It's Bela Lugosi in the Film That Made His Career- the Original "Dracula"- Tonight!

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We thought it would be appropriate to bring back one of the original classics of Universal horror-the movie that firmly affixed Bela Lugosi into our consciousness as Bram Stoker’s vampire count! Conducting the children of the night in the music they make, Bela stakes (sorry) his claim to his most memorable role in the 1931 original "Dracula"- augmented by a special musical soundtrack!

We join real estate solicitor Renfield on a bumpy journey to Transylvania  ( one of his travelling companions is , in actuality, Carla Laemmle, daughter of  Carl Laemmle, founder and head of Universal studios). Renfield is on his way to the castle of a certain Count Dracula to get him to sign the lease for Carfax Abbey in London. The locals get nervous just hearing where he is headed, and try to talk him out of it- but he continues on to meet with the Count- unaware of what is in his future !

Renfield meets the Count, and his overnight stay in the castle results in him falling under the spell of the Count. Completely under his control, out of his mind, and living only to do his bidding, he helps his master make his way to London- only to end up in Dr. Seward's sanitarium, while Dracula takes up residence in the abbey. He soon walks among the city’s people, from whom he claims some as his prey. On a night out on the town, the Count meets Dr Seward, along with his daughter Mina and her friend Lucy- both of whom will be victimized by the mysterious gentleman.

Renfield's strange behavior prompts the sanitarium staff to call in Professor Van Helsing to consult on his case- and the shrewd and learned man realizes that a vampire plays a part in the proceedings- and soon discovers just who that vampire is, and who else is endangered by his presence! Fearing that Mina is next in line, he enlists her fiancé, Jonathan Harker, in the battle to defeat this undead menace!  

Bela Lugosi truly owns this movie, ably supported by Dwight Frye’s incredible performance as the deranged Renfield, joined by David Manners, Helen Chandler- and a man who appears in Universal’s original core of horror films- Edward Van Sloan. We'll talk all about the cast and the production, and, of course, provide Sven shtick- and, once again, we will be showing the version of the film we ran before, featuring the musical soundtrack  that first accompanied the film on its French dvd version. The score, composed with stock library music, offsets some of the usual “film hiss” the original movie soundtrack featured with its lack of background music. The last time we ran the movie with this added soundtrack, the response was mostly positive, which is why we are repeating it. Honestly , at times, the added sound effects seem a bit overbearing, but we think this version provides an interesting viewing experience- especially for those of us who have seen the film in its original state so many times.

"Dracula" rises from his coffin tonight on MeTV-8pm eastern/pacific, 7 central, and, if you’re unsure about channel and time in your area, check your local listings or at . (Please be aware that MeTV has changed to a different channel in a few locations). Don’t forget that many fans are live-Tweeting during the show on Twitter, using the hashtag #svengoolie ! Meanwhile, in Chicago, viewers get one more “ghost viewer” look at William Castle’s  original “13 Ghosts” at 11 am on the U- at its new channel location ( what was previously the UToo)!

Today, I’ll be appearing at the Elk Grove Village Library Comic Con ( very fitting since I’ll be in the pages of DC Comics in just a few weeks with our “Svengoolie Meets the DC Universe” chapters)- you’ll find information under the “appearances” tab here on our site. And- coming up next weekend-  I appear at the New York Comic Con to promote the DC Sven adventure on Friday- then wing my way back to appear at the Saturday “Haunting in Hammond”! More Halloween season appearances are on the way- including a special event at Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications honoring my 40 years as Sven anniversary- more info to come soon! Also- the final limited edition Sven anniversary shirt should drop on October 1st!

A brief salute to the late actor Sid Haig- known to many for his roles in Rob Zombie’s horror films, but actually, with a huge resume in films and TV shows. My brother, who lives near L.A., says he would often run into Sid at their local grocery store-and that he was always friendly and happy to chat with fans. I regret never having met him. May he rest in peace.

Please join us tonight on MeTV for what many consider the definitive “Dracula”- with special musical accompaniment!

