Count Yorga, Vampire Review

Now this is an awful film so prepare yourself. Dracula already set the bar extremely low with all of those installments but somehow Yorga is even worse. The film’s extremely annoying with characters not making the right moves and it goes for being gritty for no reason. They definitely want to show that Yorga is as demented as possible but he’s the Count so we already knew that.

The movie starts with the main characters doing a seance so that Donna can see her mother again but unfortunately the whole thing doesn’t go well. It just gives Count Yorga a chance to mind control Donna a bit. He scurries off but later on Erica and Paul end up driving the guy home which is a big mistake. Now the Count has them in his sites and things get tricky from there. Will the count be taking everyone down or can Dr. Hayes be brought in to stop this?

So where to even start with this one? We’ve got the usual blood sucking everywhere but that is really the least of our worries at this point. Where the film really surpasses its limits here is it decides to also give the Count a sidekick. This guy is basically desperate to have a lady of his own and so he ends up attacking one of Yorga’s mind controlled victims. This is the scene that absolutely should have been cut out of the film. It’s off screen but he basically has his way with her.

It’s purely here for grit and shock value because it has nothing to do with anything. This guy has no business being in the film in general. We’re here for the vampire, not the right hand man who is messing around here. The film was basically doomed to be a 0 from this point although that was rarely in doubt.

Yorga is also shown to be one of the more perverted villains as the guy has fun commanding the victims to mess around with each other while he watches. You wouldn’t see this kind of behavior from Dracula who at least kept some dignity most of the time. This guy also can’t handle himself in a straight fight. Half the time he has the mind controlled zombie vampires go in to fight for him. Near the end Yorga is confronted so he immediately runs off.

Then he has the element of surprise along with his supposedly superior vampire physical abilities and yet he gets rocked. The guy has no defense to the stake but he also doesn’t have the speed to dodge or the strength to mess with the aim? He just looks so weak by the end that it takes away from his tough talk the whole film.

I’ll just give him one thing, I liked his banter with Dr. Hayes. It’s the only good part of the film as they both subtly threaten each other. Hayes hints that he knows Yorga is a vampire while Yorga advises him to leave while he still can. I like these threatening conversations like this. It keeps things interesting and you keep wondering which character will back down first.

That is the only good part of the film though as the rest goes back to the film just being awful again. Why do the heroes decide to attack only once it’s night time? I suppose they still thought there was hope to save some of the captives but they really took forever and should have attacked at the crack of dawn when they had to leave early. That would have definitely been their best play here and it would have taken Yorga by surprise. Once it was night time the deck was stacked against them.

Another issue with the film is that none of the characters are particularly likable. Donna doing that seance didn’t help matters and everyone was rather rude about it the whole time. Just don’t participate in it at that point. Paul and Erica were messing around too much in the van and didn’t keep their guards up.

The only good character here was Hayes and unfortunately things don’t go very well for him there. He definitely should have prepared himself a bit more but at least he did last for most of the film so I’ll give him some props there. It’s not like he had a whole lot of help in the film anyway.

Michael was the only other one to fight and unfortunately he lets his guard down a lot too and was too slow to help in the end. We do get the classic jump scare at the end of the movie though. It may not be the most impressive one but it gets the job done. You’d expect nothing less here.

It’s hard to make a vampire film that’s all that good but you could absolutely do one that’s way better than this. Make the Count someone who needs to drink blood to survive so you keep his cocky attitude and have him take everyone out but he just destroys them instead of keeping them alive to play with. Remove his right hand man and make the main characters a little more likable. Have them be more focused on trying to figure out what the Count’s deal is and cut out the half hearted romances squeezed in for no reason. Then without all of the shock value scenes perhaps this could actually be a decent movie…perhaps.

Overall, Count Yorga is a huge miss. It’ll end up sinking the vampire genre to new lows for you so I’d advise you to just skip this one entirely. There’s no reason to check it out at all so instead watch a Dracula film if you have to but of course I would advise just completely not watching a vampire film as it is. It’s just very rare that they end up being good anyway so why bother right? I doubt anyone will remember Yorga in a few years though. The guy is already over the hill.

