“Mrs. Nelson: Where are your fangs?
Count Yorga: Where are your manners?”
Originally supposed to be a soft-core porn called The Loves of Count Iorga, A title this collection keeps, until lead actor Robert Quarry said the script was good enough to be a straight horror.
At times the film feels like it is going to wander into soft-core territory but with all nudity cut the only remnants of this exist in pictures.
The film we end up with is a contemporary Dracula story for its time though like Kim Newman mentions during the very informative interview on the disc so was the 1931 Dracula.
Count Yorga is conducting a séance to help Donna contact her mother who dated Yorga for two weeks before she died.
After the séance the Count is offered a lift home by Erica and Paul who run into some convenient car trouble on the way back and are attacked.
Erica then starts to act differently so Paul, helped out by Dr. Hayes, Donna and her boyfriend Michael seek out the Count to save her.
Being a fan of 70’s films in general I loved this. Apparently this had a small, very small budget but honestly it doesn’t show.
That might be helped by the high definition transfer which gives a very nice picture.
The settings are fantastic especially the Counts home which is equal parts dingy dungeon and fancy manor.
The cast also are fantastic but Robert Quarry makes the film playing the count as someone with nothing but contempt or maybe boredom for those he has no interest with.
So smug and carrying an air of superiority around him he moves at his own sedate pace apart from when it comes time to kill where he charges at the camera filmed in that creepy 70’s slow motion style to great effect.
Just brilliant. Everyone else does their job well enough but no one stands out apart from maybe the Counts beautiful brides but that doesn’t mean they take away from the film.
For instance one of the best scenes is a tense conversation between Dr. Hayes and Yorga.
Special mention does go to the Counts henchman, the almost zombie like Brudda.
I loved this film. One I’ve been wanting to watch for years.
In the follow up The Return of Count Yorga (1971) Yorga has moved to a new area and attends a fancy dress fundraising event at the nearby orphanage where he spies Cynthia and decides he want’s a new bride but this time it is for love.
That always spells disaster. Should’ve stuck with simple good old fashioned lust.
His brides attack her family and take Cynthia hostage.
The next day Jennifer who is Cynthia’s family’s mute maid discovers the family and calls the police but by the time they arrive there is no evidence of any attack.
Cynthia’s fiancee as well as the priest that runs the orphanage try to find her enlisting the help of two very sceptical police officers with one played by Craig T. Nelson (the father in Poltergeist 1982) in his first ever role.
Here’s a hint for anyone trying to convince the police to help. Don’t ever mention Vampires or zombies or any mythical creature.
The budget on this is supposed to be much bigger but to be honest I thought this looked cheaper.
The story isn’t as good but the script is definitely sharper with the smug Yorga being far more smug and some having excellent one-liner put downs.
Compared to the first this follow up does have more memorable characters especially Cynthia and Jennifer who has her own battle going on during the film that for me was more interesting than the main plot.
This isn’t a bad film at all. The ending was very good and offers a twist playing on the first films ending.
In fact it is the final twist whilst obvious what is going to happen and is quite a common trope has a nice role reversal here.
For fans of Vampire films these are definitely films you should try and see.
Yorga is a fantastic character which makes it a shame that the proposed third film, a cross-over with Dr. Anton Phibes from Dr. Phibes Rises Again never happened.
Arrow as usual have produced another high quality transfer. The usual standard we have come to expect so if a fan then you can’t go wrong.
Again these trailers are from YouTube and the best i could find
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
High Definition digital transfers of both Yorga films, from original film elements by MGM
Original mono audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Audio commentary on Count Yorga, Vampire by David Del Valle
Audio commentary on The Return of Count Yorga by David Del Valle
Interview with critic and author Kim Newman
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys