Written by: Oden Nilsson on August 18th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1988
Director: Lamberto Bava
Writers: Lamberto Bava, Dardano Sacchetti
Cast: George Hilton, Patrizia Pellegrino, Riccardo Rossi, Isabel Russinova
DVD released: August, 2005
Approximate running time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: A-Film
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL
Retail Price: $12.15 (9,99 Euro)
Dinner with the Vampire starts with a film-crew awakening a four thousand year old Vampire named Jurek, years after his rise from the grave he becomes a horror film director. His personal assistant holds auditions for his next masterpiece and they lure 3 hopeful wannabe scream queens and a male comedian to spend the night at Jureks castle. When they arrive they get notified that the director is a bit late and they get to watch a black and white vampire movie in the meantime, but the projector breaks down and Jurek finally arrives for dinner. And then he reveals the real reason why they where invited to dinner with the vampire, to kill him before dawn or else he will kill them…
This Movie was originally included as a part of a 4 film series called “Brivido Giallo” for the Italian Television-network Reteitalia, the other titles was The Ogre, Until Death and Graveyard Disturbance. What can I say, I really tend to dislike Lamberto Bavas movies (mostly because of lacking funds or simply real bad stories) but this time he hit the mother load and gives us a very entertaining horror-comedy with vampirism and dark humor that really works.
Lamberto Bava and Dardano Sachettis script is not perfect but it shows that they had fun when they wrote it. Dinner with the Vampire includes a brilliant performance of one of my personal favorites George Hilton as the charming Jurek and we get to meet the Italian counterpart to Marty Feldman (Daniele Aldrovandi) as the hunchbacked butler. And the supporting cast does their job without any major mishaps, the only objection I have would be the horrendous dubbing but if you’re into this kind of movies you’re most likely used to it. Sergio Stivaletti`s responsible for some of the optical and special effects and I most say that they work most of the time, but there are some transformations that doesn’t look so good. I particularly enjoyed the photography that is really great considering that this is a TV-production. And as I mentioned before, Gorge Hilton gives us a very convincing and funny performance as the vampire that lost the will to live. For those that do not know who George Hilton is I can really recommend to watch some of his western and/or gialli from the early 1970’s are where he often gave 5 star performances.
The movie is presented in 1.77:1 (Anamorphic enhanced) which supposed to be the original aspect ratio. But the Japanese disc’s apparently presented in 1.85:1 so I’m unsure which format is right. Picture wise we are presented a clean and nicely colored print with only minor dust and speckles.
The back cover states that there is an Italian audio track, that’s fortunately not true and there is only an English audio option and there are optional Dutch subtitles on the disc. The English mono audio track is pretty good with some minor hisses and noise. The soundtrack by Simon Boswell is very 1980’s and it fits the movies overall eighties feel perfectly.
When it comes to extras this disc is barebones, there are 3 trailers for other A-Film releases and that’s about it. I would like to recommend Dinner with a Vampire to those of you that yet haven’t got into the wonderful world of Italian horror movies. Dinner with a Vampire is not the best and certainly not the goriest spaghetti nightmare; still it is a wonderful addition that fans of Italian horror will thoroughly enjoy, recommended.