The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires                           review by Bobby Blakey

Throughout the 60s and 70s there were no studios churning out more genre films in martial arts and horror than Hammer films and The Shaw Brothers. In 1974 the two studios teamed up for the Roy Ward Baker directed flick The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires starring Peter Cushing, John Forbes-Robinson, David Chiang, Julie Ege, and Szu Shih. Now Shout Factory is bringing this cult favorite to Blu-ray through their Scream Factory brand for the first time ever.

The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires follows Professor Van Helsing and Count Dracula who meet again in this spectacular Kung Fu horror thriller set in the village of Ping Kuei. After learning about the seven golden vampires of the village, Hsi Ching, Vanessa Buren and Mai Kwei offer to guide Van Helsing and his son to Ping Kuei to free it from the curse of Count Dracula. Throughout their journey, the group encounters several unwanted attackers until they arrive at the golden vampires’ derelict temple, inhabited by Count Dracula. In the temple, Van Helsing and the count begin a fearsome battle to the death – an ultimate clash between good and evil!

 

This film reteams Cushing and Robinson who starred in The Vampire Lovers for Baker previously which is one of the things that I loved about that era. There were so many actors that constantly reprised the same if not similar roles making these films all feel like the same universe. Bringing the element of martial arts here had me excited to see it mesh together, but the film is a mixed bag as a finished product. They obviously spent more time focusing on the vampire elements to keep the genre moving forward and it suffered on the martial arts side. Make no mistake there are plenty of full on martial arts fights here, but they are not done all that well.

I am not comparing these to the more gritty violent and stylized fights of today, but instead the classic ones from films like Five Element Ninjas and The Kid With The Golden Arm. They are still a blast to watch especially taking on creatures of the night, but they are just not well executed or smooth. Most felt sloppy and rushed which might have been the case, but who knows. The story is a bit all over the place, but I cannot lie and say I didn’t still enjoy the film despite its flaws.

Grab your copy of The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires available now on Blu-ray from Scream Factory.

For more information or to get your copy head over to www.shoutfactory.com

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