Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Seven Golden Vampires!


The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires is one of those movies I have long wanted to catch. It's the last of Hammer's classic Dracula series because of the appearance of Peter Cushing as Professor Van Helsing who is drawn to the mysterious land of China to battle an ancient threat which it turns out is more familiar than he at first suspected.


This movie is known by several titles, one of which is The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula.The movie was made in 1974 in a partnership between the waning Hammer Films and the Shaw Studios of Hong Kong. As a consequence it has the flavor of both the vintage Hammer horror shows and the then-current popular martial arts films.


It could be argued that the movie, despite its robust and attractive title fails to satisfy either of the genres it seeks to please. There's not enough vintage horror for the Hammer fans and not enough classic fighting for the Shaw regulars. The movie does seem to wander around a bit and despite some interesting settings it doesn't seem much interested in establishing creepy mood.


The plot is pretty simple. An acolyte of Dracula, a Taosit monk named Kah seeks out the vampire and is possessed by him. He then goes home to China and establishes his vampire rule with the help of seven vampire who have ravaged the villages around them for many years. The Seven Brothers (and one sister) seek out Van Helsing for advice and with his son and a right lovely English dame in tow they travel to the distant villages to face the threat.

It's one of those that won't make sense if you shine too bright a light upon it, so it's best to simply ride along with the adventure as the Brothers and Van Helsing's gang take on the vampires and their ghoulish army in a series of battles which seem destined to destroy them all. This movie is notable in that it is the only Hammer flick of the classic era which features Dracula but doesn't star Christopher Lee in the role.



It was less of a movie than I expected, but it was an entertaining romp nonetheless.

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5 comments:

  1. The earlier Anchor Bay DVD had both versions, the uncut Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires and the badly-edited, but entertaining in a grindhouse chop-socky way 7 Brothers Meet Dracula along with the audio from an LP album of Legend narrated by Peter Cushing (as Van Helsing) and using audio (actors and soundtrack music)directly from the movie, much like the later Story of Star Wars albums would.
    Did this 3-film collection include all these elements?

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    Replies
    1. Not that I detected. This one was pretty straightforward.

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  2. I suggest if you can find the Anchor Bay DVD, snap it up!
    The extras (especially the "audiobook" with Cushing are well worth it!

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  3. I have never seen that film but I do have a comic adaption of the film that appeared in "House of Hammer"

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  4. I always wanted to see this film, ever since it was first released (or did it escape?), but still haven't managed to yet. Like PM above, I have that same comic adaptation, but I don't remember even reading it. One day perhaps.

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