‘She gives good fang!’
Nocturna – usually referred to by its promotional title Nocturna: Granddaughter of Dracula – is a 1978 American comedy horror film conceived by star Nai Bonet and written and directed by Harry Hurwitz, who was credited as “Harry Tampa.”
This was the fourth and final time veteran horror star John Carradine played Count Dracula; he had also played him in House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula and Billy the Kid vs. Dracula.
It premiered in France at the Paris Festival of Fantastic Films on March 1, 1979 to coincide with its US release. Brother Theodore also stars, and Mac Ahlberg was the cinematographer. The movie is copyrighted 1978 in the opening and ending credits as it was filmed in October and November 1978.
Nai Bonet appeared in a semi-nude pictorial in the April 1979 issue of Gallery magazine to promote the film.
The Count’s statuesque granddaughter Nocturna runs away to the New York disco scene with what she calls ‘my boyfriend’, a friendly blond hulk who had been doing a gig in Transylvania.
However, New York has its problems for vampires, Nocturna soon learns. The quality of the blood supply is being compromised by drugs, pollution, high-sugar diets, and preservatives so that the local vampires have formed a club, the BSA (Blood Suckers of America), in order to discuss possible solutions, such as the use of syringes instead of fangs and the opening of a blood bank that solicits donors from the public….
“Nocturna is Bad Movie Jackpot for undiscriminating fans of 70’s cheese. If the gaudy fashions, dated music (the soundtrack features original cuts by Gloria Gaynor and Vicky Sue Robinson), and rampant disco dancing aren’t you’re thing; there’s still plenty here for you to enjoy. There’s a great scene where Nocturna takes a bath and does a spoken word rap about love over the soundtrack a la Margot Kidder in Superman. It has to be seen to be believed.” The Video Vacuum
“This movie is supposed to be a comedy, but it’s not funny. Worse, the whole thing is directed in plodding fashion with a great deal of outright clumsiness, particularly in the action of the final 20 minutes (during which Nocturna’s overpowering of Theodore isn’t even shown). Writer/director “Harry Tampa” (actually Harry Hurwitz) evidently structured the proceedings around the eminently forgettable disco tunes that litter the soundtrack, devoting a large amount of screen time to energy-free dance sequences.” Fright.com
“There are a few ideas which wouldn’t disgrace a Mel Brooks movie: Dracula (Carradine) wearing dentures, a lady vamp sleeping in curlers and coffin, and her exasperated complaints about the quality of urban blood through ‘pollution, drugs and preservatives’. It’s all terrible, but there’s no indication that it’s meant to be anything else. Only see it when you feel very, very silly.” Time Out
Buy Nocturna vinyl soundtrack from Amazon.com