Monday, March 18, 2013

The Vampires’ Night Orgy (1974)

If there is one thing that I love about 1970’s horror films, it’s those from Europe, especially Italy and Spain. There is just an odd appeal to me with the way they are filmed and the sometimes over the top quality of story lines. The Vampires’ Night Orgy delivers these qualities very, very well.

Directed by Leon Klimovsky, whose name is synonymous with Eurohorror , and starring Jack Taylor and Helga Line, The Vampires’ Night Orgy is a great story of old world mythos meets modern world. Well, as modern as 1974 when it was filmed. A group of travelers are making their way through the European country en route to their new careers working for an aristocrat. On their way the driver of the bus has a heart attack and dies. They are forced to drive and stop at a small village for the night. Upon arrival they find the village deserted but strangely enough still seems to at least look like residents have been living there. The next day they meet the inhabitants and are greeted warmly by the mayor of the village. 

"Oh I get to show my breasts? Sounds great!"
The travelers also meet up with a stranger name Luis (Jack Taylor), he too has stopped overnight during his journey and befriends Alma (Dyanik Zurakowska), a beautiful young blonde. During the night one of the travelers, Ernesto (Gaspar Gonzalez) is attacked by a group of villagers. He quickly discovers the horrible secret of the village, it is inhabited by vampires! 

The Countess and black speedos....spooooky!"
The village is controlled by “The Countess” played Helga Line. She even eyes the youngest male of the group and seduces him. After a nice romp in the bed she bares more than her young lover was anticipating and reveals her fangs, then feeds him to the villagers. Tasty outsiders are not the only thing on the menu though. Apparently the weaker vampires are disposed of by being chopped up and turned into dinner for the weary travelers who by now are stuck in the village because their van has mysteriously broken down. Luis finds the same fate for his car but not before he is able to get a peephole glimpse of the beautiful Alma through a hole in the wall behind the wardrobe in his room at the inn. 

Yes....a good reason to watch the movie
As another night passes, more of the travelers fall victim to the vampires until only Luis and Alma are left and by this time they have figured out just what is going on. They even discover the grisly chef’s secret when Alma finds a severed finger in her dinner. Luis is able to fix his car enough to get it started and the two flee in terror, taking out several vampires along the way via vehicular manslaughter. The couple makes their way to the town they were trying to get to at the beginning and report what has happened to the local police. They dismiss the story as they have never heard of the village they were in; neither is it located on any map! The police take them to where the village is supposed to be located but nothing is there. As they dismiss what happened as a dream (really?) the camera slowly pans over to a deep embankment revealing a rusty and moss covered van, leaving us to believe that it might have been a dream or either the horrible experience took place in some alternate universe.

Helga Line and her marvelous breasts
The Vampires’ Night Orgy is a classic example of Spanish horror cinema of the 1970’s. The modern world meets old world mythos has been visited many times in horror film and director Leon Klimovsky does a more than capable job delivering the story.  While Klimovsky may not present the film with surreal cinematography one might expect from other Spanish directors such as Jess Franco or Amando De Ossorio, he does create a rather creepy atmosphere and houses it in some pretty solid filmmaking. Klimovsky takes advantage of the beautiful Helga Line and Dyanik Zurakowska and provides plenty of nudity for us to enjoy. Line is of course no stranger to the revealing of her body as displayed in other Spanish horror films such as Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973) and Black Candles (1982). Klimovsky also is able to take the character of Luis and present him as a creepy peeping tom and then turn him into the hero of the film. Quite a feat for any director and also a credit to the acting of the great Jack Taylor who has starred in many Spanish horror films including The Mummy’s Revenge (1973 aka La Venganza de la Momia), Horror of the Zombies (1974 aka El Buque Maldito) and another Klimovsky feature Dr. Jekyll vs the Werewolf (1972 aka Doctor Jekyll Y El Hombre Loco). 

Jack Taylor flees to another Klimovsky feature.
The atmosphere throughout the film is well created. The village is always represented in over cast which is what drives the storyline as to why the villagers are able to walk around during the day. There is never any sunlight present in the film until the very end. I’m not sure if Klimovsky achieved this with filters or just the old fashioned way of filming on overcast days, a feat that could be easily achieved in that hemisphere of the world. Of course I am no world traveler so take all that with a grain of….no make it a shaker of salt. Either way you cut it The Vampires’ Night Orgy is an easy watch. Not too talky but not overly paced with tons of action. There is enough creepiness, fun dubbed dialog, violence and nakedness to make the 84 minute run time pass quickly!

"Get ze DVD now or ve bit ju!"
 I would like to point out that I viewed the movie from the newly released Code Red DVD which also features the Jack Taylor, Paul Naschy, Leon Klimovsky werewolf feature, Dr. Jekyll vs. The Werewolf. The Vampires’ Night Orgy is presented in its UNCUT, NUDE version and in a nice 2.35 Widescreen (16X9) print! This is the nicest version out there and while the print still retains some scratching, the colors are still very nice and the blacks are good and black. Get it while you can since I can assure you this will go out of print pretty fast!

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