The Vampire Happening (1971)

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

The Vampire Happening – original title: Gebissen wird nur nachts “Bitten Only At Night” – is a 1971 West German comedy horror film directed by Freddie Francis (The Deadly Bees, Torture GardenTales from the Crypt).

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The film stars Pia Degermark and Ferdy Mayne (The Vampire Lovers; The Horror Star; Howling II) as Count Dracula.

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In 1970, 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.

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Plot:

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…

Reviews:

“Francis accepted 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: Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com

“The tone is that of a German sex comedy, with a gay air steward being symbolically hanged, a bare-arsed vampire monk struggling to get at various bare-breasted over-age schoolgirls, and a family retainer saying: “I’m getting completely mixed-up” prior to breaking the fourth wall with “I’ll bet you are, too.” Jonathan Rigby, Euro Gothic

Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Amazon.ca

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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: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

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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

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

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

1 reply

  1. got the VHS dirt cheap at a thrift store still have to watch it.

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