Count Yorga, Vampire (1970) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Bob Kelljan
Starring: Robert Quarry, Roger Perry, Michael Murphy
Rated: PG-13/Region O/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Twilight Time (Limited to 3,000 Copies)
Count Yorga, Vampire (1970) gives us an elegant titular character, an old-world undead gent (Robert Quarry) making his elegantly bloodthirsty way in modern-day Los Angeles. Posing as a hip medium, he attracts young lovelies to his mansion by holding séances; one bereft boyfriend (played by producer Michael Macready) enlists the help of vampire fighter Dr. Hayes (Roger Perry). Also starring Michael Murphy, and distributed by the deathless exploitation factory, American International Pictures.
Count Yorga is clearly getting is groove on in the original Count Yorga movie. Here we watch our creepy vampire, Yorga (played by Robert Quarry) as he gets all up in a couple’s business, especially one lady named Erica. He basically does what vampires does to her and we watch as she starts doing some very creepy things, like eating a cat, as the Count broods around and gets extremely creepy from time to time. I love the pace of this one. A lot of stuff back in the days tend to take a little too much time getting the ball rolling, but that isn’t the case. This one opens with a pretty well done scene, as our vamp is getting to know the cast in his own way. From their things start going pretty quickly and that is just the way I like it. This one shows that you can be creepy and stylistic without being slow and boring. You have a giant list of cinematic vampires in the world of horror. You could go a whole day listing them if you wanted to. That’s why it is such an accomplishment that Robert Quarry stands out like he does as Count Yorga. Yorga movies might not be 5 star affairs, but you can’t deny the quality of them and this film and the performance of Robert Quarry only goes to show why. This film is totally played more serious than its sequel and I liked that. With the way this one looks and the performances all around, it becomes something you just want to watch late at night on a rainy night. That is the vibe this movie gives off to the viewer and it becomes pretty timeless because of it.
There is a whole lot sexuality that comes into play as well. These old school vampires can really become sexually oriented and themed, this one is no different. However, you could probably toss the credit in that over to the character of Erica, played by Judy Lang. Lang is just smoking overall in this film. Her decent in the movie very entertaining and comes with a lot of the really cool scenes one could name when talking about this Count Yorga movie. I found that the moments with her were probably my favorite in the entire movie. Now one could always make Dracula comparisons with this one. Everything from the style of the Count to the vampire killing nemesis he has screams Dracula, but it is all done well in its own right here. The movie makes due with what it has and gives off just a rather gloom and doom vibe that makes it just look the part and the content, overall, does fit the part. As far as how the movie looks here in this Twilight Time release, I think people will be more than content with it. It is an older film and much of it isn’t in a lot of well-lit scenes, but when up close and in better lit scenes, you clearly see some great details. You also get some really cool extras Overall, I’d say if you are a fan of Count Yorga movies and you should be, then this is a great one to own here from Twilight Time.
– Isolated Score Track
– Audio Commentary with Films Historians David Del Valle and Tim Sullivan
– My Dinner with Yorga: The Robert Quarry Rue Morgue Interview, a Reading by David Del Valle and Tim Sullivan
– Fangirl Radio Tribute to Robert Quarry with Tim Sullivan
– Still Gallery: The MGM Archives
– Still Gallery: The Tim Sullivan Archives
– Original Theatrical Trailer
Quality of Transfer: 87%