Arrow Video have done it again, with the release of the Count Yorga Collection on Blu-Ray, presenting both cult movies, Count Yorga and The Return of Count Yorga on one disc with a nice selection of extras.
A young couple, Paul and Erica, fall prey to a mysterious attacker, after their camper van breaks down in the LA Hills, near the mansion of the mysterious Count Yorga (Robert Quarry – Dr Phibes Rises Again). A Bulgarian Mystic, who’s set himself up as a psychic medium.
The next day however, Paul can’t seem to remember anything about the person who attacked them and girlfriend Erica doesn’t remember anything at all. But when they notice a couple of bite marks on her neck and she then proceeds to eat the pet cat, they begin to suspect that their attacker was a vampire and that Count Yorga, is more than just a psychic medium.
The Return of Count Yorga
It seems the Count has moved to San Francisco for this sequel and has purchased a mansion conveniently close to a cemetery, which even more conveniently is right next door to an orphanage (nothing bad could possibly happen there right?).
When people start going missing at the orphanage, and the mute housemaid claims to have found several dead bodies, which mysteriously vanish before the police arrive, they suspect their new neighbour, Count Yorga, may have had something to do with it…
Both written and directed by Bob Kelljan (Scream Blacula Scream) these films are great fun, which are essentially just updated versions of the old vampire tales (updated to the 1970s anyway) and were huge hits on the US drive-in circuit back in the day. (sharper eyed viewers will spot footage lifted from “Blacula” at the start of Count Yorga, and the appearance of a young Craig T Nelson of “Poltergeist” fame as a bungling detective in the sequel)
The disc comes packed with a nice selection of extras, which includes
-Commentary Tracks – Both movies feature a running audio commentary with critic and film historian David Del Valle and author and columnist C. Courtney Joyner, who provide an effective trivia track for both films.
-Count Yorga : An Appreciation (33mins) – Critic and author Kim Newman discusses the making of the films.
-Image Gallery – A collection of stills, which strangely all seem to have been taken from the second film.
-Trailers – Theatrical trailer for both films.
The case also contains a reversible sleeve, featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys and the first pressing also contains a booklet, featuring new writing on the films by Frank Collins
It should be noted that the audio commentary with David Del Valle on here is apparently not the same one that accompanied the US Blu-Ray from Twilight films. Also the US disc had an archive interview with Robert Quarry, which is not included here.
But, if you like vampire pics, cult 70s films, or drive-in/grindhouse movie fair then you’ll love the Count Yorga films and you can’t go wrong with the Arrow set and the new HD transfer on here looks superb.
The film has is also available on DVD, containing the same extras on, which is being released separately.
The Count Yorga Collection comes to UK BD (and seperate DVD) Aug 8th from Arrow Video.
Pre-order Count Yorga BD from Amazon.co.uk
Pre-order Count Yorga DVD from Amazon.co.uk