Old school vampire movies should never be forgotten, so today we’re taking another trip to the past to check out one of these beloved classics. Today’s movie pick is “Mark of the Vampire,” a 1935 Tod Browning film staring the legendary Béla Lugosi, as well as Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Lionel Atwill and Jean Hersholt.
“Mark of the Vampire” is actually a remake of Browning’s 1927 silent classic, “London After Midnight.” This remake was intended to be Browning’s comeback since he hadn’t directed since his 1932 film “Freaks” (which was a box-office disaster) and was eager to make another major hit equal to his 1931 “Dracula.” Now, while many may not have heard of “Mark of the Vampire” most consider it greatly superior to “Dracula” due to its fast pace, greatly improved performances, and its perfectly chilling and macabre mood.
The film follows the events after Sir Karell’s murder. He is found dead with two tiny pinpoint wounds on his neck, which of course, suggest that a vampire did it. Baron Otto and Dr. Doskil are convinced of this, while the police inspector from Prague refuses to believe it. Enter in Professor Zelen, a man who specializes in the occult. Zelen tries to convince him that a dead count and his wife walk among the living and that they are threatening both Karell’s daughter and her fiancé, along with everyone else in the terrified village. While preventing their deaths, some big secrets are revealed surrounding the circumstances of Sir Karell’s death.
Audiences at the time were disappointed by the ending of “Mark of the Vampire,” for they had fallen in love with the supernatural Dracula. On top of that, the film is only an hour long due to some serious editing (reportedly due to incestuous scenes). But either way, it’s a classic vampire flick loved by many.