The Curator of Schlock #326 by Jeff Shuster

Count Yorga, Vampire

Dracula moves to the suburbs. 

Celestial is a vampire! My hippie housemate is a vampire! She came home one night with some biker dude she picked up at a bar. Now, I wasn’t peeping or anything, but I happened to peek through the crack in her bedroom door while they were supposed to be, well, you know. Anyway, it doesn’t matter, because Celestial was sinking her fangs into this guy’s neck and blood was trickling all over the place. schlock mansionNow, I’m starting to think Indigo wasn’t attacked by a panther after all. I bet Jervis is in on all of this.

I have to do some research on the Hominus Nocturna so October will be Vampire Month for your humble blogger. Tonight’s movie is 1970’s Count Yorga, Vampire from director Bob Kelljan. The movie begins with a narrator giving all sorts of useful tidbits about vampires. We learn that vampires are malignant spirits who suck blood from the throats of the living. They only come out at night as they are susceptible to sunlight. They can also be killed by a wooden stake to the heart. Good to know.

The movie begins with a seance at a house in the California suburbs. The seance is being led by a Count Yorga (Robert Quarry), an immigrant to the United States from Bulgaria. A woman named Donna (Donna Anders) is trying to contact her deceased mother. Donna goes a little crazy during this forbidden ritual and Count Yorga uses hypnosis to calm her down (and make Donna his servant). You know, it’s so annoying when Bulgarian vampires come into this country to steal our women. I’m sure Count Yorga also played the Powerball his first day in America and won the 50 million jackpot.

One of the couples, Erica (Judy Lang) and Paul (Michael Murphy), give Yorga a ride back to his place in their boss van. The Count invites them in for a nightcap, but they decline. The van gets stuck in the mud. Paul convinces Erica to enjoy some sweet lovemaking in the back of the van. Afterwords, they go to sleep, only for Erica to be woken up by a fang-baring Count Yorga. The vampire knocks Paul unconscious and attacks Erica. Paul notices two bite marks on her neck and he takes Erica to get examined by a Dr. James Hayes (Roger Perry). The good doctor notices some blood deficiencies and recommends a high protein diet. Erica’s idea of a high protein diet is eating the family cat.

Dr. Hayes begins to suspect that vampirism is the root cause for Erica’s affliction. Erica is missing. Paul goes to Yorga’s mansion to find her only to get his bones crushed by Brudah, the Count’s henchmen. Dr. Hayes visits the mansion with Donna’s husband, Michael (Michael Macready), in an effort to keep the Count Yorga up until dawn with small talk. He asks Yorga if he believes in werewolves and vampires and Count Yorga says yes, but insists they leave before he becomes ill-mannered. Dr. Hayes calls the cops a few times, trying to explain the threat of the vampire, but they call him a prankster. Dr. Hayes and Michael are on their own. They carve stakes and put together makeshift crosses to take care of the Count. Too bad they didn’t realize there is more than one vampire residing in that mansion.

I don’t imagine a nice ending for them.


Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeff Shuster (episode 47, episode 102, episode 124, episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.