The Vampire Happening

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‘A satyrical horror comedy of a beautiful woman with bizarre tastes’

The Vampire Happening (German: Gebissen wird nur nachts “Bitten at Night”) is a 1971 West German sex comedy and horror film directed by Freddie Francis (The Deadly Bees, Torture GardenTales from the Crypt). It stars Pia Degermark and Ferdy Mayne (The Vampire Lovers; The Horror Star; Howling II) as Count Dracula.

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In the early 1970s, Italian producer Pier A. Caminnecci was looking for a film for his wife Pia Degermark, whose previous film Elvira Madigan (1967) was a critical and financial success. Caminnecci set up an international production for her written by German screenwriters August Rieger and Karl-Heinz Hummel. Clearly influenced by Roman Polanski’s The Fearless Vampire Killerswhich also starred Ferdy Mayne as Count von Krolock, the script also features a sub-plot based on Theophile Gautier‘s short story “La Morte Amoureuse.

The lounge soundtrack was provided by Jerry van Rooyen.

Plot teaser:

An American actress inherits a castle in Transylvania. What she does not know is that her ancestor, the Baroness Catali, was in actuality a vampire countess, and emerges from her tomb to ravage the nearby village and Catholic seminary…

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Reviews:

“The film is not without merit. It was directed by that well-known veteran Hammer/Amicus director, Freddie Francis, who is also one of the most respected cinematographers of all time. Francis excepted this assignment due to a Hollywood production that went the way of the wind, giving us his most unusual effort (though not his worst film as a director). Most of the toilet humor gets lost in the atrocious dubbing, but Francis is able to mount a handsome production, aided by lavish sets and locations.” George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In

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Buy The Vampire Happening on Alpha DVD from Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com

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Buy Vampire 5-disc Box Set from Amazon.com

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In his book Comedy-Horror Films: A Chronological History, author Bruce G. Hallenbeck referred to the film as “sort of a rip-off of Polanski‘s The Fearless Vampire Killers” that “doesn’t come within light years of Polanski’s vision.”

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Buy Italian poster repro from Amazon.co.uk

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Thanks to Dwrayger Dungeon and the wonderful Wrong Side of the Art! for some of these groovy happening images.

Wikipedia | IMDb | Related: Dracula Blows His Cool | The Fearless Vampire Killers



Categories: 1970s, adaptation of a short story, comedy horror, Dracula, erotic horror, German horror, sexploitation, vampire

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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