TOMB OF NOSTALGIA: THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA (1971)

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THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA (1971)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

Count Yorga (Robert Quarry) is back…though not sure how…and takes up refuge in an old mansion opposite an orphanage. He sets his sights on pretty teacher Cynthia (Mariette Hartley) and his fangs on all her family and friends. Can anyone stop this fiend before he takes Cynthia as his bride and everyone else as his dinner?

Sequel is directed again by Bob Kelljan from a script he co-wrote with Yvonne Wilder and is a rather dull return for Quarry’s suave Bulgarian count. Much like the first film, there are some spooky scenes, but there is also a lot of talk and the story never gets interesting enough to lure us in. Oddly the addition of an orphanage doesn’t amount to much as only one child seems to fit into Yorga’s plans and the action takes place, for the most part, in Yorga’s Mansion. Yorga himself is absent for stretches of time as the film focuses on Cynthia trapped in his lair and being taunted by his minions. As for Yorga, Quarry again makes a good vampire, but the rest of the cast is fairly wooden and Hartley isn’t given much to do but look frightened. Roger Perry again stars, but not as the same character he portrayed in the first film…which is a little off-putting. Technically the film looks good through cinematographer Bill Butler’s lens and Bill Marx’s score adds some atmosphere.

Not a big fan of the first Yorga film and this one won’t convert anyone who is not. It’s slow moving, has long stretches with no action and it’s story is routine for a vampire flick. The placement of Yorga’s lair near an orphanage doesn’t get used to it’s full potential and the fact that Yorga allows his minions to taunt his intended bride, doesn’t really make much sense either…unless he likes nutty women. A dull sequel.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 fangs.

 

 

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 25 VAMPIRE FLICKS TO WATCH DURING THE HALLOWEEN SEASON!

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Nothing says Halloween like vampires, so, here are 25 vampire flicks that you might want to sink your teeth into during the Halloween season! I tried to add a little diversity and sadly left off a few good titles due to there unavailability (like Salem’s Lot 1979 and Fright Night II 1988).

(Click on the titles below the movie poster gallery to get to our reviews of the titles covered here at the Movie Madhouse!)

 

Click on the highlighted titles here to go to the review page for the corresponding movie!

1. Nosferatu 

2. Dracula 1931

3. Horror of Dracula

4. Dracula Has Risen From The Grave

5. Count Yorga, Vampire

6. Blacula

7. Count Dracula BBC

8. The Hunger

9. Fright Night

10. Vamp

11. The Lost Boys

12. Near Dark

13. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

14. Cronos

15. Interview With A Vampire

16. From Dusk Till Dawn

17. Blade

18. John Carpenter’s Vampires

19. Blade II

20. Underworld

21. 30 Days Of Night

22. Let The Right One In

23. Stake Land

24. Only Lovers Left Alive

25. From The Dark

-MonsterZero NJ

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TOMB OF NOSTALGIA: COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE (1970)

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COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE (1970)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

Count Yorga, Vampire was originally written as a soft core porn film and while there are slight hints of this left in the flick, (and some prints are actually called The Loves Of Count Yorga, Vampire) star Robert Quarry (Yorga) refused to do the movie unless it was done as a straight horror. While the resulting 1970 cult classic does have a bit of a reputation, it is actually a bit talky and fairly tame by today’s standards.

Quarry plays Bulgarian vampire Count Yorga who has moved to L.A. and set his fangs on a group of friends by assimilating himself into that group by dating one’s mother…who then mysteriously dies (mysteriously…cough, cough). He then gains their trust by trying to console her daughter, Donna (Donna Anders) with a seance. Soon, one by one, the count goes after the women of the group to start his vampire harem. It’s up to the men, along with a doctor friend, to stop the fiend from putting the bite on their babes.

The film is directed in a pedestrian manner by writer/director Bob Kelljan (Scream, Blacula, Scream) and while he does give us some effective scenes, (the cat, the last act in Yorga’s mansion) in general the film could have used a bit more atmosphere, tension and good old fashioned scares. Yorga is classified by some as a classic 70s horror flick and it does have that nostalgic charm, but there were other early 70s vampire flicks like Blacula and The Night Stalker that just have more bite. Quarry does make a good vampire here. He is handsome and mysterious and can exude a calm menace when Yorga needs to be threatening, but he isn’t given all that much to do as there is a lot of scenes with characters sitting around talking and very little actual action. Quarry is definitely key in making the scenes that are effective work, especially when the film finally picks up a bit in the last act. The rest of the cast, thought, are rather bland and it seems really odd that the first character to suggest the work of a vampire, is the doctor (Roger Perry), who, as a man of science, should be the most skeptical. Also amusing is how quickly the rest of the characters go along with it.

Overall, this is an OK movie and there definitely is some entertainment value, especially with the 70s nostalgia elements, but it’s not quite the flick it’s reputation suggests it is. It is typical of the type of film American International Pictures was releasing at the time and probably would fit right in with the Blacula films, Dracula A.D. 1972 and The Night Stalker as part of a 70s vampire movie marathon.

EXTRA TRIVIA: in a move that echoes some of today’s big studio decisions, Yorga had a number of gore scenes removed by AIP to get a PG rating (GP back in those days for some reason) and reach a larger audience. Today on DVD, those scenes are restored and the film is now rated, ironically, PG-13.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1/2 fangs.

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