Blu-ray Review: The Return Of Count Yorga


count yorga

The Return of Count Yorga was directed by Bob Kelljan who co-wrote the screenplay with Yvonne Wilder. The horror sequel stars Mariette Hartley as Cynthia Nelson, Roger Perry as Dr. David Baldwin, George Macready as Professor Rightstat, Yvonne Wilder as Jennifer Nelson, Philip Frame as Tommy, Craig T. Nelson as Sgt. O’Connor and Robert Quarry who returns as the charming vampire Count Yorga.

This sequel to the hit 1970 original film Count Yorga, Vampire, follows the Deathmaster who makes his triumphant return. When the overlord of the damned rises again to prowl the shadows, who will stand against The Return Of Count Yorga?  Revived by the well-known supernatural properties of the Santa Ana winds, our undead leading man takes to the streets with an unquenchable thirst. In search of new blood, Yorga moves next door to an orphanage. But when he crosses paths with a beautiful young woman, the Count’s thoughts turn to love. Has the ruler of the night finally found the girl with whom he can share eternity?

The story for this 1971 horror sequel wasn’t really anything original because we’ve gotten plenty of gothic-style love stories over the years, especially when it comes to vampires who always find that one special female they must have. Don’t get me wrong because the story was still fun and easy to follow plus it featured a unique vampire. The Return of Count Yorga teases the resurrection in the opening scene where Cynthia (Mariette Hartley) notices the difference in the winds and we quickly see bodies crawl out of their shallow graves teasing the return of something sinister. Count Yorga (Robert Quarry) and his minions of the undead have returned and the vampire shows up at an orphanage where a costume party is going on. He meets Cynthia and instantly falls for her and this is what sets up the horrifying events that follow.

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Count Yorga is out to charm and impress everyone when he first arrives. Have you ever noticed that once a vampire gets a crush on a beautiful woman, this is also where the carnage begins and this movie is no different. Count Yorga falls for a beautiful woman but he also has a thirst for blood and he ends up being seen by two people; a deaf woman and one of the orphans who is under his spell. At first nobody believes the woman who is only able to communicate through sign language but as the evidence slowly reveals itself, the small group ends up confronting Count Yorga who finally reveals who he really is, a blood sucking creature of the night who dresses really well. The finale is a showdown between good and evil and of course the love of a woman but in this gothic love story it is evil that unfortunately prevails. Well, kind of.

The front of the packaging features the classic artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of extras. The reverse sleeve also features some classic alternate artwork and credits so you have your choice of which one you want to use as the front cover. The Blu-ray disc also includes matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the animated menu screen was simple and easy to navigate plus there was a little blood dripping for entertainment purposes. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition upgrade were crisp and clear. The picture was vivid with very little grain and the colors were all bright and the sound was just right. This is another outstanding high-def upgrade by the always impressive Scream Factory.

Bottom line is, The Return Of Count Yorga was a first time watch for me and an entertaining one at that. This vampire movie takes a slightly different approach to the vampire genre with Count Yorga who is more of a charmer than the legendary Count Dracula and this guy looks like he is dressed for success. He’s more of a snobbish kind of blood sucker. Maybe? Anyway, the movie was a lot of fun and all of the characters were interesting and easy to follow plus I liked the way the movie ended. Hey, we can’t always have those happy endings now can we. This 1971 horror classic will make its North American Blu-ray debut on October 13th and is worth checking out.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 97 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1) Region A

Blu-ray Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono

Subtitles: English

Special Features: Good Stuff! This high-def upgrade includes some great audio commentary, the theatrical trailer, TV and radio spots and some images. I really enjoy listening to classic radio spots because they came along before our time and for some reason they’re entertaining. Radio spots can get pretty cheesy too because they have to go after the listeners imagination and grab their attention so the dramatization and theatrics can sometimes be greatly exaggerated.

  • Audio Commentary with Film Historian Steve Haberman and Actor Rudy De Luca
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
  • Radio Spots
  • Photo Gallery
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