Haven’t done one of these for a while. Fiona’s brother Roddy, who has the chromosomal disorder Williams Syndrome, hasn’t been to visit for ages, because he’s no longer really able to travel without disastrous consequences. There’s really very little information about the effect of aging on Williams people, but as Roddy enters his fifties he’s clearly less self-sufficient, more nervous, and his behaviour is more unpredictable and problematic, necessitating more care and less excitement. He still likes the horror movies he grew up with, though, so we took one round to his place in Dundee to view as he was just released from hospital after having a minor collapse.
As usual, Roddy kept up an attentive non-director’s commentary on Erle Kenton’s HOUSE OF DRACULA, apart from when he briefly fell asleep. Fiona and I also interjected.
The movie begins with John Carradine flapping up to the home of Dr. Edlemann (Carradine is, initially, a bat, which makes his self-introduction as “Baron LaForce” seem questionable).
Roddy: “What’s he doing ? Is he coming downstairs?”
Fiona: “Has Baron Laugh-horse or whatever his name is put the hypnotic vibes on him?”
We asked Roddy how he would react to John Carradine’s Dracula in real life. He takes a hard line on Romanian immigrants ~
Roddy: “I would say, ‘Get back to your grave where you came from!'”
When Dracula announces he wants to be cured of his vampirism, I took a poll as to whether he should be trusted:
Fiona: “I’d trust him, the way Carradine plays him.” Roddy: “I wouldn’t.”
Roddy: “Two nurses, hmm! There were lots of nurses where I’ve been.” Roddy likes nurses.
Larry Talbot: “Do you believe that a man can be transformed into an animal?” Roddy: “I do!”
Larry Talbot: “Do you think he can cure me?” Roddy: “Of course he can, Mr. Werewolf Man! He’ll give you a cure for your werewolf impression.”
Dr. Edlemann: “Siegfried! Siegfried!” Fiona: “Chickpea? I’m hearing everyone’s name wrong!”
Roddy: “But where’s the monster? Hiding somewhere?”
Fiona: “So how come he hasn’t become a skeleton?” Roddy: “Don’t ask me, I’m not a doctor!”
Roddy: “Where’s he going?”
Fiona: “He didn’t want to be cured of vampirism, you were right!” Roddy: “YES.”
Fiona: “He’s transfusing himself with vampire blood? Surely that means he’s going to turn into a vampire?” Me: “Precisely. The one flaw in his plan.”
Me: “And that’s the end if Dracula. HE won’t be back in the next film of the series. We can be quite sure of that.”
Fiona: “Oh, we’re having a weird… thing!”
Roddy: “What are they doing now?”
Dr. Edlemann’s cat, sensing his new vampiric nature, hisses at him. The doc throws a shoe at it. Roddy: “Missed!”
Fiona: “Mrs. Overall!”
Roddy: “Was that Frankenstein did something there?”