A follow-up to writer/director Juan Padrón’s ¡Vampiros en La Habana! (1985), which was set in 1933. A handy prologue summarises the events of the earlier film, which was about a squabble in the international vampire community over Vampisol, a serum that allows vampires to get about in the daytime and (it seems) assuages their thirst for blood. The story picks up a decade or so later, when vampire hero Pepe (Frank González) is pursuing his ideal career as a musician, married to a human woman and has a half-vampire son. In a bottle at home, he has the ashes of his uncle Von Dracula (Carlos González), creator of Vampisol, and the old man’s ghost is influencing his grandson to further refinements of the serum. World War II is raging, and various factions – Nazis, a heroic Russian spy, a femme fatale called Baby (Mirella Guillot), American military gangsters, Ernest Hemingway (Luis Alberto Garcia) – want to use Vampisol for their own ends.
Here’s a bit of Cuban paranoia that balances similar but opposite conspiracy theories in American films – the crooked Yanks and the Nazis are collaborating against the plucky, heroic Stalinist Russians. The politics are aptly cartoonish, since this is mostly a succession of gags and routines – with hordes of Nazi bat soldiers, Pepe being transformed by Super-Vampisol into a mutant conflation of Dracula and Superman and having a steroided superhero battle with a Nazi foe, some slightly sleazy sexual humour (‘Baby’ is presumably a skit on the cartoon version of Lauren Bacall from the several classic Bugs Bunny toons), and a general air of goodwill. It’s more crowded and hectic than the earlier film.