In December 1998, I took part in an international symposium
about Hammer Film Productions Limited and the long running Dracula series of
films they had produced in the late 60's and the 70's. A question about which
titles had reached cult status in their home nations was posed to the many
participants. My response at that time was that "the Dracula title with
true cult status in the USA
has to be The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. Many diverse people are aware of
Another page from my personal Big Book of Guilty Pleasures,
the movie combines two of my favorite genres. I've always loved the Hammer
Dracula films and was intrigued by the Shaw Bros. participation in this
co-production. It took about 5 years to show up in the United
States and when it did it was heavily
edited. It was still a few years before I would see the complete version of
Baker's film but, even in its truncated form you could see that the Shaw's went
all out, providing costumes, sets and scores of extra's for the production. The
action direction by now legendary Liu Chia-Liang and Tong Gaai is outstanding.
It is just too bad that the director couldn't get out of the way. The
screenplay by Don Houghton takes a lot of liberties with the Dracula myths, but
the Van Helsing adventure does have a wide scope and big time feel to it. The
rising Hong Kong stars, David Chiang and Shih Szu, do a
nice job with their roles, as do all of the supporting players.
Copyright © 2006 John Crawford. All rights reserved.