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The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

R | | Action, Horror | June 1979 (USA)
While lecturing in China, Van Helsing agrees to help seven kung fu trained siblings reclaim their ancestral mountain village, now the domain of seven powerful vampires and their army of undead slaves.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
David Chiang ...
Hsi Ching
...
Vanessa Buren
Han Chen Wang ...
Leung Hon (as Wong Han Chan)
Robin Stewart ...
Leyland Van Helsing
Szu Shih ...
Mei Kwei (as Shih Szu)
John Forbes-Robertson ...
Robert Hanna ...
British Consul
Shen Chan ...
Kah (as Chan Shen)
James Ma ...
Hsi Ta
Chia Yung Liu ...
Hsi Kwei (as Liu Chia Yung)
Hark-On Fung ...
Hsi Sung (as Fong Kah Ann)
Tien Lung Chen ...
Hsi San (as Chen Tien Loong)
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Storyline

Count Dracula journeys to a remote Chinese village in the guise of a warlord to support six vampires who are dispirited after the loss of a seventh member of their cult. At the same time, vampire hunter Prof. Van Helsing happens to be lecturing in the country and is persuaded by villagers to help them fight this curse of the ages. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hammer Horror! Dragon Thrills! The First Kung Fu Horror Spectacular! See more »

Genres:

Action | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

June 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Forbes-Robertson was furious when he discovered that he had been dubbed by David de Keyser. See more »

Goofs

According to this movie Dracula has spent the decade between 1804 and 1904 in a remote Chinese village in an alternate form as vampire High Priest Kah, this contradicts events from the previous installments of the Hammer Dracula films. See more »

Connections

References Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Curious mixture of Hammer Gothic and kung fu thrills
24 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Panavision)

Sound format: Mono

Whilst lecturing in Chungking at the turn of the 20th century, Professor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) is asked by a poor villager (David Chiang) to help defend his community from a plague of vampires controlled by Count Dracula (John Forbes-Robertson).

Filmed on location in Hong Kong under difficult shooting conditions, this Hammer/Shaw Brothers co-production attempts to meld the antiquated Gothic melodrama of Hammer's bygone glories with the new breed of kung fu thrillers emerging from a newly revitalized HK, spearheaded by the worldwide success of KING BOXER (1971) and ENTER THE DRAGON (1973). Roy Ward Baker (THE VAMPIRE LOVERS) took the reins from original director Gordon Hessler (THE OBLONG BOX) after only a few days, though his work was clearly hampered from the outset by co-producer Don Houghton's simplistic script, which describes events either in broad strokes or hasty scribbles, leaving most of the actors in disarray.

Cushing is urbane as ever, trading successfully on his established screen persona, but co-star Julie Ege (a former Bond girl) is merely decorative, while Chiang - an accomplished screen actor (also known as John Keung) whose work stretches all the way from STREET BOYS in 1960 to THE ADVENTURERS (1995) and beyond - is ultimately defeated by the English dialogue, which he's forced to deliver in a stilted, phonetic style. Robin Stewart (THE HAUNTED HOUSE OF HORROR) and Shih Szu are also featured as the juvenile leads, alongside hugely prolific actors Fung Hak-on (later a regular in Jackie Chan's movies) and Lau Kar-wing (an experienced performer and director in his own right). Elsewhere, Forbes-Robertson does a fair impersonation of Christopher Lee in Dracula-mode, though his first on-screen appearance is almost ruined by a comical makeup design. Les Bowie's special effects are also quite feeble, even for 1974. However, the studio sets are appropriately vivid, and the widescreen photography (by John Wilcox and Roy Ford) makes a virtue of Johnson Chow's atmospheric art direction - note the haunting prologue in Dracula's castle, where ghostly shadows billow softly on a multicolored wall just before the Count begins to stir from his coffin - and the fight scenes (arranged by veteran choreographers Liu Chia-liang and Tang Chia) are lively and energetic.

The film was subjected to major re-edits for its original US release, where it went out under the title "The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula". This shabby hatchet job rearranges most of the key sequences in a miserable attempt to reduce exposition and characterization to the barest minimum, thereby transforming a fair-to-middling potboiler into an 'audience-friendly' mish-mash of violent horror and kung fu skirmishes. Not only does it cheapen the production and blacken the name of all involved with it, this variant edition treats American viewers as dim-witted simpletons, emphasizing cheap thrills over plot development for the sake of a quick buck. The film was screened in HK - completely intact - under the HK-English title "Dracula and the 7 Golden Vampires".


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