Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
... aka 7 Brothers Versus Dracula
... aka 7 Brothers and a Sister Meet Dracula
... aka Dracula and the Seven Golden Vampires
... aka Seven Brothers Meet Dracula
7-27-1998 0706 cst (cool standard time)
Alright folks sometimes fate deals a hand you can't say no to, so tonight when Mr Alamo talked in his tin can and I held mine to my ear and I heard him say, in the tinty way he sounds, "Harry, I just got my 35mm print of SEVEN BROTHERS VERSUS DRACULA, I'm showing it at midnight, you must come!
So, without so much as a microsecond I responded with "I'LL BE THERE"
Then my hands lept to the other tin cans in my room, calling the others on my tin can lines. None were at home so their reel to reel machines recorded the "SOMETHING COOL ALERT" This is the message you would get if you were in the inner circle and "SOMETHING COOL" was about to happen. Knowing that this was a Kung Fu Vampire flick, there were specific people that needed this alert. Copernicus, Johnny Wad, Quint and Robogeek. They would appreciate the fine art of Kung Fu Vampire flicks.
Hours passed without so much as a return call, when finally Copernicus called, "Whhhhaaaaasssssup!?" When he heard he was en route to Geek Headquarters, then Quint called. He's to take part in a mission tommorrow night, and well he raced down the asphalt river known as Mopac in his Orca. When the two arrived, I once again called Johnny Wad. You see, this is one of those experiences that Johnny Wad over all friends (with the possible exception of Tom Joad and Annette Kellerman who reside in Oklahoma for now) will feel the worst for not attending. So it is for him, that I write this account of the evening. If you hear someone scream out in pain at work today, pounding their fists into their desk, walking about melancholy and feeling bad.... it is Johnny Wad, and you should say to him... "Ya shoulda called Harry back!"
We all loaded up in Copernicus' lovely lady's chariot and went to the Alamo Drafthouse. Beings that it was a Sunday night, and people tend to stay away from the Downtown area we found parking directly in front of the Drafthouse. We were carrying with us our 35mm print of RUNAWAY BRAIN that was given to me by a cool geek from up North.
I handed it to Mr Alamo and said, "We bring this, with which to share with you!" And he said that he had an additional surprise in store for us. Then he offered drinks. I took a Guinness, Copernicus a Shiner Boch, Quint a Sprite and Father Geek wanted Water. Mr Alamo poured himself a glass of Milk. We then took our seats.
We were all alone in the Drafthouse. Only us and the employees, an elite eclectic gathering for sure. So the flicker device started up and before our eyes was....
THE STRIPPER FILM SHORTS!!!!
A 1960's era Stripper with enormous breasts. She was dancing to the funkiest most non-erotic music ever, and she was not the most amazing woman, but what was amazing was the clothing. She started off with a strange veil like thing as she shifted weight from foot to foot. Here breasts were amazingly upright, and from time to time she would turn with her back facing us while she tried to unhinge the clasps that kept the front together. The stuff covering her breasts was in three layers. Quite fascinating. The outer most layer was a Swim Suit type-a-thing. Then this transparent bra sort of thing with what I thought was a star pattern over her nipple area. BUT NO! Those were pasties! From time to time they would cut to geeky 1960's era men gawking in abject joy. This was the lamest dancing I had ever seen. Now I have never been to a strip club in my life, and I can't believe guys would tip for this type of action, so I assume the action has improved somewhat. And the music has got to be better. Surely it must.
Then we had a belly dancer with tiny breasts. Strange how first we get a deluge and then a drought.
Then after the bellydancer the footage continued as a group of semi and totally naked women lounged about. They were just being there. Not doing something, not acting like they were going to do something, but just there. All of them being very self concious of the camera, but not flirting with it. Then...
A stripper in a wedding dress. Two people tied to poles. A skeleton. A graveyard with mist. An evil man in a black cape. The stripper strips (off camera) then comes back and does that cool sort of go go dancer dance. Then she hunches her shoulders and tries to shake her tits clean off. It looked like it hurt. I'm not kidding it was a violent violent thing. Everyone in my crew decided that this stuff was amazingly unerotic, but a hoot to see. Johnny Wad being a fine tuned stripper judge could have given us many many comments. But alas he was somewhere else. By the way this last stripper never did anything to the tied up people, the skeleton, the graveyard or the evil dude. Ohhhhhhhh, and there was this one evil chick that obviously had carnal thoughts about the violent titty shaker.
Then it was time for....