Overall 0/10

House of Dracula Review

We are now entering the climax of the Universal monster movies. This one is definitely more of a standard experience as it doesn’t really do a lot with the premise but at least it’s fun to see all of the characters together. It would be nice if they all could really interact and have a big fight though. It feels like the film always finds some kind of excuse to keep these guys separate for the most part and I feel like that’s odd. People get excited for crossovers for…the actual crossover after all. So we want to see these guys mix it up.

So the movie starts with Dracula showing up to the well respected Dr. Franz asking him for a cure to being a vampire. The Doctor is ready to help but is Dracula on the level or is this some kind of scheme? Larry Talbot shows up shortly afterwards looking for a cure to being a Werewolf and the Doctor is eager to help him as well. Unfortunately he is rather busy so it’ll be tough to help them. Talbot doesn’t want to wait and jumps off a cliff but there he finds Frankenstein’s monster. During this chaos, Dracula makes his move and kidnaps Milizia. Can this monster be saved and will Talbot finally have his peace?

There is one plot that is very satisfying here at least and that is that Talbot finally gets some peace. After all these years of constantly being on the run or forced to turn into the Werewolf, it was nice that his plot had a satisfying conclusion. He was always the best part of this shared universe and so it was important that he got a good ending here. I don’t think this movie would have been as good otherwise.

It’s always fun to see him here and Talbot certainly aged quite a bit since the first films so you can really see how he was dealing with this curse for a long time. The other characters aren’t quite able to match him in terms of being as intense or interesting. First off we have Dracula but he doesn’t look very good here. He mainly relies on cheap tricks and deception in order to get ahead but his weakness to the sun is still quite massive. There’s one scene where he looks real awful because he’s running from the doctor so that he can get to his coffin. He goes in and locks the door. Well….the doctor just walks in and opens it so he dies instantly to the Sun.

I know time was of the essence but that’s just a lousy way to go. Meanwhile Frankenstein’s monster shows up to just be a mindless monster that is quickly dispatched. He has almost nothing to do with the actual story at all. He’s basically just here for the crossover so they awaken him just to take him out again. It’s all so brief that it’s almost funny but I don’t think any Frankenstein fans will be super satisfied with his portrayal here. It could have been way better is one way to put it at least.

As for the Doctor, well the power gets to him and he loses control so he gets no points for having any kind of strength of will. It’s good that he’s super smart and able to pull off some cures but he’s probably not the guy that you want on your side. If anything he was going to easily fall for Dracula’s tricks if the girl hadn’t given him a heads up. There’s also an inspector who appears briefly as always but he doesn’t get much to do. In effect this film is like a speed run through the usual Universal monster film template only with a few extra monsters.

The writing is decent at least, it’s always fun to see the characters having a polite conversation the whole time. The cast is small but I’d say they were mostly decent even if they weren’t too memorable. Seeing Talbot use a gun near the end was also fun since he’s more of a hand to hand guy usually with the Werewolf skills. It would have certainly been better if the movie embraced the crossover factor more but in the end I’d say this was a good movie. Maybe not “Very good” the way that it should have been but I could watch this one again.

The movie is short so it doesn’t drag on and meanwhile the pacing is on point. We don’t get too much of Dracula running around and causing trouble which is good since he’s usually the one who could make things a little dicey. If you’ve seen the rest of the Universal movies then you should watch this one. It’s not going to change your life but even if you’re just watching it for Talbot, it’s a nice way to end things off.

Overall, The House of Dracula forgot that it was a big crossover film and kept the plots a bit separate. Not completely separate like in the last one but I’d still like a modern remake to go all in with the premise. There’s really a lot you can do with all of these monsters meeting up and having it out. Well, this movie plays things by the books so if you want a low key Universal monster movie then this is a fun one to check out. Give it a spin and feel nostalgic as you know that you’ve arrived at the end of the journey. A small part of me will miss these titles or at least I’ll miss Talbot with all of his fun adventures.

