Son of Dracula
I had the soundtrack album to Son of Dracula when I was a kid—you could buy it for 99 cents in any cut out bin in America in the late 70s—and although I didn’t really like the music that much, it featured impressive album cover art that opened out from under Harry Nilsson’s cape (see below). It just stayed in my record collection, unlistened to, but still pretty cool. It’s not like the film ever achieved “legendary lost film” status in my eyes, but when I saw a VHS bootleg for sale one day at the Pasadena Flea Market (there was a huge section of the market devoted solely to rock memorabilia and bootlegs of every stripe back in 90s) I scooped it up.
Hmmmm… It’s not like I can stand here before you and tell you it’s great—because it’s definitely not—but do take Ringo Starr’s comments on Son of Dracula as the gospel truth: “It is not the best film ever made, but I’ve seen worse.” He ought to know, he co-produced this turkey. )He’s also being a bit cagey with that statement because he’s mum on exactly how many worse films he’s seen? One other? Dozens? I’d guess it’s a number Ringo counts on just one hand…).
Featuring hard-partying musician Harry Nilsson as “Count Downe” a vampire rock musician who is about to be crowned Overlord of the Netherworld when he falls in love with a mortal and has a change of heart, and Ringo as—who else—Merlin the Magician. Son of Dracula contains celebrity cameos from Nilsson’s hard-partying rocker mates Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham and Keith Moon (see a pattern forming here already?) and a band that included Peter Frampton, Klaus Voorman and Leon Russell.
It used to be that this film was impossible to see, but now, thanks to the wonderful innovation that is YouTube, you can have it in your very home—the entire film—from right where you are sitting now…