4.8/10
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22 user 10 critic

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.

Director:

Freddie Francis

Writers:

August Rieger (screenplay), Karl-Heinz Hummel (story) (as Karl Heinz Hummel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Pia Degermark ... Betty Williams / Großmutter Clarimonde Catani
Thomas Hunter ... Internatslehrer Jens Larsen
Yvor Murillo Yvor Murillo ... Der alte Diener Josef (as Ivor Murillo)
Ingrid van Bergen ... Miss Niessen
Joachim Kemmer Joachim Kemmer ... Bruder Martin
Oskar Wegrostek Oskar Wegrostek ... Der Abt
Lyvia Bauer Lyvia Bauer ... Internatsschülerin Gabrielle
Daria Damar Daria Damar ... Internatsschülerin Kirsten
Michael Janisch Michael Janisch ... Handwerker
Toni Wagner Toni Wagner
Raoul Retzer Raoul Retzer ... Graf Bernhard Ochsenstein
Kay Williams Kay Williams
Ferdy Mayne ... Fürst Christopher Dracula (as Ferdie Mayne)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

A satyrical horror comedy of a beautiful woman with exotic "tastes"! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany | UK

Language:

German

Release Date:

4 June 1971 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Afta symvainoun tin nyhta See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Aquila Film Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

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

Connections

References Dance of the Vampires (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Infectious and utterly absurd Euro-vampire satire
1 July 2016 | by Mr_EctoplasmaSee all my reviews

"The Vampire Happening" follows an American actress who inherits a Transylvanian castle that belonged to her countess ancestor. Upon going to visit her newfound property, she not only unleashes the dead, but utter chaos, debauchery, and vampiric shenanigans on the local town.

This is a film that I'd been curious about seeing for a number of years, but had put on the back burner for two reasons: first, it's incredibly difficult to get a hold of; and second, I wasn't sure I'd like it. The scenario sounds intriguing enough, but vampire horror is not my favorite subgenera, and with the comedic angle, I just wasn't sure. Boy, was I wrong.

Let's be clear: this is not a "good" film by any stretch of the imagination, but it most definitely hits all the right notes for a niche audience. It is essentially a no-budget vampire comedy that is crude and absurd—however, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't an absolute joy to watch. Its most striking element is most definitely its Gothic atmosphere, accentuated by some relatively solid cinematography. The sets look like they were cribbed straight from a Hammer horror film from the early sixties, which is probably intentional, but the kitsch factor of it all is what makes it so much fun to watch.

The film is about as frightening as a "Scooby Doo" episode, and the humor is completely off-kilter, but there is a strange charm to it all as it balances humor with the macabre. It pokes fun at the subgenera with a sprightly approach, and edges on satire throughout. The cast is made up of multiple international actors and actresses, who spend most of the film half-nude and in various blasphemous scenarios, with Swedish actress Pia Degermark at the helm, playing a dual role as the vampy twentieth-century actress, and her grand-matron counterpart. Degermark is the highlight here, and most of the show is stolen by her.

Overall, I found "The Vampire Happening" to be far better than the reputation that precedes it. It is among the ranks of Jess Franco's most absurd work, and is a delightfully kitschy, Gothic odyssey. It is not a masterwork, nor does it posture itself as one—it's a lovingly satirical re-imagining of the contemporary vampire movie, loaded with bloodletting, tacky set pieces, nudity, and utter blasphemy—which somehow found its way into my heart (and my bloodstream). 8/10.


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