Overall 6/10

The BioLizard vs Dracula

Suggested by Destroyer Dracula is very powerful in some of his incarnations and can use his super strength to a solid degree but it won’t be enough here. The sheer spammage of attacks that the BioLizard can shoot out is just too great. Even Sonic and Shadow had trouble dodging that onslaught, this vampire will not be able to come even close. The BioLizard wins.

Nosferatu Review

It’s time for a silent movie and I have to say that those can definitely be tricky. Now what do I mean by that? Well, here’s the score. A silent movie has access to almost none of the things I really like about movies. Solid dialogue, great sound effects, etc. That’s all gone here and so the movie’s a bit of a chore to get through and ends up being dragged on for a whole lot. This is one of the few films that gets a lot score not because the film is awful but because it is dreadfully boring. Has to be one of the least entertaining films I’ve seen in a while.

The movie starts off with Thomas getting ready to head out because he has found someone to buy the house next to him. This will be the rich Count Orlok who is not very well liked by the locals. Thomas isn’t scared but weird things begin to happen at the castle like when Orlok tries to drink his blood. Is this guy just very quirky or is he an actual danger? Thomas isn’t sure and isn’t really the smartest character in the film. His wife Ellen may need to be the one to help out but even if she has visions, what can she actually do about them?

From the start the movie just couldn’t grab my attention. The music isn’t very interesting. It’s pretty much one main track that plays for the whole movie and just goes into different phases to shake things up. It’s not a theme that has particularly aged well in any respect and is just too low key. Perhaps it beats not having any music at all but it really could have been so much better. I won’t say much about the visuals because it’s all so old though.

Additionally, I thought Count Orlok’s design was actually not that bad. It’s aged pretty decently. What hasn’t aged decently is how all of the other characters also look sinister at times. I don’t think this was intentional but Ellen and even Thomas fall into that a bit. Thomas looks half crazy and doesn’t seem to understand the situation the whole time. He is extremely slow on the uptake. You’d think Orlok trying to suck up his blood when he cut his thumb would have been enough, but no not quite. It takes more than that to really get to Thomas and he should have tried to escape sooner. He put himself in the worst possible place and it shows. By the end things work out but I wouldn’t say due to any great contributions by Thomas. He was just along for the ride half the time.

If he was a more interesting main character that could have helped the film a great deal. Then you have Ellen as the heroine who is nice enough. Her strength of will may not have been amazing here but I’ll chalk that up as being more impressive for Orlok rather than being a shot against her. Something tells me that no character in this film would have done great in that moment. As for Orlok, he definitely needs to have a better handle on his strengths and weaknesses. If he did then he probably would have done a whole lot better in this film. As it is, I wouldn’t say he did awful but there’s really no reason why he shouldn’t defeat everyone. The weapons in this time were not super advanced nor were there security cameras so if he played things well he could keep winning for all of eternity.

The ending is definitely not a particularly happy one even with Orlok gone. Ultimately humanity lost this round big time. It was interesting how there was a whole plot about how the town thought a plague was going around initially. Now that’s an element that could be a little interesting so naturally the film doesn’t have too much time for it. Becoming a vampire is like a plague in a sense and getting bit by one can seem like that too. Now you start to go into zombie territory if this was to continue too much but it’s a different take for sure.

Ultimately Orlok never felt like a huge threat to me but it would be difficult for the film to pull that off without any talking out loud. I watch anime subbed sometimes so I can’t say that’s a big issue but the big issue here really comes down to you not being able to get in on the action. Reading is all well and good but without a soundtrack you don’t have a chance at an emotional appeal. Without true dialogue you don’t get a lot of depth. Without solid effects you are left wanting a whole lot more than what you got.

Part of why the film is scored so low is it’s hard for me to know where to even start to try and improve this one. Particularly if I try within the confines of a silent film and the limitations it would have had at the time. Similar to how I don’t think I would be nearly as big a video game fan as I am now if I grew up back in the day, I don’t think I would have been a big fan of the cinema in the silent era. It’s just hard to see how you can make these films all that interesting.

