Vampires in Havana (Vampiros en La Habana) 1985

Pepito (right) and his Cuban friend from "Vampires in Havana"

Every now and then I enjoy a silly comedy and Vampires in Havana (Vampiros en La Habana) is a great little animated story about a trumpet playing vampire named Pepito. The year is 1930 and Pepito (also known as Joseph Emmanuel Von Dracula) is busy trying to thwart a Cuban dictator named Gerardo Machado with wacky plots and sexcapades involving Machado’s wife. While all this is going on in Cuba, the Chicago based mob of vampires is busy trying to supress the efforts of vampire scientist, Werner Amadeus Von Dracula, (the mob wants to keep their monopoly on indoor beach resorts for vampires) who has supposedly created a serum that allows vampires to become immune to sunlight. The drawings are loose and playful, somewhat reminding me of the style Depatie-Freleng used for their lesser viewed cartoons like Hoot Kloot or Roland and Ratfink. The character Pepito is very similar in nature to Lupin from the Lupin III movies and makes for corny dialogue with funny twists. Behind all the action is some really great trumpet playing by legendary trumpet player Arturo Sandoval. Vampires in Havana (subtitled in English, audio in Spanish) is fun to watch but be forwarned for the young; there is some nudity and light violence.

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