Monday, February 14, 2011

The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang: The Vampire Strikes Back – review

Directors: George Gordon, Ray Patterson & Rudy Zamora

First aired: 1980

Contains spoilers

It did happen… there was a cartoon version of Happy Days, with the Fonz (Henry Winkler) as the central character, and they did meet a vampire. The series added in an anthropomorphic dog called Mr Cool (Frank Welker) and took the premise that Fonz, Richie (Ron Howard) and Ralph (Don Most) met a time traveling girl named Cupcake (Didi Conn) and ended up lost in time with her.

vampiric hijacking
At the beginning of this episode they actually believe that cupcake might be getting them home. What none of the see is the vampire appearing on the time ship and zapping the controls to force them to land in Transylvania by Castle Von Wolfenstein. Of course logical questions such as, "how did the vampire get on the time ship?" would be futile.

Cupcake and the Crap Bat
Ralph, on hearing it is Transylvania, faints. From his prone position he suggests that there is only one thing worse than Transylvania at dusk… before he finishes his sentence Cupcake zaps the time to night with her cosmic powers… which, of course, is the worst thing. Even worse, however, is the fact that the time ship has vanished.

the carriage
Just then Count Wolfgang von Wolfenstein appears and offers them shelter in his castle. His coach is there. Ralph seems less than happy and so Richie offers to go with him to the village. Fonz, Cupcake and Mr Cool go to the castle, in a carriage that has no driver, where a hunchback called Igor takes them to their rooms.

The Fonz
Richie and Ralph discover that there are vampires in the castle – going to the rescue – but not before they are chased down by a wolf and Igor manages to splice Ralph and the wolf together, turning Ralph into a werewolf. Cupcake falls under the Count’s evil spell but can his control of her triumph against the Fonz’ cool?

I have some rose-tinted memories of Happy Days, but not, alas, the cartoon and it seems to me that it was a tie in too far. Never the less it was a fair way to mindlessly spend 20 or so minutes and the voice acting being provided by the live action Happy Days cast (where applicable) was positive – as was the intro by Wolfman Jack. Still, it really was a tie in too far. 5 out of 10.

The episode’s imdb page is here.


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