Blu-Ray Review -The Count Yorga Collection

Some films are considered cult classics but in reality there are just crap. The Count Yorga films are a prime example of this but they do have some cultural impact. Arrow has compiled them in a Dual Format release with a host of special features.

Count Yorga is a pretty standard vampire film, Yorga (Robert Quarry) performs a séance for the young Hollywood couple Donna (Donna Anders) and Paul (Michael Murphy). They don’t realise he is a vampire and after they leave his mansion they experience car trouble. The woman is attacked by Yorga but her boyfriend can’t remember. From that moment onward there is a serious of vampire attacks which seem to be connected. Donna has some marks and soon Paul along with others start connecting the dots.

The film was originally meant to be a softcore film The Loves of Count Iorga (some prints actually used this title) and it really shows. The plot takes second place to the sex and the horror elements clearly trying to be an US answer to the more sexed up Hammer films. However it all seems rather tame and given that’s the film’s orginal intent it just bores the viewer constantly. The sequel The Return of Count Yorga is more of the same.

The star of the films Robert Quarry really didn’t do much other of note except the Yorga films. He was meant to succeed Vincent Price as the big star AIP’s horror films but due to their fleeting finances in the late ’70s it never happened. Quarry did however star in two films with Price including one of the Dr. Phibes films but they famously did not get on. Quarry would for the last few decades of his life become a common fixture on the convention circuit. Michael Murphy would become more well-known for his numerous collaborations with Robert Altman

The film’s real influence is the fact it was one of the earliest Urban vampire films. There were a couple before but it really started what would be the modern vampire film. It would predate films such as The Hunger, Near Dark and The Addiction which really excelled at placing a vampire in the concrete jungle.

Arrow’s disc includes HD transfers of both films with restored original mono soundtrack. Both films have commentaries with David Del Valle and C Courtney Joyner. Kim Newman who is a enthusiast for the Vampire genre is interviewed for the release. To round it off there are trailers for both films and booklet in the initial pressing with writings by Frank Collins on both films.


Ian Schultz

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