The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires

1974 [CHINESE]

Action / Horror

0
IMDb Rating 5.9 10 3881

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 01, 2021 at 10:35 AM

Director

Cast

Peter Cushing as Professor Lawrence Van Helsing
Julie Ege as Vanessa Buren
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
818.79 MB
1280*544
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S counting...
1.48 GB
1920*816
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Squonkamatic 7 / 10

Try It Again, This Time Widescreen

I usually try to avoid "defending" movies that I like. If people get it fine, if they don't, well them's the breaks. However I too profess to having been unsold on the charms of LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES for ages. But now after finally having seen a restored widescreen presentation courtesy of Anchor Bay I am convinced that one of the reasons why the effort left me cold the first few times through was due to the miserable, scrappy, fullscreen home video versions available previously which excluded as much as 12 minutes of footage.

I came of age during the home video years and heading out every week to the various rental shops in our area to see what Hammer or Hammer related flicks we could find became a regular past time. Certain movies were relatively easy to locate but we'd always heard about this legendary kung-fu/Dracula hybrid by Hammer that was made significant by Peter Cushing's final appearance as Professor Van Helsing, the world expert on the Undead. Rumor had it that the movie involved Van Helsing tracing the elusive Count Dracula to colonial era China where he'd set up shop and acquired a taste for the local food. Hijinx awaited in the form of supernatural kung-fu battles with a band of seven specialist martial arts masters, who were of course brothers, fighting off legions of vampiric barbarians. Somehow the combination sounded like trying to mix oil with water and when I finally managed to find the meager VHS release of the film my apprehension was proved well- founded by a muddled mix of Gothic horror chills with difficult to follow chop-socky interludes. The pan-and-scan compression of the widescreen shots was dizzying, the vampire interludes were anything but the dreamy "foggy castle on a hill" variety that Hammer had become specialists in, with lots of insert shots of Peter Cushing standing around looking concerned while Julie Ege's bosoms heaved, cruelly encased in her cleavage baring tops.

It turns out however that much of this muddling and cockamamie mish-mashing was due to the confinement of Roy Ward Baker (directing the talking scenes) and Cheh Chang's (directing the martial arts scenes) marvelous widescreen 2:35:1 Techniscope photography into a claustrophobic, nappy lookin' fullscreen image. Fading of color and reduction print distortions didn't help much, and my opinion now after seeing the widescreen print is that much of the disdain aimed at the film is in fact aimed at the miserable presentations that have been available until now.

Sure, it's still a bit cobbled together. Hammer's grip on the marketplace was tenuous at best by 1974, THE EXORCIST and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD had happened and they were still banking on Gothic shenanigans to sell movie tickets. One result was the creation of these genre crossing hybrids like LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES mixing martial arts mayhem with Gothic chills, and CAPTAIN KRONOS - VAMPIRE HUNTER which effectively blended the Spaghetti Western, swashbuckling high-adventure and the Gothic nightgowns blowing in the wind. The public didn't seem to care but the result were two very charming movies that had the gall to be different, even if horror fans had moved on. Hammer was hoping to extend their life by coming up with some new series and their collaboration with Shaw Brothers productions was perhaps both ahead of its times while a year or three too late to save the company. It was a glorious failure that deserves to be seen again now that present day technology can give viewers a better estimation of the movie's intended form. It is surprisingly entertaining and compulsively watchable.

What I would recommend is that anybody who may have heard of LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES should give it a try, and anyone who had dismissed it before as a crummy home video oddity to try it again now that the original full-length widescreen version is readily available. It's still somewhat confusing if you are looking for a discreet, beginning-middle- end story progression. But when taken as it's individual moments strung together into a greater whole some of it is actually quite compelling: Slow-motion legions of the Undead riding horseback whilst slaughtering the populace & making off with all the hot chicks (the Blind Dead, anyone?), torture chambers with topless girls strapped down to a bizarre rack designed to drain their blood, the re-insertion of some amusingly clever gore shots, James Bernard's at times utterly surreal & way under-appreciated musical score recalling some of his Dracula themes while experimenting with more Eastern inspired sounds, traditional non-wire guided kung fu fights with all the bravado and forced sentiment of a classic martial arts film, and rest assured, plenty of insert shots of Peter Cushing standing there looking concerned.

