Wednesday, October 25, 2006

31 Days of Halloween - Day 25 Movie 1

"Count Yorga Vampire" (1970) is a very entertaining vampire movie. Robert Quarry stars as Count Yorga, an old school suave, cape wearing, vampire who occupies modern Los Angeles, preying on a group of young couples. In addition to the usual vampire fare of having wolves in his proximity, powers of hypnosis, and fangs, Yorga is also able to summon up rainless thunderstorms, and convenient mud puddles. He also doesn't stalk his victims, but runs at them, his arms outstretched before him. It's a pretty effective attack method too. Yorga's performance is wonderful, too. He may be the best vampire of this type, in any movie. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the rest of the cast, though the actors themselves can't really be faulted. Their characters are all really flat, like those in a "Friday the 13th" movie, only here they're fodder for a vampire instead of farm implements.

There are some genuinely disturbing images too, including a shocking moment involving one of Yorga's victims and a kitten. The story has a nice build to it as well, with only a few overly talky parts holding it down. There's also too much time spent with the obligatory what's a vampire + skepticism of a vampire in modern society scenes, which should never have to be included in a vampire movie again. Beyond that, though, this was a very enjoyable film.

One final observation that actually applies to all vampire movies. Why is it that their victims always have those two nice little puncture marks, but no marks from any of the other teeth? What's the lower jaw doing during this biting? That's always bugged me. It's more of an issue here, because unlike most other vampires, all of Yorga's teeth are jagged fangs.

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