It’s probably early to judge a whole genre/style of film off of one installment but that’s how discouraging this one was. I suppose the first step is to either have no music if it was going to sound like this or to find a way to have some better tracks in there. Either one would help things a great deal. Throw in a better story with no vampires and that can help as well. I’ve never been a vampire fan and I wouldn’t say this did anything to change my mind.

Overall, Nosferatu is a movie that feels like it’s 3 hours long. It really drags and drags as you wait for something to happen but it never does. Even the climax is really low key if you think about it. There was no climactic fight or even a chance for the cops to throw in a bunch of guns and take this guy down. The ending is almost a bit sudden if you think about it and doesn’t make Orlok look great. I suppose that’s just the way it had to be but yeah that’s a thumbs down from me. Stay far away from this film. While it doesn’t have the long string of negatives you would expect a 2 star movie to have, it has one of the big ones which is just that it’s really boring the whole time.

Overall 2/10

Dracula vs Ebirah

Suggested by Destroyer Ebirah is a powerful Kaiju but this just isn’t a match that he can win. Dracula is a lot more powerful and faster in combat. Throw in the fact that Dracula has a healing factor and that’s the match. Ebirah will just have to beat a hasty retreat here but he won’t be fast enough to get away. That’s why at the end of the day he’s going to have to hold this L. He would need a lot of massive powerups to make a comeback. Dracula wins.

Michael Myers vs Dracula

Suggested by Sonic Michael Myers may have more durability on his corner than most horror villains but Dracula isn’t a stranger to regeneration either. He can also turn into a bat although that’s not very helpful in this fight. No, Dracula’s main advantage here is that he’s rather powerful and his super strength is far greater than anything Myers has shown. Michael Myers doesn’t have the benefit of Dracula freezing in place at the worst possible time so he will be vanquished here. Dracula wins.

House of Frankenstein Review

The House of Frankenstein is a big crossover with Dracula, The Werewolf, and Frankenstein’s monster. Once again I found myself impressed at the continuity here with the same settings reappearing and the movie actively acknowledging previous ones. It’s definitely a fun film and really my only issue here is that none of the 3 monsters get to interact at all which is a shame. Dracula shows up in the first act, the Wolfman makes his move in the second, then Frankenstein acts in the climax. Seeing them all duke it out would have really been a blast but the story is strong enough where you don’t need the monster action to have a good time. With good writing and solid characters, the movie was in a good spot from the start.

The movie starts off with Niemann finally getting out of prison along with his loyal sidekick Daniel. (The guard looked awful in the first scene when he got close enough to the door to be choked though. Doesn’t even seem like this was the first time that happened and the scientist is surprisingly strong to do that considering he doesn’t look like he has lifted weights for a day) The villains want to find Frankenstein’s journal for different reasons. Doctor Niemann so that he can finish the research and do some body swapping and Daniel so he can shed his hunchback form and look like a normal person. They murder the guy who got Dracula’s body and head off to the caste where the monster and wolfman were last seen.

Now you have to give the scientist Niemann a lot of credit here. He is extremely well informed to the point where he knows the wolfman’s whole life story. This guy knows the plot of the last film and what the wolfman was doing at the castle. Furthermore, he is able to threaten/blackmail Dracula himself. Now Dracula fans won’t be thrilled at his appearance here because he looks utterly disgraceful. I would go as far as to say at the worst a Dracula has ever looked in a movie, even worse than his slipping and falling off a cliff in an earlier film.

This Dracula is terrified of Niemann and doesn’t have enough strength to overpower him either. What happens is Niemann awakens Dracula by taking the stake out and then threatens to put it back in of Dracula doesn’t obey his every move. It seems like Dracula considers trying to overpower Niemann but then realizes this would not work. Niemann sweetens the deal by saying he will guard the coffin and Dracula is very quick to swear his undying allegiance. You’ll probably be dying laughing instead at how this guy has fallen. It’s even worse when you see how quickly he is dispatched.

