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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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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2] 3
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
Reply #9. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Macabre Matt
What is a Hammer film doing in here? All the film's made by Hammer Studio's are brilliant!
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
Reply #10. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Michael Donahue
I have it on apocryphal authority that the initial time display was to have read "1894" rather than "1804"; this would make much more sense and is somewhat supported by the dialogue, but it's not authoritative.

All three Hammer actor/actresses do a great job of dramatic enunciation, but it's kind of fun to watch them standing around in modest embarrassment while the 8 siblings (not all of whom even get lines)run amok among any villains they encounter.

Yes, Lee would have been preferred, as he and Cushing have always brought out the best in each other.

And although Hammer fans are used to a "definitive" *English* Van Helsing, did anyone read the freaking book? He's quite Dutch, and his scholarly but non-native English is used as mood-easing comic relief on at least one occasion.
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
Reply #11. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by tomateitor
I saw the movie  and i thing the story is good , the fx may not be the best but good enought for a cheap 1970 film. Is really fun and will have you very concentrate. Much better than other high cost holliwood films that i don't want to mention at this time.
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
Reply #12. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Count Karnstein
This is a fun movie, also a bit more intelligent than people think. The Chinese are portrayed as Scientific and not too superstitious, unlike some of the films involving Chinese people made during the Fifties and Sixties.

Christopher Lee sadly doesn't play Dracula in this film, which is a shame but John Forbes-Robertson plays the Count quite well and at least in character with Christopher Lee's Count, though he seems far too talkitive during the opening sequence. John Forbes-Robertson, a popular Stage actor, also played Count Karnstein ('The Man in Black') in 'The Vampire Lovers'.

Peter Cushing once again plays Van Helsing in the proper Dracula series...ok it is more of a spin-off but atleast it doesn't contradict the original Dracula films like the 'modernized' series does (One of the reason that makes that series seperate in the continuity). Peter Cushing gives his usual strong performance and it is said that they didn't make the planned Van Helsing in India film.

I have no complaints about the rest of the cast. When I first watched this film I found Vanessa Van Buren slightly annoying but everytime I watch it now I cannot see why!

The Count
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
Reply #13. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Bige E
It wasn't the last hammer film!  They made two more.  'To the Devil a Daughter' in 1976 and a remake of 'The Lady Vanishes' in 1978.
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
Reply #14. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Joseph Ulibas
The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires was the first of two collaborations between two of the greatest movie studios Hammer and Shaw Brothers.  The studios shared a lot of things in common (colorful indoor sets and a staff of brilliant actors and directors).  Sadly Hammer Films was nearing the end of it's rope.  Most of their talented staff left for Amicus and only a few loyal performers remained.  In a last gasp, the Hammer Producers met with the Shaw Brothers.  The Shaw Brothers wanted to make more international movies and Hammer wanted to stay in business.  Shaw Brothers had some sucess when they co-produced an Italian Western (Stranger and the Gunfighter) Lo Lieh and Lee Van Clief kicking butt and taking names in Spain.

Sir Run-Run Shaw had two stars he wanted to amrket.  Ti Lung and David Chiang.  They both learned english for their roles and they also wanted to become international stars. David Chiang was chosen to star in Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires.  Micheal Carracas (head of Hammer) tried to get Christopher Lee to play Count Dracula one more time but he refused.  But they managed to get Peter Cushing.

The movie is about a monk who travels to Transylvania to meet Dracula.  Dracula transfer his spirit into the monks body and heads off to find the 7 vampires.  Van Helsing is in China lecturing about vampires but many of the students mock him except one David Chiang.  He agrees to help him find the 7 vampires.  A little of bi-racial intrigue is tossed in when a rich heiress has the hots for David (cool for David!).  What follows next is a real treat!

You have a mix of horror and bone breaking kung-fu.  The great Chang Cheh (Shaw Brothers head director) co-directed and Lau Kar Fei filmed the action scenes.  This movie was some what a sucess because they went ahead with Shatter (this time with Ti Lung and action directing by Lau Kar Fei).  This did not make as much money and Hammer soon faded away.

Highly recommended!
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
Reply #15. Posted on October 14, 2005, 02:54:34 PM by Eagle
I saw that movie on cable-tv and it was funny. Now I bought the VHS on ebay and I won´t sell it again. Cool stuff.
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
Reply #16. Posted on September 20, 2006, 08:26:55 PM by Total Nut
Doh! Why do I always get Peter Cushing confused with Basil Rathbone? Also, why do they always get these old British theater veterans to play villains in so many movies?
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