Vampires, zombies and kung fu
This time I will talk about an old movie by Hammer that combines the topics of terror with martial arts: The 7 Golden Vampires.
The film was a co-production between Hammer and Shaw Brothers. It is the ninth film in Hammer’s Dracula saga. It is also the last.
Two directors collaborated for this film: Roy Ward Baer and Chang Cheh, an action film director from Hong Kong.
There were problems during the shooting, because the Chinese and the British did not understand each other.
Baker used to yell at the Chinese actors to stop spitting on the set floor (wtf?)
Phil Chandler wrote “Is this the best Hammer movie? No! Is this the best Hammer movie from the ’70s? Yes.”
Graeme Clark praised Cushing’s performance.
It remains me, a little bit, of Big Trouble Chinatown, which I talk about here.
We begin by following a Chinese monk on his journey through Transylvania in 1804. The locals run away, in fear, when they see him, and it would be even worse if they knew where he is going.
Certainly, the Chinese monk enters Dracula’s castle and wakes him up. He then explains that he is the priest of the seven golden vampires, who once ruled China. But now the humans controlled the country. So he asks Dracula for help in restoring the former glory of his lords.
Dracula makes it clear to him that he doesn’t take requests from a riffraff like him. But for plot convenience, he decides to usurp his body and help the gold vampires anyway.
Nobody believes me
Meanwhile, Van Helsing, played by Peter Cushing, is giving a lecture at Chongqing University, on the incidence of vampires in the East. Apparently, there is an old legend, about a farmer, who faced the golden vampires and, before dying, managed to snatch a medallion from one of them and place it on a statue of Buddha. When its owner tried to retrieve it, he was burned to death by Buddha’s sacred fire.
Everyone mocks Van Helsing, except for young Hsi Ching (played by David Chiang) who later meets with Van Helsing and informs him that he knows the legend to be true, basically, because the farmer was his grandfather.
Hsi Ching also puts at his disposal his seven brothers, all martial artists and each expert in the use of a particular weapon.
The Romantic Interest
Meanwhile, Van Helsing’s son meets a rich lady from Eastern Europe who is traveling alone and keeps showing off her jewelry (things an English gentleman doesn’t approve of). The lady expresses her interest in meeting Van Helsing.
So they all end up gathered at Van Helsing’s house and the rich lady offers to finance an expedition to the cursed village, on the condition that she is allowed to accompany them. Van Helsing objects, but Hsi Ching says that his sister can assist the lady.
Thus, everyone heads towards the village that is under the scourge of the golden vampires. During the trip, Van Helsing’s son falls in love with Hsi Ching’s sister and Hsi Ching with the rich lady.
Time to fight!
Also, they have to face the golden vampires and the zombies they created that, for some reason, jog instead of walking.
Meanwhile, the golden vampires raid the village, kidnapping the villagers (mainly women), undress them and tying them to tables. There they perform a kind of ritual, and then suck their blood.
After arriving at the town, the group prepares the defense, and then fights the final battle. Will they defeat Dracula and his golden vampires? You’ll have to watch it to find out.
Here the trailer:
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