Professor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) is teachin’ down China way when he finds himself books deep in the machinations of a cult of ass-ugly vampires adorned in golden half-masks and their army of zombie slaves…all under the control of a disguised count Dracula. Thankfully he joins forces with some face smashing martial artists/weapons experts and soon the battle to wrest control of the region from the legions of the night is on, but will the knowledge and strength of our heroes be enough to win the war?
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires is flat out fright flick brilliance, and contains a putrid plethora of astoundingly entertaining elements that’ll have fang bang lovers grinnin’ from ear to eerie ear! Let’s start with the gorgeous lurid colors on display; of which the beginning sequence where the Priest, Kah (Shen Chan), visits Dracula (John Forbes-Robertson…standing in for the noticeably absent Christopher Lee) in his castle in Transylvania to beg his help in resurrecting the 7 Golden Vampires is pure comic book hued brilliance in the Bava vein, and worth the price of admission alone, as are the sequence where our antagonists call forth an army of the undead from the grounds around their huge temple home, and the film’s climax (those blood red gels!).
Along with that you get the surreal experience of seeing Hammer actors and aesthetics mixed with the high kicking martial arts and Asian temples and culture of the Shaw Brothers productions…and as disparate as that sounds, it’s all presented in the vein of pulpy adventure an never fails to captivate. Of course we are also treated to another top-shelf performance from Cushing who is always a welcome site for horror hounds that dig their spookshows in the classic manner!
Along with the feature film, Scream Factory have added some bonus content to make this Blu-ray even more of a must for your creepy collection! First up we get an alternate U.S. theatrical version of the film titled The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula. This version of the film runs about 15 minutes shorter than the original, and has sequences re-arranged for no discernible reason…but is cool to have available for completest sake. Following that we get an interview with author and critic Rick Baker (not the one I was expecting…but an excellent piece nonetheless) discussing the legacy of the film, as well as a chat with actor David Chiang, along with theatrical trailers and a TV spot for the film, and a stills gallery. Finally we get an audio commentary with author and film historian Bruce G. Hallenbeck that provides an analysis of the film’s production in scholarly detail.
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires is an amazingly fun and effective mish-mash of Hammer horror and kung-fu flick movie tropes, and it boasts another rock solid performance from the legendary Cushing…you simply can’t go wrong with this one horror hounds!