Saturday, August 27, 2016

Movie Night - "The Return of Dracula"

Movie Night - "The Return of Dracula"
October 18, 2016, 7:15 pm.
Township of Ocean Board of Education Offices (Old Oakhurst School), Auditorium, 163 Monmouth Road, Oakhurst, NJ 07755

Just in time for Halloween

We are celebrating Halloween in retro style this year with a screening of the 1958 cult classic, Return of Dracula, 7:15, October 18, in the auditorium of the old Oakhurst Schoolhouse (the Board of Education Building), 163 Monmouth Road. The old auditorium is a particularly fitting site to view the movie: it stars Oakhurst native and Oakhurst School graduate, Norma Eberhardt (1929-2011).

It’s an all-Norma evening. A short montage of her movie and television roles offers a whimsical overview of her acting career. Her 2006 video interview with Dallas Grove on the making of Return of Dracula sets up the film. (And if time allows, we’ll open to floor to personal stories and memories of Norma.)

In the almost 60 years since its release, Return of Dracula has become a favorite among horror movie aficionados. To her death in 2011, Norma had loyal fans of all ages—many of whom knew the movie only from seeing it on cable television. It was shot in black and white—and as Norma tells in the interview—in daylight only (a big challenge for a Dracula movie). The problem, she explains, was the meager budget. The solution, she tells, was a screen placed over the camera lens!

In the Return of Dracula, directed by Paul Landres, the famous vampire (played by Frances Lederer), ventures from Transylvania to California. Along the way, he kills a fellow traveler and assumes his identity. Pretending to be a distant relative, the Count takes up residence with the Mayberry family and sets his sights on young Rachel (played by Norma).

It’s great fun, and a bit scary. Though tame by today’s standards, it’s probably best to leave the little ones at home.

The screening of Return of Dracula is open to the public, free of charge. (Bring your nonperishable donations for the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.)

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