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The Count Yorga Collection (Limited Edition) (Blu-ray Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film (Count Yorga, Vampire)
The Film (The Return of Count Yorga)
The Video (Count Yorga, Vampire)
The Video (The Return of Count Yorga)
The Audio
The Supplements
Overall

SUMMARY

A 2-movie collection featuring the centuries-old Hungarian vampire who travels to California and preys on the locals.

Robert Quarry starred in the titular role in 1970s original Count Yorga, Vampire, a surprise hit that rode the wave of the latter days of the gothic horror wave by bringing its vampiric protagonist into contemporary Los Angeles rather than setting the story in the past. Beyond this superficial plot twist, Count Yorga followed all the basic tenets of gothic horror as it set its story in a dreary dark mansion in the woods wherein the Hungarian count traps his unsuspecting “prey” after a séance gone awry. Ravenous vampire brides and gorging on rats ensues. The 1972 follow-up, The Return of Count Yorga, while hardly a great film, was a superior film to the original with its bigger budget and better character development. The count, still played by Quarry, is now living in a local orphanage, and using the community as his prey. He falls in love with a young woman whom he wants to make his bride, but her boyfriend gets in the way. The steely-eyed Quarry is the real draw in both films, playing the centuries-old vampire with dignity, a hint of danger, and the perfect amount of tongue-in-cheek humor. The sequel is still an exercise in ridiculousness, but it maintains a keener sense of gore and eerie atmospherics across its gothic settings.

The Video

This 2-disc collection features brand new 2K restorations by Arrow Films of Count Yorga, Vampire and The Return of Count Yorga from new 4K scans of the original 35mm camera negatives. Both films appear in 1.85:1 AVC 1080p encodements on individual Blu-rays alongside their respective bonus features. Return looks slightly better than the original film, but this is likely due to its slightly bigger original budget more so than superiority of restoration and transfer. Both films have a crisp layer of grain, but show ever so slight hints of some specks here and there, nothing major enough to hinder the presentation. There’s three-dimensional sense of textural information and detail and a vibrancy to the color palette that makes the overall image very appealing.

The Audio

Each film is presented with its original monaural audio in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0. The sound is free from any major pops, hiss, or crackle and provides intelligible dialogue.

The Supplements

Arrow is to be commended once again for a fine package with this release of The Count Yorga Collection. They have put together a set if fine collectible items as well as gathered together archival commentaries, new commentaries, interviews, and features that add a lot of value to the set. Additionally, it looks gorgeous.

Limited Edition Contents

  • Limited edition packaging with reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Heather Vaughan
  • Fold-out double-sided posters for both films featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Heather Vaughan
  • Twelve double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction artcards
  • Reproduction pressbook for Count Yorga, Vampire

Count Yorga, Vampire

  • (NEW) Commentary by Tim Lucas
  • Commentary by David Del Valle & C. Courtney Joyner
  • (NEW) The Count in California (1080p; 00:09:44) – A brand new appreciation of the sanguine glory and gothic charm of Count Yorga by film critics Heather Drain and Chris O’Neill. Recorded especially for this release by Arrow Video in 2022.
  • (NEW) I Remember Yorga (1080p; 00:14:53) – Academy Award-winning filmmaker Frank Darabont talks about why he loves Count Yorga. Recorded especially for this release by Arrow Video in 2022.
  • (NEW) A Vampire in L.A. (1080p; 00:09:30) – In this new interview actor Michael Murphy looks back on his early career and the making of Count Yorga, Vampire. Recorded especially for this release by Arrow Video in 2022.
  • Fangirl Radio Tribute to Robert Quarry (1080p; 00:45:55) – An episode of the Fangirl Radio Podcast featuring host Jessica Dwyer in conversation with filmmaker Tim Sullivan, a Count Yorga fan who later became a close persona; friend to Count Yorga actor Robert Quarry.
  • Theatrical Trailer (1080p)
  • Radio Spots:
    • Radio Spot #1
    • Radio Spot #2
  • Image Galleries (1080p):
    • Posters and Stills
    • Tim Sullivan Archive

The Return of Count Yorga

  • (NEW) Commentary by Stephen R. Bissette
  • Commentary by David Del Valle & C. Courtney Joyner
  • (NEW) The Count and the Counterculture (1080p; 00:18:13) – Film critic and author Maitland McDonagh discusses the way 1960s counterculture influenced the Count Yorga films.
  • (NEW) Chamber-music of Horrors (1080p; 00:35:17) – Music and cultural historian David Huckvale discusses the music of the Count Yorga films.
  • Interview with Kim Newman (1080p; 00:33:02)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1080p)
  • Radio Spots:
    • Radio Spot #1
    • Radio Spot #2
  • Image Galleries (1080p):
    • Stills
    • Lobby Cards and Posters

The Final Assessment

With the Count Yorga films Robert Quarry entered his name into the canon of great actors to portray vampires on screen, including Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee. While he may not have gotten as much recognition as these two, he deserves equal mention for his superb performances and his ability to elevate what is not always the best material to something better. Arrow Video provides gorgeous transfers of these films and packs this set with an abundance of supplements making this a must-have “spooky season” collection.

The Count Yorga Collection (Limited Edition) is out on Blu-ray October 25, 2022 from Arrow Video


  • Rating Certificate: PG-13 (for vampire violence/gore and some sensuality)
  • Studios & Distributors: Erica Productions Inc. | Arrow Video
  • Director: Bob Kelljan
  • Written By: Bob Kelljan (Count Yorga, Vampire) | Bob Kelljan (screenplay) | Yvonne Wilder (screenplay)
  • Run Time: 190 Mins.
  • Street Date: 25 October 2022
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 1.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH
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The Count Yorga Collection (Limited Edition) (Blu-ray Review)A 2-movie collection featuring the centuries-old Hungarian vampire who travels to California and preys on the locals.
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