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Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, The (1974)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Transylvania, 1880: Kah travels alone through the forest to worship at Dracula's tomb; and Dracula, rising from his grave, determines to make use of the bodily form of his disciple to walk the earth again.

Chungking, 1904: Delivering a lecture at the university, Professor Van Helsing relates the Chinese legend of the Seven Golden Vampires to the work of his old adversary Dracula, and describes the terrible fate meted out to the one man from a village who dared to oppose the terrorising of the vampires. In response to his request for help in locating the village, Hsi Ching tells him that it is his ancestral home, Ping Kuei, and that the man who resisted was his grandfather, offering proof in the shape of a pendant worn by the vampires.

Van Helsing's son Leyland is at a party with Vanessa Buren, a rich widow with a taste for adventure, when the pendant attracts the attention of General Yang, head of the Tongs; on the way home they are attacked, but defended by a group of men skilled in the martial arts. Van Helsing agrees to accompany Hsi on an expedition to free Ping Kuei from the curse, and Vanessa insists on going too, along with Hsi's sister and brothers, all accomplished martial artists. On the way they are attacked by General Yang's men, and later by a swarm of bats that assume the form of vampires.

Meanwhile, at Ping Kuei, Dracula carries out his rituals and sends his vampires out to ravage the village, Arriving the next day, Van Helsing and his friends set about preparing a system of defence. In the temple outside the village the evil ritual begins again, with women sacrificed as a gong is heard. In the final conflict, Vanessa is turned into a vampire, and Hsi, to prevent the multiplication of evil, kills her and himself. At the temple, Van Helsing is finally left to confront Dracula alone, daring him to show his real face, before annihilating him and freeing the village from its evil spell.

Monthly Film Bulletin, Vol. 41, No. 488, p.202, September 1974