SEVEN BROTHERS VERSUS DRACULA
We were dying to see this thing. You see Vampire flicks and Kung Fu films are just such a perfect combination. Think of all the wonderful things you could do with this. Now I knew nothing beyond the fact that Kung Fu and Vampires were in this film. So when I saw Roy Ward Baker's name as director I almost went through the roof. This fella is a god to those that know. He directed a ton of old AVENGERS tv episodes, the QUATERMASS AND THE PIT (aka FIVE MILLION YEARS TO EARTH), A NIGHT TO REMEMBER (many consider this the best Titanic film ever), VAMPIRE LOVERS, SCARS OF DRACULA and DR JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE!!!! I mean he's one of the greats!
And then I saw DAVID CHIANG's name!!!!!!!! Now for those that don't know that name, I'm sorry. He is among the coolest beings to walk the earth. He is James Dean, but he's able to kickass. If you go back and read my initial Tarantino Film Fest reviews, and you look at Kung Fu night, you will see an ode to David Chiang. That night with Quentin and Quint and many others, I discovered Chiang. He was dressed like Doc Holiday and had a vest filled with knives and he just stomped ass everywhere he went. He was a GOD with his own cool theme. Chigachigachaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Oh My God, this is a HAMMER/SHAW co-production. The coolest Horror company of the seventies and the coolest chop socky company of the seventies, and the film they combined to make. This is going to be soooooo coool.
The opening is a bizarre mix of living dead zombies rising up out of the earth with decayed dying faces, and then there is this one wacky oriental mystic type with a gong. Together they all ride off in the night to attack a local village. In the village there are future sliced brisket men, and women that if a zombie rips their blouse open exposing their breasts they will instantly become powerless to resist. My god, Johnny Wad would love this film. The part when the seven topless oriental chicks have their throats ripped out and their collective blood is gathered at a boiling cauldron of hemoglobin. THIS MOVIE REEKS COOL!!! Poor Johnny Wad.
Then, without warning PETER CUSHING shows up as Van Helsing! What a treat! Holy Shit. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, this is the Magnificient Seven Samurais and a cool karate chic versus the Army of Undead Rake Weilding Zombies and Their Seven Golden Bat Wearing Vampiric Masters! At this point I realize I'm in for some super special coolness.
Next we have a blonde babe that I recognized from ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE show up to be the blonde damsel in distress. Van Helsing has this lamo son in the flick that gets his ass whupped constantly.
Chiang has six brothers that each have a special Martial Art super skill. The guy with the two stainless steel battle axes gets cheers from our bunch. Though the hand in hand sword swinging brothers are pretty cool. And the archer who has a habit of shooting arrows through one side and out the other is plenty megacool.
This movie kicked soooo much ass. Hands get chopped off, people get burned alive and the most amazing thing is a ton of heroes die. I'm not saying which or when, but I was shocked beyond all belief. I couldn't believe the film went in the direction it did. I was screaming at the screen in disbelief. Damn this is cool.
Ultimately it comes down to this. The movie has: Zombies, Vampires, Blood, Gore, Arrows through wrists, Arrows through Necks, Hands chopped off, lotsa titties, Peter Cushing, cool Hammer score, Sword Fu, Pole Fu, Knife Fu, Hand Fu, Dusty Heart Ripped out, Self shriveling corpses, Killer Buddha, Interracial Romance, Double Penetration and more. What the fuck do ya want? I mean this has it all. Of course ya either got to be goofy as hell, a little inebriated, a lot inebriated or just plain cool to enjoy this flick. However, if you like witty Woody Allen flicks.... well, damn it, that's fine too. Cause so do I, ya gotta get in the right mind set.
Think in terms of BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, but made in a foreign country for a 20th of the budget. Think in terms of a movie that combines NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, SEVEN SAMURAI, HORROR OF DRACULA, ANY RUN RUN SHAW PRODUCTION and the wackiest weird flick you can think of. Our entire group of four was cheering by the end, mouths hung open with disbelief. The double penetration scene is shocking because you don't think in a million years that they would go through with it. Shocking!!!
Then after the film, we watched RUNAWAY BRAIN, one of the coolest Mickey Mouse cartoons ever. Mickey gets turned into a violent potential Minnie Raper that foams at the mouth. The film is wildly imaginative and very very cool. It would be soooo cool if before every PG Disney film they stuck a Mickey or a Donald or a Goofy cartoon.
By the end of the evening we were all wired up making Kung Fu noises and making crosses at each other. What a great evening. To bad Johnny wasn't there to enjoy it too.... oh well....