Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)
Company: Twilight Time
Starring: Michael Murphy, Donna Anderson, Roger Perry, Robert Quarry, Michael Macready
My Review and Thoughts:
I was super excited to learn this was coming to a special edition blu-ray finally. What better company to honor it then Twilight Time. This is one of the coolest, funky. Drive-In vampire films around. A film that has been overlooked, and greatly underappreciated through time.
The plot is you’re in Los Angeles. A truck receives it’s cargo from the Port. You then witness it being brought to a gated mansion in California. The cargo as you would guess, in a vampire film, a coffin. You then are introduced to Donna and many of her friends, including a man named Count Yorga. There they play around with a séance in hopes of contacting the dead. Specifically her dead mother. Count Yorga is the one performing the séance, because he is a mystic, at least that is what Donna believes. During this ordeal, Donna becomes very upset, and Count Yorga calms her with a little hypnosis. After the party, Donna’s friends, Erica and her boyfriend Paul, offer to give a lift to Yorga back to his house. Erica and Paul decide to sleep in there van. After a little place the pickle in the Jar, which Yorga enjoyed watching, he reveals his true nature, a VAMPIRE? He attacks both Paul and Erica. The next day, neither remember the full details of what happened, and so begins the horror of the undead, as Count Yorga makes himself known.
A classic mix of late night fever, cult cinema. Drive-in flare, and the beauty of classic horror.
Directed by Bob Kelljan. Kelljan is a true Drive-in director that has created so many wonderful late night films. He died way too soon. 52 years was a tragedy, the horrible mass murderer cancer took this Drive-In wonderment away. From Scream Blacula Scream, to the Act of Vengeance a.k.a. Rape Squad. He was a true winner in the drive-in flare of the 1970’s.
Interesting to note about this film, is it was originally intended to be a full horror porn, but never totally went that route. It took over 5 times before the MPAA rating system allowed a proper rating. There is also a sequel, The Return of Count Yorga, and what I gather there was a plan for a part 3, but never progressed.
This stars a truly fantastic cast of characters. The acting legend. The guru of lots of Drive-in films, and B-grade love, the one and only Robert Quarry as Count Yorga. Quarry is a genius of lower budget cinema, or cult cinema. Always a true treat to adventure into his films. He really needs no introduction.
Also starring the wonderful Roger Perry as Dr. James Hayes. Interesting to note is he returns in the sequel as a different character, Dr. David Baldwin. Starring the wonderful Michael Murphy as the character Paul. Murphy is a wonderful character actor in both great and small parts. He most recently starred in the TV series Rogue (2015). Starring Michael Macready as the character of Mike. Interesting to note Macready also produced this film. The film starts out with a narration. This narration is by George Macready who is Michael Macready’s father. Macready also produced another 70’s comedy horror, Terror House a.k.a. House of the Living Dead which he also starred in. Also starring in Count Yorga, Vampire is Donna Anders as the character of Donna. Anders interesting to note was in two other cheesy Drive-in films of the 70’s, Dream no Evil, and Werewolves on Wheels. As the character of Erica, who is played by the actress Judy Lang, which this was her last performance. She too had performed in other odd Drive-in style films, 1970’s The Psycho Lover, and the LSD flick The Trip. The whole cast is made up of unique performers. Each one come together in a great drive-in, cultish style of entertainment.
Twilight Time did a great job of creating a fantastic product. They gave all the lovers of Drive-In cinema a perfect example of how films should be treated.
Compared to all the other outlets of this film, VHS, DVD and even television, nothing compares to this product. Twilight Time has created a vibrant, crisp imagery. It has never looked any better. Comparing it to all the other releases, they have no baring toward this. This is a golden ticket of visual newness. The Audio is equally the same. It has never sounded any better.
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio
I think I am more excited by all the special features more than anything. Don’t get me wrong the product is utterly awesome, but all these wonderful extras is what truly makes it shine all the more.
Isolated Score Track. Here is another important part of many of the Twilight Time Blu-ray’s. The wonderful isolated score is always truly a listening bliss for any lover of film scores. As I have stated many times before, this is the one key factor that I truly look forward to, just because I am such a music lover, and one of those music loving realities, is film score. The music was composed by Bill Marx. Marx really has not had a massive career in cinema. Composing only 15 films, the last being in 1993. I suppose the beauty and clarity of his style can be understood by the credits of his career. Such classic low-budget, Drive-in yarns as The Return of Count Yorga, Deathmaster, Terror House, Scream Blacula Scream, Act of Vengeance, The Astral Factor, you get my point. If ever there was a true music master to cheesy, Late Night, Drive-In cinema, it would be Bill Marx.
Audio Commentary with Film Historians David Del Valle and Tim Sullivan. An amazing listen. The awesome film historian David Del Valle is golden. His expertise in film always shines with knowledge, and perfection. The wonderful and utterly amazing Tim Sullivan who I absolutely love, there I said it, sue me, I am the Annie Wilkes to Tim Sullivan, his number one fan. This is a very detailed commentary, and very educational on the film. A perfect, flawless listen.
My Dinner with Yorga: The Robert Quarry Rue Morgue Interview, a Reading by David Del Valle and Tim Sullivan. Another fantastic special feature. This is a 13 minute audio extra.
Fangirl Radio Tribute to Robert Quarry with Tim Sullivan. Awesome sauce, yes I just used that dorky, over used comment, but it’s my review, my website, so there. And awesome special feature. This clocks in a little over 46 minutes. Also an audio listen.
Still Gallery: The MGM Archives
Still Gallery: The Tim Sullivan Archives
Original Theatrical Trailer
Twilight Time never ceases to amaze me. A perfect product with awesome extras, and a dynamic new transfer to a truly CULTISH piece of pure late night entertainment.
A must have product. Excellent in audio, video and production. Highly recommended.
Make sure you head over to www.screenarchives.com to buy all the wonderful Twilight Time Blu-rays. The main page that gives you these beautiful releases on top quality Special Editions.
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