Thursday, August 31, 2006

Vampyros Disco

1979 was a huge years for bloodsuckers, including the Frank Langella Dracula, Herzog's Nosferatu, Salem's Lot, and, uh, Nightwing, among others. Weirdest of all, audiences got two vampire disco comedies, though only one broke through and became a hit (one of AIP's biggest, in fact). Love at First Bite managed to revive the career of George Hamilton and kicked off a new wave of monster comedies throughout the following half-decade or so. The soundtrack is goofy horror fun, an early effort from Charles Bernstein featuring lots of tongue-in-cheek violin music and one monster of an extended gothic dance track, the 12-minute "Fly by Night." Note that the original theatrical version (and TV airings) contain Alicia Bridges' "I Love the Nightlife" during the famous disco dancing scene, but the filmmakers neglected to clear it for other use and so the tune is missing from all extant video versions. It was never included on the soundtrack, but you can easily find the song on plenty of bargain-priced compilations and soundtracks.

The success of Hamilton's Dracula easily overshadowed the nearly simultaneous appearance of Nocturna, Compass International's head-scratching follow-up to the successful Halloween. Dancer Nai Bonet had already been trying to break through as a star for over a decade, but this intended star vehicle proved to be the last nail in the coffin for her career as she proved beyond any doubt that she absolutely could not act. At all. Not even a tiny bit. However, she spends most of her time onscreen either rolling around naked in slow motion or disco dancing, so that's not much of a problem. John Carradine and Yvonne De Carlo pop up in glorified cameos as her vampire relatives, and the late Anthony Hamilton made his big-screen debut here before taking over after the death of actor Jon-Erik Hexum on the bizarre CBS show Cover Up. The Nocturna soundtrack received a big push upon its release but quickly wound up in cut-out bins before being forgotten entirely; a shame, really, as it does have some solid tracks including a great 7-minute main theme, "Love Is Just a Heartbeat Away," from Gloria Gaynor (the same year she released "I Will Survive"). Trivia: Nocturna was one of the earliest titles released on VHS, courtesy of Meda Home Entertainment (quickly renamed Media shortly thereafter), but it's been incredibly hard to find ever since.

Love At First Bite
1. Transylvania Moon
2. Fly By Night
3. Castle Interlude
4. Manhattan
5. Dancin' Through The Night
6. Love Theme (Disco Version)
7. Transylvania Moon (Reprise)

1. Nocturna (Chopin's Nocturne, Opus 55 #1)
2. Love Is Just A Heartbeat Away (Gloria Gaynor)
3. Why Do Lovers Come Together (Jay Siegel)
4. I'm Hopelessly In Love With You (Moment Of Truth)
5. Bitten By The Love Bug (Heaven 'N' Hell)
6. Love At First Sight (Heaven 'N' Hell)
7. Whatcha Gonna Do (Heaven 'N' Hell)
8. Nighttime Fantasy (Vickie Sue Robinson)

And on a completely unrelated note, the always excellent DigitMovies has officially announced the September release for the number one Italian film score on my most-wanted list, Lucio Fulci's Sette Notte in Nero (a.k.a. The Psychic) from the incredible Frizzi-Bixio-Tempera. Heck, it inspired the name of this blog, so that should tell you something. Also coming the same day is Trans Europa Express' awesome prog-rock soundtrack to Il gatto dagli occhi di giada, a.k.a. Watch Me When I Kill. Be sure to buy 'em both!

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Anonymous uv123 said...

Watch Me When I Kill is one of my favorite giallos and I'm very excited for the news of a score release. Thanks for the info! Keep up the good work with the blog as well!

6:37 PM  
Blogger Pekis said...

Thanks a lot for all these soundtracks and your own comments !

11:47 PM  
Blogger ISBUM said...

The comments on Avalanch are kind of interesing ;)

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Disco Mystic said...

Wow, this is a nice surprise - thanks for honoring your fellow disco fanatics with this. You were right, "Fly By Night" is a total groove. And I always NOCTURNA's soundtrack was far more entertaining than the film itself (Brother Theodore notwithstanding...).

To show my appreciation, here's a download of "I Love The Nightlife (Disco 'Round)" by Alicia Bridges. This way, everybody can make their LOVE AT FIRST BITE album truly complete -

6:00 PM  
Blogger Erick Monsterama2000 said...

Thanks for 'Love At First Bite.' It's one of my favorite funny monster movies.

Did they ever release a soundtrack for Young Frankenstein?

Keep up the excellent posts.


7:07 PM  
Anonymous Ben said...

I've been falling in love with the soundtrack to NOCTURNA all morning. Now I won't be able to sleep until I see the movie. Your informed commentary and the sensational album finds make finding this blog a truly life-changing experience for me (I can't believe that they released a soundtrack album for THE LONELY LADY.)

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You made me wanna see Nocturna so badly!

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any chance of getting Love at First Bite back up?! Have been after this for years and just found this blog and now it's gone!!
Damn and blast!

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any chance of getting Love at First Bite back up?![2]

- I would like too!!

7:23 PM  
Blogger Bobby said...

Can you re-upload love at first bite again? Please???

4:04 AM  
Blogger the saucer people said...

Unfortunately both links for Nocturna & Love At First Bite are down (hardly suprising given the length of time!). I have scoured the net for both soundtracks and while Love At First Bite is nowhere to be found, I did come across a 192 rip of Nocturna at the excellent Disco Delivery blog (you have to download the eight files individually which is hardly a hassle):

You would have hoped that out of all the people who had downloaded these two soundtracks that at least one person would have posted them elsewhere!

1:22 PM  

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