While Universal was filming 1931’s “Dracula” with Bela Lugosi, the studio was filming a nearly exact replica of the same movie, only with Spanish actors. They used the same script, storyboards and even the same sets. While the English version was filmed during the day, the Spanish version used the same sets and equipment at night.
And while one could argue that makes this the same movie as the Lugosi version, what separates the Spanish “Dracula” is the passion and drive of the Spanish cast and crew, especially Carlos Villarias as Count Dracula. While Lugosi demands your attention, Villarias steals your attention with his wide eyes and almost giddy mannerisms, like he loves every moment of being a vampire and thus commands ever moment. While the atmosphere doesn’t quite hit the same high mark of the English version, there’s no denying the spirit and pride for the Spanish audience that you can’t help but love many of these performances.
Final Grade: B+