1935 / 60m - USA
Mark of the Vampire poster


May 19, 2021


Oldskool horror director Tod Browning takes on the Dracula myth. I'm not the biggest fan of the vampire niche to begin with, but this dialogue-heavy film with a few Gothic sets and silly sound effects really didn't do it for me. It may be just an hour long, but it felt like at least twice that long.

An old castle in Czechoslovakia. Rumors say the old owner (count Mora) was killed there and still roams the premise, haunting everyone who dares to enter his former home. Borotyn, the new owner of the castle, isn't too impressed by all this folklore. But then one morning his dead body is found.

Instead of atmosphere, dread, tension or whatever, Mark of the Vampire delivers endless dialogues, as if the mystery here was really all that exciting. The performances are poor, the setting is dull, the horror is almost completely absent and the twist at the end is rather laughable. Clearly cinema wasn't quite ready for talkies just yet.