Nocturna: Granddaughter of Dracula

Nocturna (more commonly referred to by its promotional title Nocturna: Granddaughter of Dracula) is a 1979 film conceived by star Nai Bonet and written and directed by Harry Hurwitz, who was credited as "Harry Tampa". It premiered in France at the Paris Festival of Fantastic Films on March 1, 1979 to coincide with its U.S. release. The movie is copyrighted 1978 in the opening and ending credits, as it was filmed in October and November 1978.

Nocturna 1979 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHarry Hurwitz
Produced byIrwin Yablans
Nai Bonet
Vernon P. Becker
Written byNai Bonet
Harry Hurwitz
StarringJohn Carradine
Nai Bonet
Music byNorman Bergen
Reid Whitelaw
CinematographyMac Ahlberg
Edited byIan Maitland
Distributed byCompass International Pictures
Release date
  • March 1, 1979 (1979-03-01)
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States


Transylvania, 1979: Hard times have fallen upon the House of Dracula, and to help pay the taxes on the ancestral castle it has been converted into the Hotel Transylvania. The manager of the hotel is the beautiful and sensuous Nocturna (Nai Bonet), granddaughter of the original Count (John Carradine) who still resides in the crypt deep in the sub-basement of the establishment.

In order to increase business and the supply of fresh blood at the hotel, Nocturna books the American disco group Moment of Truth to entertain in the hotel's cabaret, The Claret Room. While listening to the group rehearse their music, Nocturna experiences strange sensations which she has never felt before. At the same time, she is attracted to a handsome musician in the group named Jimmy (Antony Hamilton). Soon they are having a passionate love affair, but the music that plays as they make love prevents her from making him another victim of her blood-lust. The music continues the strange transformation of Nocturna who sees her reflected image for the first time while dancing. Deeply in love with Jimmy, she disregards grandfather Dracula's advice, and runs away to America with him.

When they arrive in New York, she leaves the disappointed Jimmy and seeks out the crypt of Jugulia Vein (Yvonne De Carlo), an old love of Count Dracula's, who lives underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. Nocturna goes to a disco to meet Jimmy where she is transformed again by the soul-stirring powers of the music. All the other dancers join them in a fantastic erotic dance.

Meanwhile, back at Jugulia's crypt, Count Dracula has appeared with his henchman Theodore (Brother Theodore), and has placed Jugulia under a spell forcing her to disclose the whereabouts of Jimmy's apartment. He orders his henchman to bring back Nocturna and to do as he wishes with her human lover. Theodore, who is hopelessly in love with Nocturna, captures her and brings her back to Jimmy's apartment tied inside a black bag. Theodore is about to take Jimmy's blood when Nocturna manages to rip through the bag, bares her fangs and pounce upon the cringing Theodore.

Theodore drags his broken body back to Jugulia's crypt and informs his master that he has failed. Jugulia leads them to the disco, hoping to change Count Dracula's mind when he sees how happy his granddaughter is. However, the Count is infuriated when he sees Nocturna dancing with Jimmy. He places Jimmy under his evil spell, as well as all of the dancers in the disco. To save her lover's life, Nocturna agrees to leave with her grandfather and return to Transylvania. Jugulia, a romantic at heart, releases Jimmy from his trance. He is determined to risk his life to save Nocturna and rushes out of the disco. Before Count Dracula can destroy him, he rips an electrically lit "T" from the sign of the disco and advances towards the infamous vampire with his improvised cross. Count Dracula shrieks in horror at the sight, transforms himself into a bat and flies off to the safety of Transylvania. Jugulia, who has other plans for the Count, also transforms into a bat and flies after him.

Nocturna feels that she is human now and decides to watch the sun rise for the first time. Although they both realize it may mean her death, they stand in each other's arms awaiting the first rays of sunlight. The sun's rays illuminate Nocturna's anxious face. She smiles a warm human smile at Jimmy, and they tenderly kiss.

Principal castEdit

Actor Role
Yvonne De Carlo Jugulia Vein
John Carradine Count Dracula
Nai Bonet Nocturna
Antony Hamilton Jimmy
Brother Theodore Theodore


The MCA double album soundtrack featured songs recorded by Gloria Gaynor, Vicki Sue Robinson and Moment of Truth.[1]

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