Movie Name: The Return of Count Yorga
Studio: Peppertree Productions Inc.
Release Date(s): Movie Release Date
MPAA Rating: R
The Santa Ana Winds revive Count Yorga (Robert Quarry) and his brides. Yorga has taken an interest in Cynthia (Mariette Hartley) who works at a local orphanage and will stop at nothing to have her. When he and his brides attack the home of Cynthia and take Cynthia by force, Baldwin (Roger Perry) and the police search for what happened to Cynthia and the other missing people. The mission to stop Count Yorga before he turns Cynthia could be impossible.
Written and directed by Bob Kelljan (with addition writing by Yvonne Wilder), The Return of Count Yorga is a vampire horror film. A sequel to 1970’s Count Yorga, Vampire, The Return of Count Yorga is sometimes known as Yorga Returns.
Count Yorga, Vampire was an average vampire movie. It pretty much followed the path of Dracula and modernized the story while adding some steaming scenes (it was originally intended to be a softcore erotic thriller). This Count Yorga film decided to make a more original story…and in turn it felt like more fun.
The movie has a pretty bizarre beginning followed by an odd film structure. Yorga’s “revival” is pretty forced (and how he and his women were buried also isn’t explained). It then leads to a raid and kidnapping of Cynthia. The search for Cynthia by Baldwin and the police is fun and I also like the inclusion of the mute woman who struggles to explain to police what she sees and movies with evil kids are always good. Plus, you get a classic ’70s shock ending after the fall of Yorga.
I think Quarry is a little more comfortable as Yorga in this film, though anyone who met him would have to be an idiot to not realize he’s a vampire with all the hints he drops. Mariette Hartley is nice as the lead and Roger Perry returns as a completely different character than the character he played in the first film. The movie also feature a young Craig T. Nelson as half of the police duo who set out stop Yorga.
The movie is rather goofy in its horror and not as frightening as it is funny. You have the brides of Yorga with their jacked-up teeth going after the characters, but the best effect (so good it was used twice) was the Yorga running shot. It involves a slow-motion running Yorga with his hands outstretched…it is laughable rather than scary.
The Return of Count Yorga was more fun than the original and though I do mock them I can recommend both films. The movies are just good examples of ’70s horror in a period of time between the high art horror of the late ’70s and the classic Hammer style of horror of the ’60s. Count Yorga was intended to return in a third film, but it never developed past story concepts.
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