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The 100




Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
(1973)
Reviewed by John Weber
Rating: 5 Beans

racula walks the earth again - as Bruce Lee!


That's not exactly the premise of "Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires", unless you were part of the marketing department that conjured up this high-concept idea. And I don't think it made a ton of money, or else we'd be watching Chuck Norris battle Christopher Lee in "Five Fingers and Two Fangs of Death" these days.

The film opens up with a visit to the tomb of Drac in Transylvania by a worshipper of the legendary Seven Golden Vampires in China. He disturbs Drac's sleep (never a good idea) and asks for help in reviving the bunch. Dracula decides, hey, it's time to walk the earth again, but I'll do it disguised as YOU, pal, thanks for stopping by, die! So the Count turns Chinese and heads off for China, where he does, indeed, resurrect 'em.

Meanwhile, Professor Van Helsing (veteran horror actor Peter Cushing), that notorious vampire-chaser, has come to Cheung-King to tell the townspeople that yes, vampires exist in your backyard, too. Almost no one believes him, but for one man, Hsu-Tien-an (David Chiang). He has proof that the Seven Golden Vampires exist and wants to go blow them away. So Van Helsing, Van Helsing's son, a rich young thing that finances this whole expedition (Julie Ege, who goes along for the ride), Hsu-Tien-an, and a slew of martital arts experts head off on a perilous journey to the Seven Golden Vampires' home turf.

The action scenes are quite good, as kung fu masters battle the kung fu undead. You're thinking, geez, how the heck do the vampires get close enough to bite anybody? You'd be surprised. Also, think of lots of looooong wooden stakes. The only hokey part is Peter Cushing trying to hold his own against these guys. Peter doesn't display any moves - he just speaks softly and swings a big stick.

Cushing plays Van Helsing for at least the fifth time (probably more) in movie history, so he's got his part down. Julie Ege strolls around in hip boots and open shirts and an accent that's a cross between Elke Sommer and Eva Gabor.

If you can get over the marriage between the kung fu and vampire genres in "Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires", this will not be an especially bad movie for some. However, I cannot suppress a chuckle whenever I look at Peter Cushing in the middle of all this jumping and kicking. I'd love to look at the Cantonese version and watch ol' Peter's dubbing!

Watch out for the hacked-up "Seven Brothers Meet Dracula" version the one originally released in the U.S., which cuts 17 minutes from the version I saw. Here's another alternate title - "With Six You Get Eggroll - With Seven, Get Lots of Garlic On the Side".


Other reviews for this movie:

David Conner




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