula's belongings arrives in London, but all the crew has mysteriously died, & the only survivor, Renfield, has gone completely mad. & since he is quite so mad, he is put into doc Seward's (José Soriano Viosca) sanitarium. But as fate has it, the sanitarium is next doors to Carfax Abbey, where Dracula has put up shop, & when socialising with doc Seward, he meets Seward's daughter Eva (Lupita Tovar) & her best friend Lucia (Carmen Guerrero) ... & before long, Lucia, who has definitely fallen for the Count, ends up sucked dry of all blood, & Eva is feeling a little anaemic , too.

But doc Seward, Eva's fiancé Juan Harker (Barry Norton) & the famed expert in vampirism Van Helsing (Eduardo Arozamena) put an end to the Count's evil deeds by staking him ...


For many, this version is the better of the 2 1931-Universal Draculas, but I have to confess it pretty much eludes me why: The Transylvania scenes from Browning's Dracula, which are the best scenes of that movie, are repeated here rather unimaginatively shot-by-shot, but it soon becomes clear that Carlos Villarias & Pablo Álvarez Rubio as Dracula & Renfield are only very poor substitutes for Bela Lugosi & Dwight Frye & the scenes suffer considerabl from their bad acting. When the action shifts to England, slight improvements over the Browning version are made in the much livelier portrayal of Mina (here called Eva) Harker by Lupita Tovar - as compared to the rather sttiff & bloodless acting of Helen Chandler.

Unfortunately on the other hand the film runs half an hour longer - which makes this film even more talky than its English language-counterpart, while little is gained in terms of storytelling or chracter development.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD