40 Years Ago: Ringo Starr and Harry Nilsson Release ‘Son of Dracula’

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Two of the biggest rock stars of the ’70s filming a comedy inspired by the legend of Dracula. What could go wrong? Quite a bit, as it turned out. But on paper, having Harry Nilsson team up with Ringo Starr for ‘Son of Dracula’ must have looked like a great idea — not only because Starr was a former Beatle and Nilsson was riding high on the success of his hit ‘Nilsson Schmilsson’ and ‘Son of Schmilsson’ LPs, but also because both men had prior experience in film; Nilsson had earlier scored with the animated adaptation of his ‘The Point!’ album, while Starr had appeared in a handful of movies and directed the T. Rex concert documentary ‘Born to Boogie.’

Alas, even if the screenplay (penned by actress Jennifer Jayne, writing as Jay Fairbank) had been Oscar-worthy stuff, it might not have mattered much; even if Nilsson and Starr were both avid film fans, they were still moonlighting musicians, and they happened to be embarking on this project during a time in which both of them were becoming increasingly well-known for their extracurricular activities. Creative discipline, in other words, was in short supply — and ‘Son of Dracula’ needed plenty, not least because of its spoofy shambles of a story, in which Dracula’s son Count Downe (Nilsson) is summoned back home by Merlin (Starr) to assume the family throne after his father is murdered, but turns his back on his birthright after falling in love with a human woman (Suzanna Leigh) and reaches out to old family nemesis Van Helsing (Dennis Price) to lift his vampiric curse.

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Source: Ultimate Classic Rock

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