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Rated R
Copyright 1974 Hammer Films and Shaw Brothers
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Van Helsing - Peter Cushing! Europe's chief expert on vampires is out to cleanse the Orient of them as well.
  • Leyland Helsing - The son of course, a bit rash perhaps, but he is capable of defending himself most of the time.
  • Hsi Ching - Leader of the Hsi clan, his hands are deadly weapons. Drives a stake through his own heart.
  • Mai Kwei - Ching's only sister, (Dad tossed all the others down a well.) her weapons are two long daggers.
  • Vanessa Buren - Wealthy and brazen woman who idolizes Van Helsing, ends up a vampire and Ching drives a stake through her heart.
  • Hsi Kwei - Ching's brother and bowman extraordinaire, able to fire silver shafted arrows long distances.
  • Hsi Ta - Ching's brother and axeman extraordinaire, any guy who can swing heavy axes around like that deserves respect. Tackles a vampire into a pit of flame.
  • Hsi Sung - Ching's brother who uses a darn big mace. Cut down by a vampire's sword.
  • Hsi Sung and Hsi San - Twin brothers who join hands and then employ their swords as a whirlwind of steel. Cut down by a Golden Vampire.
  • Hsi Ba Kwei - Ching's brother, (Whew, that's the last one.) he employs a deadly spear.
  • The Zombies - Desiccated bodies summoned from the grave to do the vampire's bidding. Turned into dust by the powerful kung fu of Ching and his brothers.
  • The 7 Golden Vampires - Dread creatures of the night, they wear golden masks over their hideous faces. Sent straight to hell by our heroes.
  • Dracula - The most powerful vampire ever, he left Transylvania and set up shop here. (He must like tea.) Stabbed through the heart by Van Helsing.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Vampires and kung fu! (If that didn't get your attention I don't know what will.) The plot for this is rather contrived, much like some dungeonmaster stating, "Okay, so you all meet in a tavern..." and there is one glaring problem, but the film is so much fun. What is the glaring problem you ask? The film begins with a minion of the Golden Vampires seeking out Dracula's help, we are informed the year is 1804. Dracula takes over the poor guy's body and leaves to go on a trip to China, I guess he's tired of villagers running around with torches and holy water. Our subject movie takes place in 1904, but Van Helsing has encountered Dracula before - in Transylvania, though for the last century the master vampire has been in the Orient... ...ahm. Regardless of that, Van Helsing journeyed to the Far East to study their vampire legends and he is soon approached by Hsi Ching. The young man, his six brothers, and their sister are all pledged to rid their village of the vampire's scourge. The professor would love to help, but such an expedition would require generous funds. Right about now Leyland comes strolling in with Vanessa, so that solves the funding issue nicely. The entire plot is just a setup for three glorious fight scenes, one with a group of bad guys who Leyland managed to annoy, the other two with the vampires and their minions. For some odd reason the brothers all use spears in the final battle, though their mastered weapons had worked quite well to dispatch three of the vampires earlier.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Goat herders are terrified of Asians.
  • Vampires are multilingual.
  • Zombies love watching reruns of "The Gong Show."
  • Zombies like to skip.
  • Vampires should avoid Buddha at all costs.
  • Young women have to be topless for sacrifice.
  • Undead are full of talc.
  • It's okay to be clumsy, long as your clothes are flame retardant.
  • If you love someone, drive a hollow bamboo stake through their heart.
  • Vampires are soluble in blood and cause it to evaporate without leaving a film.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 2 mins - Hehehe! Bats on strings, I so love Hammer Films.
  • 6 mins - One shot he doesn't have fangs, next minute he does.
  • 37 mins - About thirty brigands against eight martial arts masters, we're about to see a slaughter...
  • 49 mins - I wonder who was nice enough to landscape this small section of stream, considering it's located somewhere in the wilds of China.
  • 50 mins - Leyland is the only male around that she is not related to, of course she is going to fall for him.
  • 82 mins - I had thought the spear was solid metal, but it just snapped.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note goldvamps1.wav Hsi Ching: "You and your son have been under our protection; no harm could befall you. Already your son has witnessed the skills of my brothers."
Green Music Note goldvamps2.wav Van Helsing: "In Europe the vampire walks in dread of the crucifix. Here it will be the image of the Lord Buddha."
Green Music Note goldvamps3.wav Hsi Ching: "My brothers can not survive another attack, professor."
Van Helsing: "We've destroyed half their number, three still remain...just three demons terrorizing Ping Qwei."
Green Music Note goldvamps4.wav Van Helsing: "Is the mighty Dracula too frightened to reveal his face to me?"
Dracula: "I am Dracula! Lord of darkness, master of the vampires, prince of the undead, ruler of the damned!"
Van Helsing: "Prove it!"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipgoldvamps1.mpg - 2.1m
Everyone is kung fu fighting!

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