Count Yorga, Vampire appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not a bad image, this one came with more weaknesses than expected.
Sharpness varied. This meant that while much of the movie came with pretty solid delineation, more than a few soft shots materialized.
No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. With a strong layer of grain, I didn’t suspect any overuse of noise reduction.
Print flaws didn’t dominate but they created distractions. Sporadic specks and marks occurred as well as a few blotches. Again, these didn’t become heavy, but they persisted through a lot of the film.
Colors tended toward a low-key brownish-red feel. The hues seemed reasonably well-rendered, if not impressive.
Blacks appeared mostly dark – albeit a smidgen inky – while shadows could seem somewhat dense. All of this felt good enough for a “C+”.
Similar feelings greeted the adequate DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack of Vampire. Speech tended to become a little reedy, but the lines remained intelligible and lacked edginess.
Music didn’t display great range, but the score came across as acceptably clear. Effects fell into the same range, as they sounded thin hut clean and lacked much distortion. Ultimately, this became an acceptable mix for a 52-year-old movie.
As we shift to extras, we find two separate audio commentaries, the first of which comes from film critics David Del Valle and C. Courtney Joyner. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at cast and crew, genre domains, influences, aspects of the production and related areas.
Expect a somewhat scattered discussion here, as Del Valle and Joyner hop all over the place. Much of the track exists as their appreciation for the film and the genre in general.
Indeed, at times this feels like a competition to see who can name the most “B” horror movies. We also get a fair amount of praise for the cast and crew, with a particular focus on actor Robert Quarry.
Some useful material does emerge, so I can claim I learned a bit about the various domains. The end result just doesn’t feel as concise and focused as I’d hope, though.
For the second commentary, we hear from film critic Tim Lucas. He provides his own running, screen-specific discussion of cast and crew, production domains, genre topics and connections, themes and thoughts about the movie, and related domains.
Inevitably, we get some repetition from the first commentary, but this one feels more complete and less a collection of plaudits. Even with a few iffy spots, this becomes a largely informative track.
Another audio-only component, Fangirl Radio Tribute fills 45 minutes, 55 seconds and provides an episode of that podcast. Here host Jessica Dwyer chats with filmmaker Tim Sullivan about actor Robert Quarry.
Should it come as a surprise that something called “Fangirl” leans heavily toward appreciation? No, but this makes the program less than valuable.
This really becomes “Fanboy Radio” since Sullivan heavily dominates. A major Yorga fan, he knew Quarry late in the actor’s life, and those notes dominate.
Which would work if Sullivan told us much about Quarry. Instead, Sullivan regales us with stories about all the ways he helped Quarry in the actor’s final years.
It’s nice that Sullivan performed these actions, but the discussion feels an awful lot like self-congratulation. Don’t expect to learn much here beyond what a great guy Sullivan is.
Three featurettes follow, and The Count in California runs nine minutes, 44 seconds. It offers notes from critic Heather Drain.
Billed as an appreciation, Drain discusses what she think makes Yorga a fine film as well as some notes on the sequel. I don’t agree that Yorga works, but she gives us some good arguments.
I Remember Yorga goes for 14 minutes, 53 seconds and brings comments from filmmaker Frank Darabont. He tells us of his love for the Yorga movies as well as how he views it differently as an adult vs, as a kid. Darabont offers some interesting thoughts.
Finally, A Vampire in LA spans nine minutes, 30 seconds and offers remarks from actor Michael Murphy. He covers aspects of his career as well as his memories of the Yorga shoot. This becomes a brief but enjoyable reel.
In addition to a trailer and two radio spots, we find two Image Galleries: “Posters and Stills” (83 frames) and “Tim Sullivan Archive (25). Both offer good material.
Despite some potential positives, Count Yorga, Vampire winds up as an oddly boring horror story. It comes with too much pedantic talk and too little actual terror. The Blu-ray provides erratic but acceptable picture and audio along with a good mix of bonus materials. Don’t expect Vampire to offer an impressive genre effort.
Note that this Blu-ray of Vampire comes as part of a 2-movie package called “The Count Yorga Collection”. It also includes 1971’s The Return of Count Yorga.