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Comedy Movies - Love At First Bite


Love At First Bite
George Hamilton, Susan Saint James, Arte Johnson
Directed by Stan Dragoti
MGM Home Video 2005
96 minutes

Love At First Bite is vampire comedy classic with a biting sense of humor. The funny jokes in this movie come every thirty seconds or so in addition to various visual gags and general fun at the expense of the horror genre. Everybody in this movie is hilarious, from the Man from Tan, George Hamilton as Dracula, Arte Johnson as a nebbish bug-eating Renfield, Susan Saint James as Cindy Sondheim, a descendant of the original Mina Harker, to Richard Benjamin as her psychiatrist boyfriend and somewhat incompetent vampire nemesis Van Helsing.

Dracula ends up in New York City when the Romanian government repossesses his castle for an Olympic training center. There, he contends with modern life, including not being able to eat lamb chops and garlic toast, and goes on a quest for Cindy. Of course, the vampire's got to get his daily dose of vitamin blood and this makes a few funny flying bat or black chicken scene, one where he gets drunk after biting a wino, and one where he is driven around in a hearse (a combination limousine and mobile home as he so elegantly puts it).

What makes this comic film work is that everything is played for laughs but not as a farce. It is an intelligent comedy that works on many levels and that everyone will enjoy. A definite must for any fan of the genre.

"I am Count Vladimir Dracula. I do not sell life insurance." is one of the many one-liners in this hilarious spoof of the genre. Another is this exchange: "How many times did he bite you?" "Just once. I told you it was our first date." Renfield getting sick while watching a Raid commercial -it kills bugs dead and he likes them still wiggling-is just one of many great little moments reserved for Arte Johnson.

Look for cameos by The Jeffersons stars Sherman Hemsley as a preacher and Isabel Sandford as a judge. Dick Shawn plays one of New York's finest.

Note: fans of the movie will again bemoan the fact the original song used for the dance number, I Love the Night Life, has been replaced with a generic tune.

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