Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)    0 Stars

“Don’t dare come alone!”

Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)
Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)


Director: Bob Kelljan

Cast: Robert Quarry, Roger Perry, Michael Murphy

Synopsis: Weeks after her mother dies, Donna and her boyfriend, Michael, invite Bulgarian emigre Count Yorga to conduct what turns out to be a failed seance.







WARNING! This review contains SPOILERS (if you’ve never seen a vampire flick before…)

The fact that Count Yorga, Vampire was made by semi-professionals on a shoestring budget is apparent from the start, but don’t let that put you off: let the poor acting and by-the-numbers plot do that.

Actually, I’m probably being a little unfair. While I was watching this movie, I was trying to think of earlier vampire flicks based in a contemporary setting, and came up blank. I’m probably wrong, but if I’m not, Count Yorga can at least be credited with inventing a sub-genre.

It has to be said that, apart from Robert Quarry as the urbane, sophisticated Count, the acting is pedestrian throughout, and the story is merely a hoary old Hammer Horror dressed up in modern clothes (although torches still burn on the walls of the Count’s mansion), with a touch of DC comic’s visuals thrown into the pot. While subsequent contemporary vampire movies (Near Dark, The Lost Boys, etc) have gone for the jugular with a pop-culture style and vicious, visceral bloodletting, here the concentration on the sexual/sensual blooding of the vampire’s female victims is another indicator that Count Yorga is more a rebellious grandchild of horror movies of old than the great-grandfather of the modern-vampire movies that would eventually follow in its wake.

The climax to Count Yorga, Vampire is all wrong. Yorga’s fate is both predictable and poorly executed – vampire’s shouldn’t die so easily; this guy, after boasting of all the centuries of wisdom that have made him so superior to mortals, practically runs into the hapless hero’s stake.

(Reviewed 5th May 2002)

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