This is our Saturday pizza and bad movie offering. Yum. Pizza and prosecco.
While the viewer watches an old-fashioned wooden coffin being hauled in the back of an old-fashioned pickup truck, a narrator describes the legend of the vampire. The truck drives the gates of a large estate.
Donna (Donna Anders) has invited some friends over for a séance to try to contact the spirit of her recently deceased mother. Conducting the séance is the nattily dressed Count Yorga (Robert Quarry), who is older than the others and is in dead earnest. Donna misses her mom.
A couple of the young men at the table don’t take the proceeding seriously. Donna’s boyfriend, Michael (Michael Macready), and Paul (Michael Murphy) yuck it up, but eventually relax, join hands, and… Donna screams. Did she see her mom? Chances are better than you might think.
Erica (Judy Lang), Donna’s friend and Paul’s girlfriend, offers to give the Count a ride home. She thinks he’s kinda cute. He’s old enough to be her father. ICK.
After Paul and Erica leave to take the Count home in Paul’s bright red VW Microbus, Donna tells her dearly beloved that the Count was dating her mother before she died. They grew close. He talked her out of cremating her mom. But he didn’t show up for her service…hmm.
On the way back from the Count’s door to the gate, Paul’s VW gets stuck in the mud. He can’t get it out. The viewer sees a hand holding a curtain up, watching them from the house. Once they realize they can’t free the van, does this couple do anything sensible, such as go to the house and ask for help pushing the van out of the mud? Maybe get a shovel or some pieces of plywood? Nah, they crawl in the back and have sex, which spells doom and despair in anyone in a horror movie.
This was a bit slow going in the beginning. Quarry played a nice, subtly menacing vampire with a harem to look after. Dr. Jim Hayes (Roger Perry) steps in as a reluctant Van Helsing after discovering something odd in Erica’s blood. He also paws her more than necessary to check out the puncture marks on her neck. ICK.
According to Wikipedia, Count Yorga was originally intended to be a “soft porn” flick. Quarry told actor/producer Michael Macready he would play the vampire role if the story were a straight horror film. The original intent explains why, for example, Erica and Paul occupy themselves in the van rather than occupy themselves with getting home as rational people might.
Amusing moments crop up, intentionally or not. The two guys who acted like naughty children at the séance got a snicker out of me. Watching a pickup drive around with a pine coffin was delightful. Imagine what the neighbors must think! And the Count! “Damn it, Brudah! Watch those speed bumps!”
A lot of blood shows up. Interestingly enough, while the Count is a threat to pretty young things, the guys die gruesome deaths at the hands of those pretty young things. A rape also occurs, but it’s off-camera and not directly depicted.
While this movie had its enjoyable moments, I’d have to say overall, it’s a no-go.
It can be bought or rented here.
Title: Count Yorga, Vampire (alt. The Loves of Count Iorga, Vampire) (1970)
Bob Kelljan…(written by)
Cast (in credits order)
Robert Quarry…Count Yorga
Roger Perry…Dr. James “Jim” Hayes
Michael Macready…Michael “Mike” Thompson
Judy Lang…Erica Landers (as Judith Lang)
Length: 1 hour, 13 minutes Rated: PG-13