One of the strengths of the film though is how each villain brings his own cast in. For the Dracula part of the film we get to meet a group of characters who even seem like they would be the leads. You have the main heroine who is ready for a good adventure, the skeptic who doesn’t believe in vampires and such, the police chief who thinks something fishy is going on, and the heroine’s husband who is cracking lots of jokes. Once Dracula is gone these guys are quickly written out to the point where we never know exactly how their situation ended up. You will have to imagine how all of the reactions were.

Once we get to the Wolfman, Larry Talbot then we are at the emotional part of the story. Larry is still cursed with being a werewolf so he’s hoping to die at this point which is a really dark plot for such an old film. The problem is this is very difficult since it’s like the Hulk where the werewolf has some regen and can’t die easily. The only way is with a silver bullet from someone who loves him. Larry agrees to work with Niemann since the guy promises to give him a new body. Of course that guy is more interested in running other experiments so he takes his time with him. I really question Niemann’s decision making though since each full moon runs the risk of Larry murdering him. I feel like Niemann never even considered that possibility though which is odd.

I always liked the Wolfman so it’s cool to see him appear here. He is certainly the most heroic of the monster group although I suppose that really isn’t saying a whole lot. He is just cursed to transform against his will which is really a rough fate. As for Frankenstein, there isn’t much to say about him because he’s pretty much a mindless monster. He does true to protect Niemann so perhaps he sees the guy as his creator. Either way he still has his weakness to fire though which is always tricky. It was satisfying to see him take down Daniel really quick though since that guy was the new super strong monster and I was rooting for the original to take that round.

Daniel is a character with an emotional backstory too of course. He can’t find anyone who loves him with the hunchback appearance so he follows Niemann in the hope that the guy will cure him at some point. At the end of the day he is still a villain who will murder anyone in his way though. There is a brief romance plot with Ilonka who goes around leading on Daniel and then crushing on Larry. It’s safe to say that this plot was never going to have a happy ending in this monster film. Particularly as she only helped to put Daniel on the darker path a lot sooner than he would have otherwise.

The ending of the film is actually pretty funny. While the film is taken seriously the whole time and I can only assume this is for the ending as well, it’s just the way that it all happens will make you chuckle. Niemann certainly had quite the ending, that’s for sure. In fact, you could say that each of the villains really paved the way to their own demise without the heroes having to do a whole lot.

Overall, this was a really fun film. I still think it loses some energy by not having any of the 3 monsters interact though to the point where the Dracula part feels like a completely different movie with different supporting characters. The pacing is solid though and the film goes by in a flash. Also, I do like the fact that Niemann is quite strong both verbally and physically despite being an old scientist. Choking out the guard was still incredibly impressive and then of course threatening/blackmailing Dracula has to put you up there as well. I would go as far as to say this might be the best evil scientist in these creature features. If you like seeing these supernatural monsters then this is a film that you can’t miss!

Overall 7/10

Dark Bunny vs Dracula

Suggested by Sonic Dark Bunny is a pretty fun Arthur character. The guy has the flair of a character like Batman while also throwing his own spin on things. He isn’t quite ready to take Dracula down for the count though. Dracula has been in many different incarnations over the years and always has more strength than the average man. His ability to change into a bat may not be too helpful but Bunny will still be overwhelmed here. He just doesn’t have enough gadgets to plot a comeback win. Dracula wins.

Mad Monster Party? Review

It’s time to look at a comedic horror crossover featuring all of the big universal monsters from back in the day. I have to admit that at first I thought the premise was slightly different. See, it starts with an old man perfecting a serum that blows stuff up and then he invites everyone. So his goal would be to blow them all up right? The film doesn’t go in that direction but I think it could have been very interesting to see him trying to knock off all of them one by one. This is a fun enough movie although I do think it starts to drag on a bit. The premise doesn’t seem like it’s quite ready to handle a full length adventure and could have easily just been 40 minutes or so. I think that would have made the film better.

