Film / Love at First Bite
Decades before anyone even conceived of the first sparkly vampire we had a Disco
Dracula in this 1979 comedy film directed by Stan Dragoti and starring George Hamilton (!?
) as the tannest Count Dracula ever to appear on film.
The world-weary count is evicted from his ancestral home by the (Communist) Romanian government and, along with his bug-eating assistant Renfield (Arte Johnson), travels to modern-day New York City in search of his soulmate, currently reincarnated as flaky fashion model Cindy Sondheim (Susan Saint James). In winning her heart, he must deal with bumbling assassination attempts from her long-suffering psychiatrist/quasi-boyfriend Jeffery Rosenberg (Richard Benjamin), who is "Fritz" Van Helsing's grandson.
Much, much better than it probably sounds, the film provided the role of a lifetime for Hamilton, and the rest of the cast turns in excellent performances as well.
Hamilton has tried on numerous occasions to get a sequel filmed, but the concept remains mired deep in Development Hell
Provides examples of:
- Annoying Laugh: Renfield, copied from Dwight Frye in the original movie Dracula.
- Badass Cape: Lampshaded at the end, when Rosenberg and the detective agree to take turns wearing it to impress women.
- Big Blackout: New York City suffers one of these during the climax.
- Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...: "Give me my fashion magazine."
- Black Cloak
- Black Dude Dies First: The only corpse in sight, and he dies before the movie even starts.
- He really shouldn't have drank the water.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Rosenberg knows how to pick locks using a credit card.
- Cursed with Awesome
- Disco What's the best place for a vampire to explore NY City night life in The '70s? Why it's Studio 54, of course.
- Fake Nationality: An in-universe example: Rosenberg the psychiatrist adapted that name "for professional reasons."
- The Fun in Funeral: Drac's coffin accidentally gets switched with that of a deceased black man. The resulting funeral is memorable.
- Home Version Soundtrack Replacement: In the VHS and DVD releases of the film, the disco song perfectly used in a crucial scene ("I Love The Nightlife" by Alicia Bridges) was replaced with some third-rate generic tune.
- Hypnotic Eyes: In a comedic subversion, Dracula only uses these on men, even when faced with women who are being aggressively unhelpful.
- I Do Not Drink Wine: "...and I do not smoke shit."
- Intoxication Ensues: Right after biting a wino.
Dracula: What was that maniac drinking!? Tastes like the Volga river at low tide!
- Jive Turkey: More than one black character.
- Kiss of the Vampire
- Mugging the Monster: "It's folks like you that give this neighborhood a bad name!"
- Pocket Protector: How Dracula survived being staked by the original Van Helsing.
- The Renfield
- Ruritania: 1970's Romania. "I think they're from the government (...) They're wearing shoes."
- Running Gag: Rosenberg can never get his vampire lore straight.
- Russian Reversal:
Cindy's Agent: What are ya gonna do, eat your lunch in my office?
Renfield: No, my lunch is going to eat you.
- Shout-Out: Dracula quotes a line from the 1934 film Death Takes a Holiday:
I am [Dracula] a great power — but I am humbled before you. ''note
- Multiple Roots references thoroughly date this piece.
- "Didn't he used to be on Fantasy Island?"
- The Taxi... Oh, what a wild ride!
- Torches and Pitchforks: A mob gathers to harass Dracula as he departs his castle, although they don't do anything more than yell at him.
- Überwald: ... for about 10 minutes.
- Urine Trouble: Dracula appears at Cindy's photo-shoot, guard stops Dracula at the gate, Dracula changes into doberman and raises his leg on the guard...
- Vampire Dance: He likes the night life..
- Vampire Fiction
- We Have Forgotten the Phlebotinum: Rosenberg tries to confront Dracula by whipping out a cross — only he accidentally pulls out a Star of David instead.
Dracula: I suggest you find yourself a nice Jewish girl.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Rosenberg tries to shoot Dracula with a silver bullet.
- You Have to Believe Me: Rosenberg's rants about a vampire on the loose get him beaten up in an elevator, tied to an ambulance's gurney and finally locked up in a padded cell in a straight-jacket.