Count Yorga, Vampire (Bob Kelljan / U.S., 1970):
(The Loves of Count Iorga, Vampire)

The idea is Nosferatu among the suburbanites, so unbearably comic that not even the characters can stifle a giggle during the opening sťance. Yorga (Robert Quarry) is a dapper mesmerist out of Bulgaria and into Los Angeles, a sort of abridged Christopher Lee whose bachelor pad is tastefully equipped with a dungeon for his undead brides. Stranded in a Volkswagen van with wolves howling in the distance, the young couple (Michael Murphy and Judy Lang) decides to "take advantage of this ghoulish situation" the only way they know. Softcore sex scene time! Their cuddling is interrupted by the Countís fanged smile, next thing you know the lass is looking increasingly pallid and feasting on the family kitten. Enter a diffident Van Helsing (Roger Perry), who has to improvise: "How would you feel about driving a wooden stake through somebodyís heart?" "Marvelous." "You got a broom handle?" It pivots on the vampireís air of discreet irritation at the cuckolded mortals trying to rescue their girlfriends, and builds to a note of thrift-store Polanski. "One must be vulnerable to all superstitions," narrates George Macready from some unseen crypt. For the full farcical account of an European bloodsucker in 1970s America, go Love at First Bite; for a naturalistic California version of a Hammer suite of horrors, try Bob Kelljanís dry little chiller. With Michael Macready, D.J. Anderson, Edward Walsh, and Julie Conners.

--- Fernando F. Croce

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