Saturday, August 13, 2011

Love at First Bite (1979)

Director: Stan Dragoti

Starring: George Hamilton, Susan Saint James, Richard Benjamin, Dick Shawn, Arte Johnson, Sherman Hemsley, Isabel Sanford

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Your favorite pain in the neck is about to bite your funny bone!

Plot: This vampire spoof has Count Dracula moving to New York to find his Bride, after being forced to move out of his Transylvanian castle. There with the aid of assistant Renfield, he stumbles through typical New York city life situations while pursuing Cindy Soundheim. But her boyfriend, Doctor Jeff Rosenberg, realizes she is under the influence of a vampire, and tries his bumbling best to convince police Lt Ferguson of what is going on, and to help him stop Dracula.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Maybe around the year 2040.

Ah, the 70s!

This isn't as good as I remembered it...but then that was 30 years ago when I was 12. What didn't work for me:

- The opening business in Transylvania was weak and silly (compared to the New York stuff)
- The GREAT comic character actor, Dick Shawn, was wasted in a role that didn't give him hardly anything to do.
- For some reason the song "I Love the Nightlife" was replaced with a very lame and far less appropriate song during the Dracula disco dance scene. That's just wrong for so many reasons. The title alone perfectly fits Dracula.

Here's the version you get on the DVD (it starts at about the 3 minute mark)...

and here's the original version...

What did work:

- George Hamilton was great.
- Richard Benjamin easily had the most laughs, best part and most fun. He's hilarious.
- The inclusion (in different scenes) of George & Weezy (Sherman Hemsley & Isabel Sanford).
- The following clip with my favorite bit...

"Look! It's a chicken!" Classic.

I realize it's been a good 30 years since I last saw this and I was a kid then but I expected a little more. If you don't mind goofy comedies (especially from the disco days of the late 70s) it's definitely worth your while. Richard Benjamin has some great moments and his energy is a real shot in the arm. I shudder to think what this picture would be like with anyone else in that role. It's cute but not nearly the pain in the neck it could've been. Ahahahahahaha. Ugh.

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