Just by turning his head slightly to the side and raising an eyebrow Peter Cushing is a treat, nobody can look concerned or impart a sense of dire urgency into an audience like Peter Cushing: It may be an odd movie but it does feature some of his best work at appearing concerned and some of the urgencies that he imparts within viewers are the most dire of his career. Yeah, he was getting old and tired and probably looked upon the movie as an expense paid trip to China to help him forget the sorrow of his wife's passing. But by golly he made the movie and if he means anything to you it simply must be seen because it is his last screen turn as one of his classic Gothic horror characters. Try it again, make sure it's a widescreen version, pop plenty of popcorn, perhaps an adult beverage or two, and put down the lights. Turns out it's not a bad movie after all.

7/10

Reviewed by The_Void 7 / 10

Vampires, Orient style!

This lovely Hammer Horror blending of the traditional vampire tale with martial arts stars Peter Cushing as Professor Van Helsing. The plot follows Van Helsing, who is drawn into a plot involving a legendary seven golden vampires, the prince of darkness; Dracula himself, the undead and a load of martial artists. Our hero must, along with his son and an escort of kung fu fighters travel to a cursed village somewhere in China to rid it of the vampire curse that holds it. One of the reasons why Hammer horror is so brilliant is that it isn't afraid to make a film that most other film studios would regard as stupid and then make it work. The main reason why Hammer horror does work is that the films, despite showing many macabre images, are always good natured and made with a lot of heart so they're easy to like; and this one is no different.

The Eastern style makes for a very different vampire film to what we're used to, and Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires seems keen to capitalise on that as it changes many of the traditional vampire rules to suit the east (for example, the traditional cross to ward off vampires is replaced by the image of Budha). As usual with Hammer, the effects are hokey to say the least, the production values are low and everyone except Peter Cushing leaves a lot to be desired acting-wise...but without these traits, this film wouldn't be Hammer, so these things are not only forgivable, but welcome. Peter Cushing's performance in this movie isn't his best, but fans of his will still relish it. There's something about Cushing's persona that makes him very watchable, and every film with him in it is worth watching, if only for that reason. He also gets involved in some of the martial arts fights, which is nice to see. The fights themselves are very well staged, much better than I was expecting with this being a horror film with kung fu elements, rather than a full blown fight-fest.

This is the fifth film I've seen by Hammer director Roy Ward Baker and although it's not the best, it's still a very solid offering from the man who was probably Hammer's finest director. This film is a lot of fun, and I don't doubt that it will delight anyone who sees it, and therefore it comes with the highest recommendations from me.

Reviewed by Captain_Couth 10 / 10

Shaw Brothers meets Hammer Films part one!

Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires (1974) is such an awesome film. How can you go wrong when you have Roy Ward Baker, Chang Cheh and the Liu brothers all working on a film together? This film has everything, the eeriness of a Hammer film with the red paint spraying, bone crunching action scenes of a Shaw Brother's flick!

Peter Cushing reprises his role as Professor Van Helsing who's in China to prove the legend of the Seven Golden Vampires. After a lecture he finds someone who actually believes in the legend (David Chiang in a dual role). After local run in with some angry triads (thanks to Van Helsing's no good son who falls for a Scandinavian beauty. Will the good professor and friends find something that'll get them into a nasty situation that's way over their heads?

Hammer films at this time was pretty much on their last legs when they went on a joint venture with the Shaw Brothers. Run Run and Run Mei Shaw at this time were also trying to find a worldwide market for their two biggest stars David Chiang and Ti Lung. Ironically, Hammer and Shaw studios were just like each other in many ways (beautiful sets, a staff of great directors and actors. They also cranked out very diverse product and most of their films sadly were never given their proper due overseas, their films usually ended up being hacked to pieces and shown in grind houses or sliced and spliced for matinée showings). Sadly after a couple of collaborations the two companies never worked together again. Hammer Films would slowly fade away whilst Shaw Brothers Studios would last another ten years or so before concentrating on T.V. soap opera (a majority costume operas). But for a brief time in history Shaw Brothers and Hammer (two of my favorite movie studios, especially when I was growing up) collaborated on a couple of films. Sadly they never worked with each other again.

Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires was filmed in Shawscope (a.k.a. Panavision). Avoid Seven Brothers Meet Dracula, it's a horrible grind house re-edit of this grand production.

Strongly recommended.

David Chiang speaks English very well and his brother Paul Chiang (a.k.a. Paul Chu, a.k.a. Pei Chu) has a small part as the Triad boss' assistant.

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