ARROW BOX SET RELEASE: The Count Yorga Collection: Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)

Directed and written by Bob Kelljan, Count Yorga, Vampire was originally going to be soft core porn movie, The Loves of Count Iorga. In fact, some prints have that title. Robert Quarry, the man who would be Yorga, told producer Michael Macready that he would play the vampire if they turned the story into a non-sexual horror movie.

Donna (Donna Anders) is trying to contact her recently deceased mother via séance by Count Yorga, a mystic who has recently moved to America. Donna becomes hysterical and needs to be calmed by Yorga; afterward she reveals to her friends that Yorga was her mother’s last over and when she died, he demanded that she be buried and not creamated.

Yorga then conducts a campaign of terror, biting Erica (Judy Lang), who goes from party girl to vampire eating her own kitten — don’t worry, it’s just a kitten covered in lasagna — in a matter of hours. Oh yeah — Donna’s mom (Marsa Jordan) is now one of Yorga’s brides and it’s the swinging seventies, so he commands her to make love to one of his other undead women on a cold cemetery slab.

By the end of the film, Yorga and his brides have wiped out just about every one of Donna’s friends and strengthened his hold over her, which extends potentially beyond the grave. Again, it’s the seventies and life is cruel and cheap and happy endings aren’t often found after the New Hollywood. The count is also self aware and watches Countess Dracula.

Arrow Video’s The Count Yorga Collection has brand new 2K restorations of Count Yorga, Vampire and The Return of Count Yorga from new 4K scans of the original 35mm camera negatives. Plus, you get an illustrated perfect bound collector’s book featuring new writing by film critic Kat Ellinger and horror author Stephen Laws, plus archive contributions by critic Frank Collins and filmmaker Tim Sullivan. The limited edition packaging has 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 and a reproduction pressbook for Count Yorga, Vampire.

Count Yorga, Vampire has new audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas; archival audio commentary by film critics David Del Valle and C. Courtney Joyner; The Count in California, a brand new appreciation by Heather Drain and Chris O’Neill; I Remember Yorga, a brand new interview with Frank Darabont in which the award-winning filmmaker talks about his love for Count Yorga, Vampire, a new interview with Michael Murphy; Fangirl Radio Tribute to Robert Quarry, which has host Jessica Dwyer in conversation with Tim Sullivan, who is a filmmaker, Yorga fan and friend of Robert Quarry; the trailer, radio spots and an image gallery.

You can get it from MVD.

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