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Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) - Roy Ward Baker & Cheh Chang



THE MEGA POWERS COLLIDE! Yes folks, Hammer Films from England has collided with Shaw Brothers Pictures in Singapore to create this awesome kung-fu/horror flick, The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. I really didn't know what to think. Watching the movie, I didn't know what to think either. I do know that it looks badass and has a really high quality feel. This is an actual Dracula movie too, so it follows in continuity (in a way) with the other Hammer Horror Dracula pictures. It is the only one to do that without having Dracula in the title. 

Dracula has been awakened to aid in resurrecting seven ancient and vicious vampires in China. It just so happens that Professor Van Helsing is teaching classes in the area. He and a band of mercenaries go on a quest to stop the evil vampire lord, his six swordsmen vampire subjects and hordes of zombies with a thirst for blood. 

It's an adventure with action and horror. And I am really not complaining. I am a fan of Peter Cushing and his work with Hammer films. I am also a fan of Kung-Fu and Shaw Studios is notorious for their classics in the genre. It's a shame that Christopher Lee rejected this feature. It would have been a cool little flick to have on his belt. The effects are pretty minimal and cheap. Definitely nothing to write home about. The zombies are the best part. They have a cool look with an equally cool resurrection gimmick. The golden vampires look pretty neat and messy. They appear to be some sort of weird burnt up lizard person. I don't know if this was intentional. 

This movie breaks up the monotony of the usual Hammer Horror film. Come on, you know some of those movies can get a bit tedious. The action scenes really move the story along. It isn't something that Hammer Horror should move away from. But they do. 



The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires isn't a bad movie but it isn't a good one either. It's just a film that happened. Watch it if you're really interested in seeing this combination of horror and kung-fu, but don't set yourself up for some big blockbuster. While it has it's moments of genius, this film ultimately doesn't raise the bar. It's just an ineffectual action horror film. But this isn't a horrible movie to watch with friends. It's especially good to watch with fans of the Kung-Fu genre. It's not very appropriate for kids. You get a really decent amount of nudity and horror. Just enough to make it inappropriate. It also might be a bit boring for fans of a faster paced horror. Throw it on at a party though and have fun.

Director: Roy Ward Baker and Chang Cheh
Producer: Don Houghton and Vee King Shaw
Written: Don Houghton
Starring: Peter Cushing, John Forbes-Robertson, David Chiang, Robin Stewart and Julie Ege
Studio: Hammer Film Productions and Shaw Brothers Studio
Release Date: 11 July 1974
Country: United Kingdom and Hong Kong
Did ya know: Actors were furious when they found out that some of them were dubbed over. This had been bootlegged and released under multiple titles. This was the last Hammer Horror feature to have Peter Cushing as Professor Van Helsing.






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