Monday, April 8, 2013

The Vampires' Night Orgy (1974)





THE VAMPIRES' NIGHT ORGY opens with a funeral of sorts with umbrella bearing moners gathered around a grave as the casket is lowered while something that can best be described as a gothic acid jazz theme plays.  The casket is dropped and bursts open showing a long decomposed corpse that begins with smoke rising from it.  We cut to a buss navigating treacherous, narrow and curving mountain roads carrying a number of workers to the town of Bojoni to staff the mansion of an aristocrat.

There is a tutor, maid, gardener and various other domestic staff sent by an agency.  The characters are all foisted upon the viewer in the opening but don't try to follow along if its difficult.  Other than the Spanish Charles Bronson knock-off, the mustachioed gent at the front and the blonde these folks are disposable.  The little girl and her mom of course-but they are the easiest to keep track of.  Most of these The bus driver has a heart attack and dies forcing the workers to drive the bus to the nearby village of Tolnio to get some rest and refresh the bus for the night before continuing on the following morning. Oddly enough there is no mention of what to do with the driver... The gardner's child sees a creepy young boy who disappears when she tries to interact with him.

Tolnio appears to be abandoned and they all pile out to go to the bar.  When asked about what to do with the driver the others merely shrug.  The town is totally abandoned except for another traveler, the American Luis portrayed by Jess Franco regular Jack Taylor. You may recall him most recently in THE NINTH GATE as Victor Fargas.  He has assured them the town is empty and that the residents are not in church because there is no church.  The weary travelers settle in to rest for the night.  After being treated to a brief shot of Dyanik Zurakowska's  charms the clock strikes midnight and the residents of the town begin to return.  One of the workers Ernest goes out to check on the bus and finds the driver's body missing.

The bus doesn't start nor does Luis' car and they have no choice to spend a few nights in Tolnio thanks to the Countess' generosity.  What ensues is bad news for all of the workers as our hero and heroine, pervy but practical Luis and the delectable Alma try to escape the Countess’ evil clutches.

One thing I love about Eurohorror is the unpredictability of the films.  You
see a punk ass kid in an American horror flick and I will bet you dollars to donuts that 90% of the time the little bastard survives and more often than not is all the better for the horrific encounter.  Not so in Eurohorror.  It’s fair game on those little fuckers so there is major tension whenever a child is involved and VAMPIRES’ NIGHT ORGY is no exception!

Highlights include the rundown village that serves as Tolnia and the mountainous setting.  A lot of the film is shot at night and the lighting is very well done.  There is also a sideshow mentality to the mob of vampires-who seem to be more like zombies or ghouls than vampires.   There is one with a goiter that always draws this viewer’s eye…weird.  The only fangs you actually see are on the Countess herself.  Tolnia proves to be a nightmarish version of Shangri-La and the final act is masterfully done with Klimovsky instilling as much tension and urgency as could be hoped for.

This flick has had a dubious existence in grey area public domain releasing
but Code Red has done a number on the flick.  There are two versions one “clothed” and the other “unclothed.”  Of course this is the “unclothed” version with both Dyanik Zurakowska and Hilda LinĂ© on display.   The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 with English dubbed mono sound.   It is on a double feature with DR. JEKYLL VS. THE WEREWOLF and includes the requisite allotment of Code Red trailers: FAMILY HONOR (pre-menu), THE VAMPIRE'S NIGHT ORGY, CLASS of '74, and THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR.  The DVD will be for sale here when repressed.


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