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MADave 17 months ago
Another 40 minutes until the new weekly blog
MADave 17 months ago
Hey I noticed my post that said son of a preacher man has disappeared?
Jack MADave 17 months ago
Evidently, someone doesn’t like Dusty Springfield.
daleuhlmann MADave 17 months ago
No, it's still here.
Jack daleuhlmann 17 months ago
It disappeared on my public display, altho’ your replies to MADave are present and accounted for. Everyone else is wondering why Dale responded so nicely to someone who said a dirty word. 😉
MADave daleuhlmann 17 months ago
Hmmm I scrolled down but I didn't see it!
daleuhlmann 17 months ago
This comment has been removed.
Carl_N_Brown MADave 17 months ago
I scrolled down to about four hours ago and found it.
Maybe " son of a " triggered moderation and someone decided those were not the woids they were looking for.
DrClayton 17 months ago
Does Dr. Jekyll's son take Medicare?
Catbat 17 months ago
Good Svengoolie Saturday Eve evening All! Great job with the playlist! Thanks and keep em coming! I'm adding this for fun.
MADave Catbat 17 months ago
Good one I love it everybody lurch
JournalJeff2 17 months ago
Happy Svengoolie Eve!
I do not remember seeing The Son of Dr. Jekyll, so this should be fun!
MADave 17 months ago
Aaaaah happy sci fi Friday everyone!
1MikeM 17 months ago
First there was Son of Frankenstein,
then Son of Dracula,
Son of Dr. Jekyll,
Sanford and Son.
Son of Svengoolie!
Load previous comments
daleuhlmann MADave 17 months ago
Son of a Gun
Thunderhead, Son of Flicka
Son of a Sea Cook
daleuhlmann MADave 17 months ago
We could even do this in plural:
Sons of Hercules
Sons of the Desert
Sons of the Pioneers

1MikeM MADave 17 months ago
Good one Dave!
Jack 17 months ago
As long as we’re still rolling on the _Dracula_ vibe, here’s a vampire-themed song for your Halloween playlist...
daleuhlmann 17 months ago
A little more trivia about DRACULA'S supporting cast: Bela Lugosi, David Manners, and Edward Van Sloan in the 1933 mystery THE DEATH KISS, about the unsolved murder of an actor on a fictional movie set. Despite being produced by the "Poverty Row" studio Tiffany, it's actually a pretty watchable little film that gives modern-day audiences an interesting glimpse at Depression-era movie making.
Lucyc 17 months ago
Good Friday afternoon, gang, and Happy Svengoolie Eve, again.
Concerning murder ballads, we have, somewhere stored, a bluegrass album that we inadvertently got about 1965, when my parents bought my late older sis an RCA "suitcase" stereo to take off to college. It came with a free album, and my sister picked out an Andre Previn album(she thought)as she always liked his movie themes, etc. I guess my folks didn't think much about the fact that the album wasn't wrapped in the normal cellophane wrapper, because when we got home and my sister got the record out to play, it wasn't Andre Previn, but an album by John Duffy and the Country Gentlemen. She was disappointed, of course, but they didn't take it back. Bluegrass was much more my dad's style, and soon to be mine.
Anyway, on the album is a song called Knoxville Girl, which is about a guy who kills his beloved for being unfaithful to him. It is really pretty gruesome for an era where folks didn't generally talk about such things-at least in polite company, as it describes how her blood ran all around, etc. When I was younger I didn't pay much attention to the lyrics, as I generally played other songs I liked more, but I started liking the song more when I got a little older. I was surprised at how "honest" the song was about such unpleasant passions.
TheKodakKid Lucyc 17 months ago
Lucy, I was going to mention “Knoxville Girl” at some point as we discussed songs related to Halloween. I had thought of mentioning it during our Ghost Walk during The Big Blogcast this year, since we were in Knoxville.

The song turns up occasionally. I remember reading about a singer (for some reason I’m wanting to say Bob Dylan) that gave a solo acoustic rendition of it while performing in Knoxville many years ago, that just stunned the audience.

Interesting that you and your sister came across it, since you have family ties to this area.
Jack Lucyc 17 months ago
Yes! "Knoxville Girl”—THE Murder Ballad of Murder Ballads! Many thanks, Lucy!
Jack TheKodakKid 17 months ago
Dylan covering _Knoxville Girl_?! I couldn’t resist so I went a-huntin’. So far no luck on that particular performance, but other interesting things turned up. Dylan did do a version of “Naomi Wise” back in 1961. It is thematically similar to “Knoxville Girl” and “The Banks of the Ohio” in that Naomi (or ’Omie in some versions) is murdered by her lover and disposed of in a river.
A 1929 version by G. B. Grayson was included in Harry Smith’s _Anthology of American Folk Music_.
Elsewhere I found a listing of twenty versions of “Omie Wise” not counting Grayson’s and Dylan’s.

