Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Kai (Shen Chan), human caretaker for the legendary seven golden vampires of China, arrives in Transylvania to enlist Dracula’s help as one of the seven is dead or sick or something and needs to be mystically revived. Dracula takes Kai’s human form and heads off to the Chinese village where the vampires (who wear large golden bat medallions which apparently give them their power) capture buxom wenches and tie them to a large star-shaped torture device where they lie there bare-breasted, wriggling about to beat the band until the inevitable blood-letting when their blood drains down into a bubbling cauldron. But Dracula’s old nemesis Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) is hot on his trail, and he's partnered up with his son (Robin Stewart), a rich young countess (Julie Ege), and members of the Hsi clan, who have fought the vampires for years.

There was potential in this plotline, but the film ends up feeling like a Hammer movie unit was stuck in Hong Kong (where this was filmed) and decided to make a movie to pass the time until the next boat home. There is some lackluster kung-fu fighting, some terribly phony rubber bats, and, as mentioned above, some jiggling bosoms. The Chinese vampires react to icons of Buddah as Western vampires do to the cross. Van Helsing’s son, who has the looks of a second-rate romantic lead, is almost completely ineffectual, as an actor and a character. In a nice multicultural twist, his love interest is not the European Ege but a Hsi sister, and Ege has the hots for the leader of the Hsi clan. There is a fair amount of blood, though the most atmospheric scenes are of hordes of corpses rising from their graves to help the vampires. The best moment is when one man has to kill his beloved because she has been become a vampire, then has to spear himself because she bit him. Worth seeing as a novelty. [DVD]

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