Featuring racier nightgowns, more cleavage, and more sexual tension than the Bela Lugosi version of Bram Stoker's vampire tale, the spanish version of Dracula is anecdotally seen as a better film than Tod Browning's, but I'm not 100% convinced. For instance, this scene features an affable, smiling, neighborly Dracula in lead actor Carlos Villarias.
He plays Dracula as a warm, earthy, wide-eyed killer, but still seems as though he is a human-like being. Compare the same scene with Lugosi.
Here Browning imparts the scene with a hesitant tension, as Dwight Fry warily greets his host. A ghoulish Lugosi plays a game with Fry, luring him into his web, as inhuman as the phony spider climbing the wall.
I was going to post more clips, contrasting and comparing various scenes from these two films, but honestly, I'm sick of it. Here's a music video by Bauhaus:
Ha! You probably thought I was going to post that other video by Bauhaus. Yeah, I didn't, because I'm sick of that, too. It seemed like back in the early 80's whenever I entered a nightclub, they always played that song. Maybe it was because I was dressed in black and looked a little like a vampire, but I'm not sure. Like I always say, if you remember the 80s, you probably didn't do it right.
Anyway, the scene as Villarias rises from his coffin obscured by smoke was a good one and might be better than its English counterpart. Conversely, the Spanish version doesn't quite top the English version when the mad, cackling Renfield is revealed as the cargo hold is opened, played in a scenery-chewing performance by Dwight Fry in the original. Still, the Spanish version of Dracula seems a bit more modern than the Tod Browning version. Either film is better than any vampire film where someone sparkles.