Blu-ray Review: Count Yorga, Vampire - Twilight Time Limited Edition

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Oh boy, what an odd little fright flick. Originally conceived as a soft core skin flick called The Loves of Count Iorga, Vampire but quickly retooled as a relatively traditional vampire picture, Count Yorga, Vampire (1970) stars Robert Quarry as the titular creature of the night. Twilight Time has issued a new Blu-ray edition (limited to 3,000 copies) that presents this B-movie with renewed clarity. The opening credits bear the original title and, honestly, Yorga might've been more entertaining had it stayed true to the original T&A plan.

Count Yorga poses as a medium in order to gain easy access to new victims. Donna (Donna Anders) and a group of friends participate in a séance, during which the Count manages to put them into some kind of state of hypnosis. The rest of the film charts Yorga as he bites the necks of various members of the séance party. First up are Erica (Judy Lang) and boyfriend Paul (Michael Murphy), who get hot 'n heavy in a van after the séance; their chaste coupling a far cry from what the original Love of Count Iorga likely would've been. 
count yorga vampire bd booklet (299x380).jpg While I personally found Count Yorga, Vampire a tedious, repetitive film to endure (with a particularly gnarly, disturbing, unpleasant scene involving a cat falling victim to a vampiress—the limp, lifeless cat being the real deal, only sedated), it does have a cult following. Take note: the 1080p transfer is quite handsome, with rich colors and impressive clarity overall. Black levels are a tad on the gray side, but otherwise Twilight Time's Blu-ray presentation is superlative. The audio is offered up as a lossless DTS-HD MA mono soundtrack.

Special features: the biggie here is a commentary track by film historians David Del Valle and Tim Sullivan (I sampled it and found it to be relaxed, chatty, and well-informed). "My Dinner With Yorga: The Robert Quarry "Rue Morgue" Interview" is a bit of audio theater—Del Valle and Sullivan re-enact a long-lost Quarry interview. "Fangirl Radio Tribute to Robert Quarry with Tim Sullivan" is another audio-only piece—a 45-minute chat between Sullivan and show host Jessica Dwyer. As is usually the case with Twilight Time Blu-rays, there is also an isolated music track (DTS-HD MA 2.0).

Robert Quarry is quite effective as the creepy Count Yorga, but overall this film is a bad trip that feels twice as long as its 93 minutes. But, as evidenced by film historians David Del Valle and Tim Sullivan, not to mention Fangirl Radio's Jessica Dwyer, Count Yorga, Vampire does indeed have a devoted cult following. Those who count themselves as members should proceed to Screen Archives, Twilight Time's distributor, while supplies last.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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