The movie starts off by showing us that Frankenstein has created a new serum that can blow anything up. He figures this is a pretty solid note to retire on so he invites all of the monsters to come and have a party with him. The thing is, not everyone is here just to have a good time. Dracula has his own plans in all of this. Meanwhile Frankenstein has invited his nephew Felix over to meet everyone. Felix is just an ordinary kid trying to live the good life but is excited to see his uncle after so long. Frankenstein asks Francesca to look after him during the trip but they end up getting quite close. Can Francesca get Felix off of this dangerous island before it’s too late or is it already over for them?

Naturally here a big part of the fun is in how oblivious Felix is to everything going on. The film leads off with a fun gag where the monsters scare the sailors quite a bit so they think Felix is a monster as well. It’s handled pretty well although I was surprised that Felix would then go on to miss a large chunk of the movie. It’s also pretty surreal to see all of the monsters just show up out of the blue. I think a film could actually be a lot of fun if it took this plot seriously and had an ensemble nature like this. It’s hard to picture nowadays since they want every character to have his own film but it could definitely be a blast.

The animation is your classic stop motion style from the creators of Rudolph so you either like the animation or you don’t. Personally I consider this to be one of the weakest animation styles. I’ll take flash or CGI over stop motion any day. That being said, I’ve seen a lot of stop motion films over the years and among those this one holds its own well enough I’d say. They definitely had to get a lot of different character designs to make it work so that’s pretty impressive. They even got unique character models for everyone at Felix’s ice cream shop and those guys don’t appear after the opening. I thought they made for a pretty fun group and I actually missed the store a bit. It was an effective way to introduce us to Felix.

As a character Felix is fun enough. He’s determined to do the right thing and is very polite. I do think his romance with Francesca is pretty rushed to say the least though. As for Francesca, she’s a pretty fun character. She can certainly fight which is always handy and she’s willing to make the tough calls like sacrificing herself to let Felix get away. In general the film has pretty strong writing so that translates pretty well to the characters. They’ve always got a lot of good burns and comebacks at the ready for every situation. In particular I think Frankenstein’s monster fans will be pleased at his portrayal. No, he doesn’t get any witty comebacks or things of that nature but his raw power is given a ton of respect. He’s shown to be far more powerful than Dracula after all. Only King Kong would likely be above him.

All of the characters get their time to shine even if some get bigger roles than others. For example, Dracula gets a big role while the Mummy rarely gets to do anything. The movie had to balance quite a few monsters though so I think it did a good job with what it had. I also still think the sheer amount of iconic characters was impressive. I’ll also give the movie some props for the ending. I thought it threw in a pretty good twist with some wrinkles to keep you guessing. The ending certainly wasn’t an expected one at the very least and makes you re-think the whole movie.

As mentioned earlier, my only problem with the film would be that it just lasted a little too long. I feel like it would lose focus mainly in the second half as the premise started to be played out. You can only make fun of the characters for so long before you need to do something more with the story. A good script can help you avoid that but even these characters had already started to use up all of the witty banter. It’s not something that would make me turn you away from checking out the film but certainly slows its momentum.

Overall, The Mad Monster Party is worth checking out. I always like a good crossover and this one certainly fits that bill. If I was the film one change I would make though would have been to add Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer since he’s so iconic. I know that he’s not a monster but that could have been part of the joke as everyone keeps referring to him as one anyway. There are always more characters you can add though so that’s a pretty minor point. So long as you want a fun film with a lot of good banter then this is definitely one you’ll want to check out.

Overall 6/10

Godzilla vs Dracula

This is a tribute to the recent Godzilla film as well as the Billy The Kid vs Dracula crossover. While it is true that Godzilla spent a lot of the film getting kicked around by Ghidorah he ultimately still did pretty good. Dracula underestimated his opponents and generally looked unimpressive. This won’t really be a close fight as Godzilla can just power up and melt the vampire. At that point, it’s all over for the iconic vampire. Godzilla wins.