Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dracula Yucks

It’s always a risky proposition to go back and watch something you enjoyed as a kid but haven’t seen in decades since.  Nonetheless, when I saw a new shrinkwrapped copy of Love at First Bite for sale for a mere 3 bucks, I couldn’t resist.  I last saw this movie when it played on Star Channel (the predecessor to The Movie Channel) back in 1980 or so.  I thought it was funny at the time, but there are a lot of things a 10 year old kid thinks are funny that seem pretty stupid now.

Believe it or not, George Hamilton actually makes a pretty good Dracula, and Arte Johnson’s Renfield is great.  Richard Benjamin’s commitment-phobic psychiatrist and Susan Saint James’ neurotic fashion model seem even more relics of the past than Hamilton’s centuries-old count, though.  While the civil rights movement and feminism had made considerable strides in American culture as a whole by 1979, you wouldn’t know it from this movie.  There’s plenty of cringe-inducing racial humor, casual gay bashing, and Saint James saying things like, “A career for a woman is kind of like fooling around for a man.  It’s fun until the right person comes along.”  Every single black character in the movie, most of whom are comic relief petty criminals or gang members, calls white people “honkys”.  And just for pure seventies nostalgia, I had to laugh when Richard Benjamin ordered an “uncola” at a restaurant (that’s a 7-Up to you youngsters).  There’s also one significant change to the film’s music on the DVD – the song “I Love the Night Life”, which became a hit in part because of this movie, has been replaced with a less appropriate number.  Bummer.  Some of the jokes still work, but not enough to really recommend to anyone who isn’t nostalgic for the disco era. 

For some reason the trailer for the movie isn’t on Youtube (that I could find, anyway), but here’s a TV promo from when it aired on the CBS Wednesday Night Movie:

No comments: