A Disco Kind of Love – Nocturna: Granddaughter of Dracula (1979)

Nai Bonet stars as Nocturna, Dracula’s granddaughter who is tired of hanging around the family castle all the time and running it while her grandpa sleeps the rest of his life away down in the crypts. Of late, the castle has been turned into a hotel so that Dracula can make a little money to help keep the place up and pay the taxes. Most of that falls on Nocturna and while busy trying to book a band, she meets a young man named Jimmy and she falls in love. As there is nothing she wants more in the world than to have a man in her life, Nocturna runs away to America to be with Jimmy and leaving everything behind, or at least so she thinks.

nocturna-18Suffice it to say, Nocturna is a horror-comedy film with little horror and even less comedy. There is nothing here that will make you laugh except perhaps the extremely cheesy dialogue sported by most of the cast, particularly John Carradine who steps into the role of the Count once again. The script is not good in any classic sense of the word, though the overall story is not actually all that bad. If there is anything horrific to be found in this film, it would be some of the acting and even Carradine cannot save this picture from itself as the cast really had nothing to work with. Supposedly Bonet came up with the idea for the movie and is listed as both a writer and a producer. Not everyone has the ability to bring something to the big screen and Bonet should get kudos for that, but there was little to love and in a strange sort of way, it was both terrible and wonderful.

The best part of it all was the music with its disco soundtrack featuring tracks by Moment of Truth and Gloria Gaynor. It added a ton of life to the film and really helped to move it along from scene to scene. There were some nocturna-11moments that just seemed to grind the movie to a halt, scenes that were supposed to be comedic one could say, where the music stopped and there was just dead silence except for whichever person was talking. It was painful to say the least when these moments came and hurt the picture more than anything, though that could be debatable considering everything else. As an added bonus and for whatever reason except maybe to fill up some of the running time, there is an extended sequence where Bonet takes a bath and then proceeds to rub herself down with oil afterwards. When your film has nothing else going for it other than some great music, nudity seems to be the constant fallback.

Nocturna: Granddaughter of Dracula is a film that falls into the ‘so bad it’s good’ category. There were more negatives than positives, but surprisingly, they can be overlooked because despite it all, the film tends to be really quite enjoyable. There was far too little Carradine which was a real shame and nice to see was Yvonne De Carlo, though much older than you would expect. A little more horror and perhaps a decent script would have gone a long way in the end, but all in all, Nocturna – though disappointing, did not really fall all that flat.

3 out of 5

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