March 25, 2015

Genre Mashing: The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires

Once upon a time, Hammer House of Horror and Shaw Brothers mashed together not only their production houses' talents, but eastern and western vampire lore, in a pretty unique martial arts movie. The only thing missing (sadly) is Christopher Lee, making this the only Hammer Dracula movie not featuring Lee as Dracula.

The plot unfolds something like this: Professor Van Helsing has traveled to China on his continuing quest to destroy all things vampire. While there, he meets a young man who's village is being tormented by seven golden-bat-medallion-wearing vampires. Together they journey to destroy the 7 Golden Vampires and their army of walking dead.

Things to watch for: The interesting takes on women and westerners that sometimes changes on a dime for some characters, strangely chosen makeup effects, a man being possessed by Dracula, and of course Peter Cushing.

A.K.A.: 7 Brothers and a Sister Meet Dracula

Things we learned: Run Run Shaw was alive until the 7th day of this year. He was 106 years old and had 329 producer credits under his belt.

Why did this interesting marriage happen?: During the end-times for Hammer, the studio head sold the company to his son who had some ideas on how to get audiences' faded interest back. Sadly those ideas didn't pay off and the studio eventually shut it's doors, but out of their death rattle came the Shaw Bros team ups for The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires and Shatter (a more straight forward action move we've not yet seen).
Other strange Shaw Bros team ups: Shaw Bros, Roger Corman, and New World all joined up for the Cannonball Run precursor Cannonball, and Shaw Bros joined up with Warner Bros for Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold.

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