Drac is Back
The Return of Dracula (1958) is neither. You read me correctly – this IMPOSTER is NOT Dracula (he doesn’t even have pointy teeth, for neck’s sake), and he doesn’t do anything that would make you think he was a vampire other than have an aversion to sunlight, no reflection and a weirdo foreign accent.
Furthering the rant, this thing was released to theaters as The Fantastic Disappearing Man. That makes more sense as he’s more of a walk-on character than the sucker of souls.
This stake fake killed a man (off screen) on a train who was traveling from Czechoslovakia to California to visit a lady cousin with a distractingly perky young teen daughter and assumed the victim’s identity. Belak Gordal (aka, artificial Dracula), is welcomed into the cousin’s home and lies his way through family history and is given free room and board. I’ll say this for Belak – he’s got míče.
Rachel, the hot young daughter, is smitten with their guest. Probably because she’s easily impressed by foreign accents. But Belak (that name sounds so fake) disappears during the day, sleeping in a coffin in a nearby abandoned mining cave. When he does come out at night he preys on local Rachel’s “time to take her to DisneyLand™” sick friend and doing what nature was gonna do anyway.
All of this is just treading water as there is no depiction of neck ripping and/or the sucking of neck drippings. Tim, Rachel’s boyfriend (who seems to be more of a chauffeur for her constant to and fros, follows his bewitched honey to the cave where Belak was waiting to some serious G-rated stuff to/on her. He heroes up just enough to have the tedious action end with Drac/Belak falling into a mine hole and landing nicely on a protruding wooden stick thing.
A potential note of interest: The Return of Dracula is filmed in belak and white (heh), but for one brief second, a scene showing bloody red blood is flashed. That trick was also used at the end of War of the Colossal Beast (1958) when the grayscale’d monster grabbed high-voltage power lines and lit himself up in day-glo life-ending color.P.S. Don’t grab high-voltage power lines.