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Gebissen wird nur nachts - das Happening der Vampire (1971)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Horror | 4 June 1971 (West Germany)
An American actress inherits a castle in Transylvania. What she doesn't 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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Complete credited cast:
Betty Williams / Großmutter Clarimonde
Internatslehrer Jens Larsen
Yvor Murillo ...
Der alte Diener Josef (as Ivor Murillo)
Ingrid van Bergen ...
Miss Niessen
Joachim Kemmer ...
Novitze Martin
Oskar Wegrostek ...
Der Abt
Lyvia Bauer ...
Internatsschülerin Gabrielle
Daria Damar ...
Internatsschülerin Kirsten
Kay Williams
Michael Janisch
Toni Wagner
Count Dracula (as Ferdie Mayne)
Raoul Retzer


An American actress inherits a castle in Transylvania. What she doesn't 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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Adult Vampire Sex Comedy! See more »


Comedy | Horror


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 June 1971 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Afta symvainoun tin nyhta  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Abt: They ought to ship that dyke back to Holland!
See more »


References Rosemary's Baby (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

THE VAMPIRE HAPPENING (Freddie Francis, 1971) **
16 January 2011 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is another obscure horror title (actually a spoof), despite the involvement of Hammer/Amicus regular Francis; emanating from Germany, it was produced and scored by Pier A. Caminneci and Jerry van Rooyen respectively, who had been responsible for one of Jess Franco's most impressive works i.e. SUCCUBUS (1967). From what little I read about the film under review (the R1 DVD release arrived courtesy of Anchor Bay), the general consensus is that it does not work and the director should never have gotten himself involved to begin with. Still, Francis cannot have been too displeased at this change-of-pace since he would embark on a similarly outrageous venture not long after, the result being the equally maligned and even harder-to-find SON OF Dracula (1974)! Anyway, what we have here is a fairly engaging sex comedy which just happens to take place in Transylvania: having been an Oscar-winning cinematographer beforehand, the director ensures a good-looking film with the traditional (and authentic) Gothic scenery providing the appropriate contrast to the modern-day setting (the title itself being amusingly 'with it').

One other coup of the film, however, is the presence (in a dual role of a porn star with an Edie Sedgwick look and her dark-haired vampire ancestor) of leading lady Pia Degermark, though the "DVD Drive-In" reviewer seems to have appreciated her contribution solely on an aesthetic level (claiming he was unable to tell the two characters apart – well, the tell-tale sign was the different color of their finger-nails and, for the record, I preferred the 'older' version)! While she may have been cast due to her liaison with the film's producer, Degermark (previously from Bo Widerberg's tragic romance ELVIRA MADIGAN [1967], an established classic of World Cinema that I own but have yet to watch) carries the show with reasonable aplomb – which, at 104 minutes, is saying a lot! Unfortunately, her initial fairy-tale existence and fast living (she came from a wealthy family, for a time dated the King of Sweden and then, at just 17, won the Best Actress award at Cannes and was cited the Most Promising Female Newcomer at the Golden Globes!) spiraled into numerous health problems and, finding herself socially ostracized, even ended up in jail…but, thankfully, she now seems to have mostly picked up the pieces and gotten her life back on track.

To return to the film, it starts and ends with plane journeys: first, we get varied reactions to the in-flight viewing of a "Betty Williams" skin-flick (her name even appears in the opening credits of the movie proper!) and, ultimately, the vampire (having been mistaken for the porn star) landing in Hollywood in her stead! Among the numerous other characters to figure in the plot line are the Baroness' clumsy elderly servant (he orchestrates many a botched attempt to dispose of the bloodsucker and, at one point, even interacts with the audience!), a young monk (his initial suffering at being aroused by his fetching neighbor is amusing but his eventual sex-crazed antics when transformed into a vampire become tiresome) from the monastery adjacent to the castle, his irascible abbot (complete with funny German accent), a number of teachers (the male immediately becomes the heroine's lover, while the female is revealed as a lesbian) and promiscuous students from a nearby girls' school.

We even get the belated introduction of Count Dracula himself (played by THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS [1967]'s Ferdy Mayne, with Satanic salute intact!) – arriving at the concluding undead convention in a chopper flanked by Mafiosi(!) and depicted as quite the party animal; indeed, THE VAMPIRE HAPPENING must surely be the only movie which gives us the opportunity to see Dracula wearing spectacles, munching on a banana and even, quite literally, being caught with his pants down at sunrise ("Damn the zipper! Full speed ahead", he barks to his minions – a long way after Charles Coburn's 1943 Oscar-winning turn in THE MORE THE MERRIER)! There are even a couple of references to another Roman Polanksi horror effort, ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968), as well as a cute jibe at Christopher Lee – interestingly, Francis had himself previously directed the actor's third stab at his signature role in Hammer's Dracula HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE (1968)! This lengthy section of the film, then, suggests that everyone, from generals to sheiks to rock musicians and even astronauts(!), is 'in'.

To be honest, though obviously no classic, I rather enjoyed the film and only felt that it fell apart at the climax (with the multiple fang-work proving especially amateurish!). One unusual and prophetic aspect (little seen in the subgenre prior to the recent advent of the "Twilight" saga, which I actually have little interest in watching in view of its teen fan-base!) is when the bloodsucking Degermark restrains herself from draining the teacher's blood because she simply wants to re-experience the emotions of a sexual encounter with a living human being (for which the 'Prince Of Darkness' later takes her to task).

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