Your Daily Dracula – Luis Escobar, Buenas Noches, Señor Monstruo (1982)
Though billed as ‘el hombre lobo’ rather than ‘Waldemar Daninsky’, the great Spanish horror star Paul Naschy reprises Lon Chaney Jr’s Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein act by reviving his signature monster role for thin laughs as one of a crew of spooky stooges repeatedly humiliated by top-billed entertainers in this brash, kid-friendly comedy musical. Fernando Bilbao, the Frankenstein Monster of a couple of Jesus Franco pictures, returns to the Karloff-style flat-head/neck-bolts makeup, and demonstrates pretty spry dance moves – whereas I get the impression Naschy was doubled under wolf-face in the musical numbers. Luis Escobar plays an ageing Count Dracula, who keeps losing his false teeth – copping a joke from John Carradine in Nocturna and dragging it out for a whole film, while Miguel Angel Valero is the Count’s chubby-cheeked Mini-Me son. Rounding out the household are a wheelchairbound Dr Frankenstein (Andrés Mejuto) and a lopsided, goonishly made-up Quasimodo (Guillermo Montesinos).
The actual stars are Regaliz, a mid-teen singing/dancing group (Jaime Benet, Astrid Fenollar, Eva Mariol, Eduard Navarete) you may or may not warm up to. Straying from a school trip, they find an old dark castle. The monsters mildly threaten the kids (snatches of John Cacavas’ score for The Satanic Rites of Dracula play when the Count is bloodthirsty) but tend to get the worst of any altercations (a running joke has the monsters increasingly bloodied and bandaged throughout). Regaliz have a lot of pep but little character, outside a liking for mean-spirited pranks, and go into spirited if tuneless dance routines at any opportunity. The title song is reprised several times, but the most memorable numbers are ‘El Show del Hombre Lobo’, which includes a refrain of ‘Bow Wow Wow’, and the big dance-off finale ‘El Baile de los Monstruitos’. At the end, it might all be a dream … only the kids visit a wax museum and find their monstruo amigos posing as statues.
Here’s a sample song …
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