Directed by: Stan Dragoti
Starring: George Hamilton, Susan Saint James, Richard Benjamin, Arte Johnson, Sherman Hemsley
Ingratiatingly silly and completely devoid of pretensions, Stan Dragoti’s Love at First Bite was a surprise hit in 1979 and continues to retain a certain charm today. The premise is agreeably absurd. The Romanian government has taken over Dracula’s (George Hamilton doing a Bela Lugosi impression) castle and tossed the old boy out. With a henchman (Arte Johnson doing a Dwight Frye impression), Dracula sets off to terrorize New York. The problem is that the Big Apple of 1979 isn’t impressed with his outmoded drawing-room horror and he frightens no one. At least he frightens no one other than the boyfriend (Richard Benjamin) of the model (Susan Saint James) Dracula plans to make into his vampire bride. Filled with TV personalities—Arte Johnson, Sherman Hemsley, Isabel Sanford, Dick Shawn, Ronnie Schell—it’s a film that has inevitably dated a bit (does anybody really remember Arte Johnson on Laugh-in?) and will date even more on down the line, but its silliness is still not without its pleasures.
Love at First Bite is being shown continuously from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Pack Memorial Library Wednesday, Oct. 31, as part of their annual blood drive.