Son of Dracula (1974)

Supposedly originating as Ringo Starr’s answer to George Harrison’s producing chops on Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Son of Dracula (or Young Dracula as the version I saw was titled) is an unapologetically ridiculous horror movie musical. In addition to throwing a reported $800,000 at the movie while producing, Ringo Starr plays Merlin, who for unexplained reasons has trilling musical notes under all his words. Harry Nilsson plays the titular son of Dracula, the fantastically named Count Downe, who all the characters call by his full title and name as often as possible without so much as a raised eyebrow at the pun it entails.Besides Starr and Nilsson there are also cameos from members of the Who, Led Zeppelin, and other British musicians playing mostly Nilsson’s catchy tunes. It’s impossible not to watch without a Mystery Science Theater Hour mindset overtaking you, but that’s not to say it becomes any less enjoyable once you get (rather quickly) what this movie is. Midget Igors in radiation suits, people being so shocked they dislodge their monocles, unexpected uses of captioning, and an almost complete lack of dedication to ensuring the movements of those playing instruments onscreen match with the music being heard, touches like these give the movie a charming buffoonery too often missing from ego projects. Just don’t devote too much time to trying to discern the plot.

This movie was at BAM’s Nilsson Schmilsson retrospective, but also appears to be on Youtube. Because you didn’t ask, here is the recommended drinking game (but proceed carefully), drink when: Someone calls Count Downe by his full name, the cat appears, Downe turns into a bat, captioning is on screen, or the Count’s music continues despite his hands no longer being at the piano.

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