Monster Mania was a little past its expiration date in 1979, but I’m glad it didn’t stop anyone from making this spoof starring George Hamilton, Richard Benjamin, Susan Saint James, and Arte Johnson. Before I was anywhere near the age that my parents would let me see a bawdy comedy like Love at First Bite, I got my hands on one of those fumetti Fotonovel comics of it. I read that thing over and over and over and over, laughing at Dracula’s (Hamilton) antics as he chases a supermodel (Saint James) whom he believes to be the reincarnation of Mina Harker, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend (Benjamin). This was before I’d read Dracula or even seen the Lugosi version, so I didn’t get most of the references – especially the ones with bug-eating Renfield (Johnson) – but it was naughty and funny and I loved it.
Oddly, when I finally saw the movie as an adult, I didn’t like it as much. I don’t know if the humor is dated, if it was that I didn’t feel like I was getting away with something, or if I just built it up so much in my mind that it couldn’t possibly meet my expectations. I need to check it out again though, because I love Hamilton when he’s cheesy and this (along with Zorro: The Gay Blade) is him at his best.
Apparently, Hamilton wants to do a sequel that pits his Dracula against Twilight-like vampires. I don’t care about the Twilight part, but I’d watch the crap out of Hamilton playing the Count again.