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Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
Seven Brothers meet Dracula / Die sieben Goldenen Vampire

UK/Hong Kong 1974
produced by
Don Houghton, Vee King Shaw for Hammer, Shaw Brothers
directed by Roy Ward Baker
starring Peter Cushing, David Chiang, Julie Ege, Robin Stewart, Shih Szu, James Forbes-Robertson, Chan Shen, James Ma, Liu Chia Yung (= Lau Kar-wing), Liu Hoy Ling, Ken Ko An, Chen Tien Loong, Wong Han Chan
written by Don Houghton, music by James Bernard

Dracula, Hammer's Dracula, Van Helsing, Van Helsing (Peter Cushing)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The monk Kah (Chan Shen) travels to Transylvania to ask for count Dracula's (James Forbes-Robertson) help to revive the 7 Golden Vampires, but Dracula proves to be rather reluctant to do another man's bidding, & instead he possesses Kah's body & travels to China himself to meet his brethren ...

Meanwhile professor Van helsing (Peter Cushing) is in China himself & is holding lectures about the clan of the 7 vampires that wreaked havoc in a small Chinese village but were bound by a farmer (in a scene that looks like right out of La Noche del Terror Ciego/Tombs of the Blind Dead) ... but everyone in the auditorium just plainly disbelieves him ... everyone but Hsi Ching (David Chiang), who turns out to be a descendant of the farmer, & he wants to persuade Van Helsing to come with him, his brothers (James Ma, Liu Chia Yung, Liu Hoy Ling, Ken Ko An, Chen Tien Loong, Wong Han Chan) & his sister Mai Kwei (Shih Szu) to their village. But the voyage seems to be doomed before it starts when the borhers appear to lack funding for the expedition ... that is until Van helsing's son Leyland '(Robin Stewart) arrives with beautiful Scandinavian actress Vanessa Burden (Julie Ege) who is on the run from the local Triads, & finances the expedition to make a swift getawaa.

On the journey, the brothers have opportunity to show off their martial arts skills when they fight down a whole army of triad-fighters that strongly outnumbers them.

On the further journey, tender romance develops between Mai Kuei & Leyland, & His Ching & Vanessa.

However, their approach to the little village somewhere in the Chinese hinterlands has not gone undetecte3d, as Dracula, in the sform of Kah, is already busy waking up the Golden Vamps, & when our expedition takes shelter for the night in some cave near the village they are attacked by the vampires & their zombie hordes, but manage to kill 3 of the vampires & chase off the zombies with their superior martial arts skills.

The next day they arrive at the village & try to secure it with trenches & a field of stakes, but the battle proves brutal with most of the brothers losing their lives, Vanessa being bitten by a vampire, Hsi Ching being forced to stake the vampirized Vanessa, & after being bitten by her himself, having to hurl himself into the stake too. & in the end, Mai Kuei is abducted by the final survivor of the 7 Golden vamps ... but Leyland dashes to the rescue, but in the end it's his father himself - an expert in staking vampires for many years (& movies) - who stakes the vampire.

But then monk Kah appears & reveals himself as Dracula ... however, Van Helsing, the expert, stakes him, too ...

 

In the 70's, when the markets for Hammer's traditional Gothic horrors have run relatively dry, they tried to branch out into new territories (both geographically & metaphorically speaking) without compromising their brand formula too much ... & one such attempt was a collaboration with Hong Kong-based production outfit Shaw Brothers, who were always looking for cooperations with Western companies to boost their international appeal (besides this movie, Hammer collaborated with Shaw Brothers once more on Shatter with Ti Lung in the lead).

Unfortunately, this blend of Easternthe  Gothic horror- & martial arts-elements together (which do not really seem all that compatible in the first place), so for large parts the viewer thinks he is plainly in 2 movies, that are switched back & forth rather by coincidence. This does not make Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires a good movie, let alone a masterpiece, but it gives it a certain absurdist appeal. Bjut of course, the concept of vampires & martial arts was immediately dropped by both Hammer & Shaw Brothers

Ironically, & in a total reversal of logic, today there is almost no vampire movie around that doesn't feature at least some martial arts - even more ironic (& absurd) is the fact that most vampire-movies are made to be action flicks - but only rarely are they also horror movies.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
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