This obscure West German-Italian nudie horror comedy was made in 1979, but the English dub was applied later (hence, an onscreen copyright date of 1982) adding a few extra gags (rarely the funny ones), including a last line which references RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK without actually counting as a joke. The Italian title is Il Succhione, and it has—like several other films—been released as DRACULA SUCKS.
Director Carl Schenkel (using the name ‘Carlo Ombra’) later made the fine stuck-in-a-lift thriller Abwärts/OUT OF ORDER and sundry American efforts from the TV movie BAY COVEN to the ‘Hollywood giallo’ KNIGHT MOVES. His debut feature is derivative of L’ultima preda del vampiro/PLAYGIRLS AND THE VAMPIRE and Tempi duri per i vampiri/UNCLE WAS A VAMPIRE, but the feel is closer to such scrappy 1970s disco monster efforts as SON OF DRACULA, NOCTURNA, FRANKENSTEIN’S GREAT AUNT TILLIE and MAMMA DRACULA.
Stan (Gianni Garko, billed as ‘John Garco’), a descendant of the vampire Count Stanislaus (also Garko), is opening up a disco in the former dungeons of his German castle, despite a campaign by the local moralist busybody/Van Helsing family member Mrs Nutcracker (Ellen Umlauf) against licentiousness, and has brought in a bevvy of often-nude models to attract interest. In the cellar under the disco lies the Count and his consort, Countess Olivia (Betty Vergès), who are fed on blood stolen by the whining retainer Boris (Ralf Wolter).
The noise of songs like ‘Rock Me, Dracula’ piques the vampires’ interest and they mingle with the partygoers, prompting the expected confusion between the Count as his lookalike descendent, and eventually come to a mutually-satisfying arrangement that, in the most interesting development, quickly palls as Stanislaus and Olivia grow weary of an unlimited supply of willing necks. Under the relentlessly jolly dub, it’s hard to gauge the performances—but they perhaps incline to that lederhosen-slapping broadness which has not made Germany famous for its comedy masterpieces.
First published in Video Watchdog.
Here’s that hit song …