1979 was Dracula’s year with the TV movie Vampire, Love at First Bite, the Frank Langella Dracula, Nosferatu the Vampyre, Salem’s Lot, Nocturna: Granddaughter of Dracula, Thirst and Nightwing all being released.
Let’s add one more.
The goal of The Curse of Dracula was to make the vampire a tragic hero devoid of camp. Michael Nouri was perfect for this. playing a bloodsucker who was also a professor of East European History at Southbay College in San Francisco.
His enemies were the grandson of his greatest challenge, Kurt von Helsing (Stephen Johns), and the daughter of one of his past loves, Mary Gibbons (Carol Baxter).
In this version of Dracula, the count has moved twety coffins packed with Transylvanian soil to America, but Kurt and Mary have used a computer to located and destroy twelve of them.To catch Dracula, Mary signs up for one of his night classes and at a party at his place afterward, she discovers that he knows who she is and just wants to be left alone.
The story started with “Chapter VI: Lifeblood” and would be the only Cliffhangers installment to reach its conclusion. It also gave birth to two movies, Dracula ’79* and World of Dracula. Ten chapters of The Curse of Dracula were produced, compared to eleven for Stop Susan Williams and twelve for The Secret Empire.
In the TV movie cut, Dracula removes the stake from his heart. That’s because there was a plan to create a Curse of Dracula TV show, but sadly, it was never to be.
Research for this came from TV Obscurities.
*I have also heard this referred to as The Curse of Dracula.
You can watch the fan edit of both movies — along with parts of the episodes — on YouTube.