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Literature / Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha

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Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha (also published as Judgment of Tears) is the third novel in the Anno Dracula series by Kim Newman, set in an Alternate History where Dracula's successful invasion of England led to vampires coming out of the shadows.

It's 1959. Every vampire who is anybody is flocking to Rome the wedding of Count Dracula and Princess Asa Vajda, but there is a mysterious vampire killer on the loose.


This novel contains examples of:

  • AB Negative: The vampire Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock boasts that he can only drink AB- blood.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Alas, Poor Villain: When Penelope kills Dracula, he appears to welcome final death, even driving the silver knife further in. Or Penelope is just trying to make herself feel better.
  • Anyone Can Die: Charles Beauregard dies of old age, Dracula is murdered.
  • Captain Ersatz: Secret agent Hamish Bond is one of the series' rare cases of finding it necessary to explicitly state that this is a different character with a different name from the character he strongly resembles.
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  • Celebrity Paradox: An actor who played Tarzan meets the actual Lord Greystoke.
  • Composite Character: One of the thugs who attacks Hamish Bond physically resembles Frankenstein's Monster, but he has Jaws' teeth, Oddjob's hat, and his nickname is Flattop.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Gregor Brastov is Hamish's equivalent of Blofeld. He ticks every box in the Bond villain checklist: elaborate Supervillain Lair, No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine (Genevieve lampshades it; Hamish takes it in stride), and Right-Hand Cat although that last one comes with a pretty big twist.
  • Different World, Different Movies: Vampire Edgar Poe is called to Rome to write the film version of Jason and the Argonauts, starring Kirk Douglas, Orson Welles (as the ship), Fritz Lang (as the voice of God), and Clark Kentnote .
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: In a dramatic scene, the Bond character shoots the Blofeld character. However, Bond had misread the situation. The real villain was a vampire shapeshifter. He was the cat and the Blofeld character carrying him around was just one of his minions.
  • Genius Loci: Mama Roma.
  • Genre Roulette: Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha starts out as one of the "romantic adventure in Europe" American films of the Fifties before it gets hijacked by a giallo slasher flick. And then it becomes a Spy Thriller. Then a giallo again. Then a Religious Horror film.
  • The Good Shepherd: Father Merrin is a priest and a genuinely good guy. He might also hunt monsters in his spare time.
  • The Hecate Sisters: Kate, Penelope, and Genevieve seem to embody the Maiden-Mother-Crone dynamic, respectively. And the Mother of Rome has four aspects: Mother, Maiden, Crone, and a fourth one (Whore).
  • In Spite of a Nail: When vampires revealed themselves to the world in the first novel of the series, there were dramatic social and political upheavals, but now, fifty or sixty years later, they seem to have had no real lasting effect on history at all; they exist, but everything else is the same.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The series includes a lot of characters who go unnamed but have familiar descriptions (or partly unnamed, like the conniving young man Tom whose surname is never mentioned).
  • The Lost Lenore: Charles Beauregard for Genevieve.
  • Mad Scientist: Herbert West returns from the previous book, to serve as medical examiner to Dracula's death. He's accompanied by Dr. Septimus Pretorius.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: A combination of characters from both Fifties fiction in general as well as vampire characters.
  • No Immortal Inertia: Vampires, when they die, tend to revert to whatever shape they'd be if they hadn't become vampires (ie. rotting corpses, or if they're old enough, dust). Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha has a weird twist where a model, who became a vampire to preserve her youthful beauty, gets killed and immediately gains all the weight she would have put on if she'd remained mortal.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires come from a number of various "Bloodlines", but are considered biological entities with "just a touch" of magic (they don't cast reflections, for example). Some may be able to transform, while others have corpse-like features, and others suffer from blood frenzy. Religious symbols and even garlic only affect those vampires who believe they can. Sunlight only hurts younger undead, and silver only serves to counter their regeneration abilities; any sufficient organ damage (like, say, a stake though the heart) can kill them for good.
    • As in the last book, things get weird when vampires start drinking from elders of other bloodlines. In this case Hamish Bond starts mutating from Sean Connery into Roger Moore.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Classic Romero flesh-eaters. Actually a bloodline of brain-dead vampires that "chew" blood rather than suck it. Nobody seems concerned about the possibility of a Zombie Apocalypse; they seem mostly confined in a Roman slum.
  • Paranormal Episode: Yes, even in a series with vampires. Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha features a trio of witch-goddesses who control the city of Rome.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Gregor Brastov is a Blofeldish cat-stroking archvillain who turns out to be just a puppet manipulated by the real archvillain — his cat. Hamish Bond should have remembered that some vampires have Voluntary Shapeshifting.
  • Serial Killer: "The Crimson Executioner" is running around Rome targeting elder vampires, just as dozens of them have been invited to the city for Dracula's wedding.
  • Shout-Out: Countless, as usual for the series.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: After an entire novel of build-up to his reappearance, Dracula is killed and beheaded off-screen, his unlife ending seconds after appearing.
  • Tuxedo and Martini: Hamish Bond.
  • The Unmasqued World: After Dracula took over England, all the vampires come out of hiding. By the time this novel starts, their existence is regarded as an ordinary fact of life.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Some vampires are implied to have the traditional fangs and evening dress, but walk about in public without a second thought. Also, characters like Frankenstein's Monster apparently don't arouse any suspicion on the streets of Rome.
  • Vampire Variety Pack: The different bloodlines each features a different subset of vampire characteristics; only some bloodlines are able to transform into other shapes, for instance.


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