|The Vampire Happening|
|Directed by||Freddie Francis|
|Written by||August Rieger|
|Produced by||Pier A. Caminnecci|
|Edited by||Alfred Srp|
|Music by||Jerry van Rooyen|
The Vampire Happening (German: Gebissen wird nur nachts, lit. They only bite at night) is a 1971 West German comedy and horror film directed by Freddie Francis.
An American actress inherits a castle in Transylvania. What she does not know is that her ancestor, the Baroness Catali, was in actuality a vampire countess, and emerges from her tomb to ravage the nearby village and Catholic seminary.
In the early 1970s, Italian producer Pier A. Caminnecci was looking for a film for his wife Pia Degermark whose previous film Elvira Madigan (1967) was a critical and financial success. Caminnecci set up an international production for her in West Germany directed by British director Freddie Francis and written by German screenwriters August Rieger and Karl-Heinz Hummel The script features a sub-plot based on Theophile Gautier's short story "La Morte Amoureuse."
Francis later stated:
I was aware from the start of the difficulties in shooting a horror parody. I really believed that I was working with normal people in the movie industry, and thought I could have made a decent film. With time, I became aware that the producer was an imbecile who treated the project like a home movie. He wanted to do the casting, make cameos in the film, and wanted his wife as an actress. It was a disaster which I can't say anything serious about.
The film was not well received. Allmovie gave the film one and a half stars out of five, stating that it is "not considered to be one of the crown jewels of the genre" In his book Comedy-Horror Films:A Chronological History, author Bruce G. Hallenbeck referred to the film as "sort of a ripoff of Polanski's The Fearless Vampire Killers" and "doesn't come within lightyears of Polanski's vision"