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Son of Dracula (1974)

Due to be crowned King of the Netherworld by his mentor Merlin the Magician at a monster's convention Count Downe, the son of Count Dracula, falls in love with the beautiful but human Amber... See full summary »


Freddie Francis


Jennifer Jayne (screenplay) (as Jay Fairbank)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Nilsson ... Count Downe
Ringo Starr ... Merlin
Freddie Jones ... The Baron
Suzanna Leigh ... Amber
Dennis Price ... Van Helsing
David Bailie ... Chauffeur
Shakira Caine ... Housekeeper (as Shakira Baksh)
Maurice Bush Maurice Bush ... Monster
John Colclough ... Bill (as John Coleclough)
Nita Lorraine Nita Lorraine ... Gorgon Woman
Skip Martin ... Igor
Dan Meaden Dan Meaden ... Count Dracula
Rachelle Miller Rachelle Miller ... Club Hostess
Beth Morris Beth Morris ... Wendy
Jenny Runacre ... Woman in Black


Due to be crowned King of the Netherworld by his mentor Merlin the Magician at a monster's convention Count Downe, the son of Count Dracula, falls in love with the beautiful but human Amber and finds himself in conflict with Baron Frankenstein who is vying for the same honorary title. Written by Vince Oldham

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The First Rock-and-Roll Dracula Movie!


Comedy | Horror | Music


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

19 April 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Son of Drac See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Apple Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was never released on video and isn't likely to be issued on DVD. Ringo Starr has said that the film is so terrible, he can't possibly authorize an official release. See more »

Crazy Credits

After "The End" appears onscreen to announce the end of the movie, it's followed by "or is it?" See more »


Jump Into The Fire
Written by Harry Nilsson (as Nilsson)
Performed by Harry Nilsson (uncredited)
Produced by Richard Perry (uncredited)
bass: Herbie Flowers (uncredited); drums: Jim Gordon (uncredited); lead guitar: John Uribe (uncredited); piano: Jimmy Webb (uncredited); rhythm guitar: Chris Spedding (uncredited); rhythm guitar: Klaus Voormann (uncredited); electric piano: Harry Nilsson (uncredited)
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User Reviews

SON OF Dracula (Freddie Francis, 1974) *1/2
14 May 2008 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

To begin with, several people involved in this ill-advised and little-seen venture – a fusion of Gothic horror and rock music – have connections with other films featuring some of the monsters who appear in it: Freddie Francis helmed the likes of THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN (1964), Dracula HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE (1968) and LEGEND OF THE WEREWOLF (1975); Suzanna Leigh had been the heroine of LUST FOR A VAMPIRE (1970); Freddie Jones had appeared impressively as the creature in FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED! (1969); Dennis Price did an extended cameo in THE HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN (1970) and, for Jess Franco, played Van Helsing in VAMPYROS LESBOS (1970) and the Baron in Dracula – PRISONER OF FRANKENSTEIN (1971) and THE EROTIC RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN (1972)! In retrospect, other contemporary films attempted this formula – namely PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE (1974) and THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) – with considerably more successful outcomes.

Personally produced for Apple Films by ex-Beatle Ringo Starr (who here appears as Merlin, the famed magician of Arthurian times!), the title role – which comes equipped with a lame pun on the character’s name, Count Downe! – is filled by singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson decked-out with a hirsute look and, understandably, his performance is a pretty bland and completely forgettable one (a good thing, therefore, that the film-makers’ original plan to have David Bowie in the lead didn’t pan out!). Nonetheless, Nilsson does get to perform a number of good tunes during the course of the film (though stymied by the poor sound quality of the edition I watched!) including “Without You”, which has become perhaps his most representative song; among the session musicians one can also recognize other popular figures of the era such as guitarist Peter Frampton and drummer Keith Moon! By the way, Mrs. Michael Caine (Shakira Baksh) also appears as Merlin’s feline housekeeper.

Culled from a worn-out VHS – in which dark scenes come off as extremely blurry – and slightly damaged to boot, as I said, the version of SON OF Dracula that came my way proved far from ideal viewing. Still, the film itself is a bit of a mess anyway: Dracula Snr., depicted as a Max Schreck lookalike, is killed by Jones’ Baron Frankenstein – the villain of the piece, with evil dwarf Skip Martin for an assistant; Price, on his last legs, turns up as Van Helsing (the film, in fact, was clearly shot in 1972 but released after his death) and Leigh is his luscious secretary – who attracts Nilsson’s amorous attentions…so much so that he decides to renounce his vampiric ways (except that with it goes his claim to immortality!); however, this occurs at a most inopportune time – as several monsters have been convened in order to crown him their overlord (a title which Frankenstein actually covets himself)!

Unfortunately, the plodding film resolves itself in a number of tedious conversation scenes – between Dracula Jnr. and Merlin, between Merlin and Frankenstein, between Frankenstein and Van Helsing, etc.; the resolution, then, sees a happy ending for the Count and his companion – while Frankenstein’s well-deserved come-uppance is amusingly delivered over a game of pool by Merlin’s own hand. In the long run, the mournful ballads work better within the context of the narrative than the rollicking numbers – “Without You”, for instance, serves as background to the demystification/humanization of Young Dracula (a title, incidentally, by which the film’s equally well-known and which got changed presumably as a nod to Mel Brooks’ spoof of Universal’s Frankenstein saga from the same year). By the way, this SON OF Dracula shouldn’t be confused with the stylish 1943 outing of the same name Robert Siodmak made for Universal during the heyday of classic monster movies…

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