Lugosi: Hollywood’s Dracula

Lugosi: Hollywood’s Dracula (2000)
FUNimation Entertainment
Extras: Cut Footage, Interviews, TV Shows excerptes, Film Fragments, Radio Interviews

From a DVD publisher you have most likely never heard of comes a tribute to legendary actor Bela Lugosi, presented on DVD on 2 discs. The release contains the acclaimed 75-minute documentary ’Hollywood’s Dracula’ on one disc, going through all the stages of Lugosi’s life. From his early days and childhood to his successful acting career in Europe all the way to his Dracula legacy in Hollywood and his last appearances in Ed Wood’s films. Spiced up with photos, original footage and interviews with friends, relatives and coworkers, the documentary manages to paint a picture of Bela Lugosi, the man rather than the icon.

The material that makes up the documentary is good, though much of the original footage is faded and worn due to its age, of course, and some of the audio elements are in fairly poor shape. It helps establish credibility for the documentary on the other hand and with the newer footage and first-hand accounts, this film is truly a remarkable effort that covers a broad spectrum. The DVD contains fragments of uncompleted projects, filmed interviews with Lugosi where his real persona shines through so brightly, TV show excerpts and so much more.

The presentation on the DVD is good with no notable problems. Colors are well reproduced, blacks are solid and the audio is clean and clear. No compression artifacts are evident.

The second disc of the set is an Audio CD that contains a series of interviews with the actor, as well other radio play gems.

Martin Landau did a fabulous job in Tim Burton’s ’Ed Wood’ to show us that Bela Lugosi was more than an typecast actor with a black cape. But once you have seen this documentary you will appreciate what a warm and welcoming personality Bela Lugosi really had. Fans of the actor and his films should definitely try this DVD out. It is currently only available through the company’s own website at where you can also find more information about the DVD release itself.