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The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) - Blu-ray Review

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The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

Being the ninth and final film in Hammer’s Dracula series, The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires definitely holds a special place in horror history.  That’s not the limit of its legacy, though.  Not by a longshot. 

Thing is, for the cult cinema fanatic, this film – being an AWESOME well-flowing co-production between Hammer Film Productions and the Shaw Brothers  – ought to ring all sorts of bells in your skull.  It is, in fact, a mash-up between Martial Arts and Hammer-styled Horror and it delivers on both fronts, thanks to some cool choreography and a whole bunch of zombies summoned from their graves. 

"enthusiastically embraced by those fans who love quirky horror and badass displays of some serious Eastern-inspired beatings"


How badass! And the new 2K scan of the original film elements that Scream Factory unleashes upon us is pretty badass, too!

Much of The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires is a total romp through rural villages as Van Helsing, after giving a lecture about his belief in Dracula (John Forbes-Robertson stepping in for Christopher Lee) being in China, teams up with his own son, Leyland (Robin Stewart), a student named Hsi Ching (David Chiang), and his squad of seven kung-Fu masters to hunt down the much rumored vampire clan in the rural hills and peaks of China’s ancient land.

Their travels are extensive and, as they are being bankrolled by a beautiful widow named Vanessa Buren (Julie Ege), they must take her along and keep her safe from all the undead monsters that have been called forth from the earth.  The mission, full of surprise attacks, is a deadly one but this team, armed with all sorts of grand costumes and weapons, knows how to fight all the ugly fiends around them and make it look pretty damn easy.

From gnarly throat slashings to Dracula possessing a monk named Kah’s body, The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires takes its journey to China very seriously.  The violence is on par with your typical Martial Arts flick from the era and the horror, being a Hammer Production, is top notch, too.  Scenes are as equally frightening as they are exciting, as a result. 

We have kung-Fu, horror, sweet skeletons rising from the earth, and Peter Cushing as Van Helsing.  What more could we ask for in a flick that sees Dracula bearing fangs AND fists of fury?!  This film has its faults, sure, but there is no denying its absolute power (and its quick pacing) to entertain immensely.  While some critics and some talents felt the team-up of styles wasn’t a good thing for either company, the sheer audacity of the film to remain committed to its two genres should be applauded. The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

Directed by Roy Ward Baker and Chang Cheh (although not credited), this film might be too over the top for some Hammer Hounds, but that doesn’t keep it from being enthusiastically embraced by those fans who love quirky horror and badass displays of some serious Eastern-inspired beatings.

Feel the terror.  The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires is back on the shelves thanks to Scream Factory for this, its HD debut.

4 beers

The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
83 mins
Director
: Roy Ward Baker, Cheh Chang (uncredited)
Writer:
Don Houghton
Cast:
Peter Cushing, David Chiang, Julie Ege
Genre
: Horror | Action
Tagline: Black belt vs. black magic!

Memorable Movie Quote: "Who dares to disturb the sanctity of Count Dracula."
Theatrical Distributor:
Dynamite Entertainment
Official Site:
Release Date:
June, 1979
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 9, 2019
Synopsis:

Professor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) and Count Dracula (John Forbes-Robinson) 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 (David Chiang), Vanessa Buren (Julie Ege) and Mai Kwei (Szu Shih) 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!

The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- April 9, 2019
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English:DTS Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The brand new 1080p transfer is crisp and crackling with fine details.  It looks so much better than it previously did thanks to the insistence on getting a brand new HD scrub.  Originally shot on 35mm film, this release from Scream Factory supports a High-Definition encode and a 2.35:1 ratio.  With solid colors and an atmospheric charm, the cleaned-up image is detailed with nice burnt oranges and strong blacks hitting strong levels for something originally filmed in the early 70s.  The grain is natural and consistent.  Colors are strong and vibrant even.  The overall contrast is deep even if there are noticeable defects in the crush of shadows. The DTS Master Audio 2.0 is a decent monaural soundtrack for the series.  Dialogue is clean, clear, and balanced with the music.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Fans of this flick get a new commentary with Author/Film Historian Bruce G. Hallenbeck.

Special Features:

Scream Factory delivers the good with this AWESOME release!

  • NEW 2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Author/Film Historian Bruce G. Hallenbeck
  • NEW When Hammer Met Shaw – An Interview With Actor David Chiang
  • NEW Kung Fear – An Interview With Hong Kong Film Expert Rick Baker
  • Alternate U.S. Theatrical Version – The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula (In HD With Some Standard Definition Inserts)
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spot
  • Still Gallery

The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

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