While hunting, I learned the venerable folk music magazine _Sing Out!_ has moved into the innernetz age with a digital version, and that it has a regular feature, “Murder Ballad Monday.” Be still my heart! (In a good way, not a murder ballad way.) On top of that, Bob Dylan had a program, the _Theme Time Radio Hour_ from May 2006 to April 2009. On episode 20: "Musical Map," aired on September 13, 2006, Dylan included “The Tale of the Knoxville Girl” recorded by the Louvin Brothers. So, you see, it all goes in circles...
TheKodakKid Jack 17 months ago
Jack, I’m going to go back and see if I can find the article. Pretty sure it was Dylan. However, this was a live concert in Knoxville back in the day before everyone carried a recording device around in their pocket. So there probably isn’t any video or audio of the event.
DrClayton Lucyc 17 months ago
There's a new bio of John Duffey out; guy from our bluegrass band wrote the section on Duffey's Irish roots. History of the WASH DC bluegrass scene is coming out this fall.
PatS DrClayton 17 months ago
For the record -- Knoxville Girl is a re-working of a re-working of an older Irish/Scottish ballad, according to some song-tracers. Not all that different from 'Tom Dooley' (Tom Dula), which I judge as the beginning of the great 1950s Folk Scare when the Kingston Trio put it on the hit parade.
TheKodakKid 17 months ago
Breaking sad news. Diahann Carroll has passed away at 84 from cancer.

Renowned singer, Broadway performer, and TV Star. She was the first African American woman to star in a TV show as something other than a domestic role in “Julia”. She played a nurse and a single mother.

Didn’t know until reading The Hollywood Reporter story on her passing that her mother was a nurse. It probably helped her make her character more convincing.

A truly talented lady.
Lucyc TheKodakKid 17 months ago
Very sad, indeed, but not surprising since so many of the people who entertained us when we were kids are now elderly and have come, or are coming, to the end of life's journey.
daleuhlmann TheKodakKid 17 months ago
I remember watching JULIA as a kid. Diahann Carroll was a true show business icon and a real trail blazer. May she rest in peace.
JournalJeff2 TheKodakKid 17 months ago
R.I.P. Diann Carroll!
Islander 17 months ago
Willoughbywolf blog has been down for a while now. Anyone know why ?
CarrieLynnCastro 17 months ago
Happy Friday 👻
Flew in very fast 🦇
yay for us 😱

Nice fall day in the 70's
today 🦋

Have a great day🍃🎃🍃
everyone 🍁
See you later 🤖
Jack 17 months ago
Holy synchronicity, Catbat! While I was typing up Debbie’s Steve Goodman entry for the Halloween playlist, what should come over the radio but Traffic’s version of "John Barleycorn.” It’s an old song, with printed version going back to the 1500s. It may go back even further with echos of pre-Christian British Isles and the Sacrificial King, or it may be “the creation of an antiquarian revivalist, which has passed into popular currency and become ‘folklorised,’” a possibility considered by Ralph Vaughn Williams and A. L. Lloyd.

However old it is, the plot runs like like a murder ballad until you realize that it’s about the sowing, harvesting, and brewing of barley to produce fortifying drink… unless it isn’t (reference and cue _The Wicker Man_)
JournalJeff2 Jack 17 months ago
Traffic, considered the first super group.
John Barleycorn one of my favorites. Thanks!
PatS Jack 17 months ago
Interesting melody and rendering. I've heard 3 or 4 versions with similar words -- usually MUCH rowdier like Pub Singing. Do try some others on Youtube, not so relaxed. Dunno where Traffic got this version.
daleuhlmann 17 months ago
While Edward Van Sloan is most famous for his "wise old professor" or "wise old monster-fighter" roles, if you want to see him as a villain, check out the 1932 Columbia crime thriller BEHIND THE MASK, which starred Jack Holt, who, as I'd mentioned before, was the model for Al Capp's Fearless Fosdick character. That film, which co-stars Boris Karloff, cast Van Sloan as "Mr. X," the character's criminal alter-ego, who was the ruthless head of dope-smuggling ring. In the film's climax, he tries to vivisect Holt's undercover hero, promising him, "It's only when I begin to cut on the inside that you'll feel a sensation!" This film, which was shot before FRANKENSTEIN, was released immediately after the Universal film, and tried to cash in on Karloff's new-won fame as the Frankenstein Monster by marketing itself as a horror film, because of its borderline "mad doctor" angle, and a scene where a grave is unearthed in a cemetery to reveal that there is no corpse, but hidden illegal drugs. It is not really a horror movie, though.
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