In Fairness to Carradine
I feel a little bad for even admitting this, but I always had something of a negative reaction to John Carradine. It isn’t fair, I know. But I always saw him as the guy who replaced Bela Lugosi as Dracula in the Universal films, and his depiction could in no way measure up. One could argue that Mr. Carradine looked more the part, if we are basing the character off the description given in Bram Stoker’s novel, but Lugosi *was* and *is* Dracula. He *became* the character after his performance in the Universal classic, and every depiction of the character since then has had to measure up to his. John Carradine was simply unfortunate enough to be the first to try to replace Bela. He appeared, not so memorably, as Dracula in the films HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN and HOUSE OF DRACULA.
He had the chance to reprise the role several times outside of Universal Studios, however. He had the lead in BILLY THE KID VS. DRACULA, in which he looked a bit more like Dracula ought to look, in my opinion, as well as portraying the Count in BLOOD OF DRACULA’S CASTLE, VAMPIRE HOOKERS, NOCTURNA, and LAS VAMPIRAS.
Carradine was a magnificent actor. He just wasn’t Dracula, despite several attempts to seize the throne. He wasn’t even first runner up. (*cough* Christopher Lee *cough*)
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
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