For the past year, I have watched, fascinated, as popular culture has been inundated by a new wave of vampire product, particularly TWILIGHT and TRUE BLOOD. It seems almost a repeat of a similar fad which swept the landscape exactly 30 years ago, taking me back to my childhood and the year 1979, one of the most prolific years in the cinematic life of Count Dracula/vampires. Two major vampire films - the sensuous "Dracula," with Frank Langella and Werner Herzog's eerie, hypnotic, "Nosferatu" -were released in that year. At the same time, the perennially undead Count also took over the short-lived TV serial, "Cliffhangers" (remember that one!) and who could forget Reggie Nader as a Nosferatu-like vampire in the miniseries of Stephen King's "Salem's Lot." LOVE AT FIRST BITE added comedy to the glut of vampire-related tales produced back then, becoming a surprise hit and one of the top moneymakers of the year. George Hamilton turns in a surprisingly good performance as the undead aristocrat, and Susan Saint-James has her best role as Cindy Sondheim, a New York fashion model who just happens to be the reincarnation of Dracula's long-lost love. Much of the humour in this film is definitely pre-AIDS (and pre-political correctness!), and I find it quite uncanny that so many bloodsucking tales were produced simultaneously in the last year of the wild, decadent (and ultimately tragic) 1970s, and I find it equally odd to be reliving a similar cultural moment a generation later - what does this say about our world and its current direction? All that aside, LOVE AT FIRST BITE - a cable TV staple - has lasted not just because it is very, very funny, but also because Susan Saint James and George Hamilton have a great chemistry between them and actually make their love story convincing! I won't bother to recount the plot as so many others have done so already. I do want to say that this film is a terrific satire on the loose-lipped, zipless, drug-fueled promiscuity of the period - Cindy Sondheim is a woman bored out of her skull with her decadent life - she smokes pot daily, pops Quaaludes like candy, sucks down booze as fast at she can and wallows in therapy as an excuse for avoiding her own disenchantment with the "glamorous" world of a "supermodel." Cindy is waiting for something big to come into her life, and Count Dracula turns out to be it! Unlike most vampire tales, we wind up rooting for the "monster" to win Cindy away from her uptight, creepy, psychiatrist-boyfriend, Dr. Rosenberg/Van Helsing and take her away from a New York shown to be corrupt, violent, and rife with poverty and superficiality. It is strange how a comedy can make some very sharp points about a civilization, and this film works as well as it does because it manages to make fun of just about everything considered "normal." Oddly, the vampire seems to be the only being with any capacity for real love, so when the newly-undead Cindy flies off into the night in the famous last shot, we cheer the lovers on as they escape into the romantic moonlight! (Classic dialogue: "Oh, this isn't so hard! I think I'm going to love being a vampire!" "There is only one problem - we can only live by night." "That's OK - I can never get my s**t together before 6 o'clock anyway!") The hilarious script - filled with too many great one-liners and hilarious scenes to recount - zooms along, leaving the viewer breathless with laughter and feeling better about the meaning and importance of love in a cold, cruel world - and that's an unexpected message in a film supposedly about the undead. I've seen this film a hundred times and it make me laugh every time. I never get tired of it, and neither will you once you see it! BTW, it is truly unfortunate that the studio cannot seem to reach a deal with Alicia Bridges to include "I Love The Night Life" in the film - the recent DVD was a commercial failure and thousands of fans were really, really angry because the absence of this song does RUIN the most pivotal and important scene! Maybe we should start a letter-writing campaign?