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Dracula / Drácula [Version in Spanish](1931)
The legendary bloodsucker stakes his claim on a British estate in search of new blood.
For more about Dracula / Drácula [Version in Spanish] and the Dracula / Drácula [Version in Spanish] Blu-ray release, see Dracula / Drácula [Version in Spanish] Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on September 28, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Starring: Carlos Villarías, Bela Lugosi, Lupita Tovar, Helen Chandler, Eduardo Arozamena, Edward Van Sloan
Directors: George Melford, Tod Browning, Enrique Tovar Ávalos
This Blu-ray release includes the following titles, see individual titles for specs and details:
Dracula / Drácula [Version in Spanish] Blu-ray Review
"Listen to them! Children of the night... what music they make!"
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, September 28, 2012
Take a moment and imagine what modern horror would be without Universal Pictures. Without founder Carl Laemmle and his vision for the future of cinema, or his son Carl Laemmle Jr., who inherited the keys to the studio kingdom in 1928, when talkies were rapidly displacing silent films and promising groundbreaking new strides in moviemaking and the movie-going experience. Without early horror pioneers like Tod Browning, James Whales, Karl Freund, George Waggner or Jack Arnold. Without iconic creature actors Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Claude Rains, Lon Chaney, Jr., Elsa Lanchester or Ben Chapman. Without Dracula, the indispensable 1931 classic that left a more lasting mark on vampire movies and lore than any other vampire film before or after (save Nosferatu). Or Frankenstein, which pushed boundaries, shocked audiences and has been received with overwhelming enthusiasm ever since. The Mummy, bold in its atmosphere and unforgettable in its tragic romance. The Invisible Man, which features some of the most astonishing special effects and perhaps one of the most unnerving depictions of mounting madness of the era. The Bride of Frankenstein, a complex, wickedly funny, altogether unpredictable sequel that in many regards surpasses its predecessor. The Wolf Man, a once-chilling character drama that examines the frailty of man and the beast within. Phantom of the Opera, though more a twisted love story than a traditional horror picture, a film that nevertheless caused some theaters to stock smelling salts in in the event that a moviegoer fainted upon the removal of the Phantom's mask. Or Creature from the Black Lagoon, which frightened audiences above the water and below with a scaly monster unlike any they had seen before. Needless to say, modern horror, and really the genre in whole, would be completely different than what we know.
Which brings us to the first film in the Essentials Collection; the true essential that is producer Carl Laemmle, Jr. and director Tod Browning's Dracula, starring horror icon Bela Lugosi as the titular Count, David Manners as the unfortunate John Harker, Helen Chandler as his bewitched fiancée Mina, Dwight Frye as solicitor turned madman Renfield, Edward Van Sloan as the steadfast Professor Van Helsing, and Frances Dade as poor Lucy Weston, one of Dracula's early victims. Based on the Bram Stoker novel of the same name, the film is positively tame by today's standards -- or even the standards of the 1930s horror films that followed -- and yet audiences were left gasping, trembling and, if one is to believe the newspaper reports issued in the days following its initial release, fainting. While it's lost some of its luster and bite, or at the very least its ability to frighten, it still stands as an arresting stepping stone in talkie cinema and the budding horror genre. Even eighty-one-years later, there's a magnetism to Lugosi's stilted speech and wild eyes, a sweetness to Chandler's torn, sidelong glances, a desperation to Manners' plight, a strength in Van Sloan's statesmanly delivery, and an unsettling lunacy in Frye's jittery demeanor. It succumbs to its own grandiose, stage-play loftiness, no doubt. But it also oozes the sort of passion, innovation and cultural sacrilege the best horror films of every age have embraced wholeheartedly.
Dracula / Drácula [Version in Spanish] Blu-ray, Video Quality
Dracula features an excellent 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer minted from a masterful restoration of the original nitrate film elements. There are minor issues -- inherent print fluctuations, lingering scratches, tiny white flecks and specks, and the occasional faint vertical line (some brief, some extended) -- but, considering the amount of effort, expertise and man-hours that went into cleaning up the source without sacrificing detail, none of it is a deal breaker or even that much of a distraction. Otherwise, there aren't any problems to report. Contrast is dialed in beautifully, black levels are rich and inky (yet aren't prone to crush or obscured shadow detail), the integrity of midrange grays is intact, and grain is both filmic and refined. Edges are crisp and clean too, without any significant ringing or halos to worry over, and textures have been preserved. Moreover, I didn't notice any artifacting, banding or aliasing, and there weren't any signs of detrimental noise reduction, overzealous artificial sharpening or any other technique contrary to the faithfulness of the restoration and subsequent presentation.
Dracula / Drácula [Version in Spanish] Blu-ray, Audio Quality
In some ways, the condition of the original audio elements posed an even greater challenge. Universal's two-channel DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track is quite remarkable regardless, even though its shortcomings -- chief among them a noticeable noise floor -- are a bit hard to ignore. Prior to the completion of the restoration, the original audio was hobbled by an even nastier noise floor, one that amounted to a harsh hiss that took its toll on the clarity of the dialogue and effects. That clarity has been restored and rejuvenated, dramatically so, despite the fact that the results aren't exactly ideal. That said, there's little, if anything, the film preservationists working on the project could have done to improve the audio further, meaning theirs was a legitimate case of tough, lesser of two evils decision making. To their credit, they chose wisely. Cinephiles and purists will be more than willing to ignore the noise floor (as they should), especially when it's really the only price to pay for what is easily the best the film has ever sounded.
Dracula / Drácula [Version in Spanish] Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Dracula / Drácula [Version in Spanish] Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Dracula, the first of Universal's Big Three Horror Icon pictures (the other two being Frankenstein and The Wolf Man, kicks off the Universal Classic Monsters: Essential Collection in style. The film still delivers, its meticulous restoration and faithful video transfer are the highlight of the disc, its DTS-HD Master Audio Mono mix is almost as impressive, and its supplemental package is light on tricks and heavy on treats. Dracula will no doubt earn a standalone release sometime in the not-so-distant future, and this disc will stand strong, whether it's purchased as a part of Universal's must-have Classic Monsters collection or on its own.
Dracula: Other Editions
Blu-ray bundles with Dracula / Drácula [Version in Spanish] (3 bundles)
Dracula / Drácula [Version in Spanish] Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Universal Classic Monsters Wave 2 Blu-rays - June 29, 2013
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has announced and detailed the individual Blu-ray releases of four classic horror movies originally available as part of the Universal Classic Monsters Essentials Collection box set: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein ...
Dracula / Drácula [Version in Spanish] Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
Dracula / Drácula [Version in Spanish] Blu-ray Screenshots
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