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Awesome / Dracula (1931)

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  • The verbal showdown between Dracula and Van Helsing, finishing with Van Helsing driving Dracula off with a crucifix, which he then pockets again with what looks uncannily like a modern day badass action hero pose.
    Van Helsing: I will have Carfax Abbey torn down stone-by-stone, excavated a mile around! I will find your Earth box, and drive that stake through your heart!
    • This is especially badass when Dracula tries to use his power of mental domination on him, ordering him to "come here", but Van Helsing's will proves to be too strong for him to overcome.
    • Taken a step further in the Spanish version where Van Helsing tricks Dracula into thinking that he has been hypnotized into putting his cross out of sight.
  • When Van Helsing confronts Dracula with a mirror—causing Dracula to panic and smack it away. It's so clever, the Count himself is sure to compliment Van Helsing on his ingenuity in exposing him.
    • Immediately followed by a silent exchange of looks: Dracula's a Death Glare, Van Helsing's a thoughtful smile.
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  • Bela Lugosi's performance as Dracula. Not only is it a great role in itself, but in it he more or less single-handedly gave birth to the image of the vampire in the public mind, made the horror film a viable financial investment in the sound era, and saved Universal Studios from bankruptcy. So, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jaws, all those classic Universal horror films, they all owe their existence to Lugosi.
  • The bit where Dracula apparently walks through a cobweb without breaking it. Sure, it's just a well-timed cut so Lugosi can sidestep the prop web that makes it happen, but it's still a nice use of subtlety in building up creepiness, as well as an homage to the very earliest uses of F/X in film.

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