I have a feeling that very few people would be willing to conduct a séance with a Bulgarian mystic calling the shots, especially if he’s the type to conceal his true nature. Then again, it’s hard to find a good medium these days, as most of them charge a pretty penny. Unfortunate, isn’t it? Well, the good news is that Count Yorga isn’t out of practice; if anything, his charisma and charm are such that he is able to connect with spirits of the dead, so you can bet your bottom dollar that he’s in a class of his own. I can’t knock that, but on the other hand, I can’t help but get the impression that conducting business with a vampire wouldn’t end well, in which case I would sooner end up dead than get a refund.
The atmosphere is thick, the vampire women are beautiful, and the setting is classy. I’m sure the Count wouldn’t have it any other way, like the suave bloodsucker that he is. It must be nice to lie around in his coffin all day and seduce potential brides via telepathic communication. All the more reason for Dr. Hayes to suspect that vampirism is rearing its ugly head, I suppose. He’s no Van Helsing, but his intuition and his interest in the occult are what make him tick, so if you’ve ever wanted to see a blood specialist go toe to toe with the town troublemaker, you can bet their confrontation is one to sink your teeth into.
I tend to think of vampire movies as period pieces. It comes with the territory, so the fact that Count Yorga, Vampire is set in 1970 Los Angeles is such that it strays from the norm. It’s a nice change of pace, and it’s fitting in a “foreigner is adjusting to life in a big city” sort of way. There’s also the fact that the police are skeptical of vampiric activity taking place, as Dr. Hayes’ attempts to get them involved lead to him being rejected, in which case the backdrop is reflective of a point of view that is not prone to beliefs that are rooted in folklore. It’s interesting how the film plays out with that in mind, as though it is dealing with the effects of straying from tradition. It’s definitely a point of interest, and one that is well incorporated into the plot.
I think this is a pretty good vampire movie, and I think it has enough going for it to maintain interest. There’s something about Robert Quarry playing a vampire. The score is lively too, and I think you’ll find that it complements the atmosphere nicely as long as you don’t confront Count Yorga in his throne room.