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Bob Kelljan
Robert Quarry, Roger Perry, Mariette Hartley
Writing Credits:
Bob Kelljan, Yvonne Wilder

Count Yorga continues to prey on the local community and also intends to take a new wife while he feeds his bevy of female vampires.

Rated GP.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $69.95
Release Date: 10/25/2022
Available Only As Part of 2-Movie “Count Yorga Collection”

• Audio Commentary with Film Critics David Del Valle and C.Courtney Joyner
• Audio Commentary with Film Critic Stephen R. Bissette
• “The Count and the Counterculture” Featurette
• “Chamber-music of Horrors” Featurette
• Interview with Film Historian Kim Newman
• Trailer & Radio Spots
• Image Galleries


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-Sony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision Blu-ray Player
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-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


The Return of Count Yorga [Blu-Ray] (1971)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 20, 2022)

While I suspect 1970’s Count Yorga, Vampire set no box office records, apparently it found a decent audience. As such, we saw the 1971 release of a sequel, The Return of Count Yorga.

Though previously turned to dust, Bulgarian vampire Count Yorga (Richard Quarry) finds a way to conquer his fate and return to his undead human form. The Count purchases a mansion and resides there with a bevy of beautiful vampiresses.

Yorga and company terrorize a nearby orphanage, but even the Count can’t claim to be immune to pangs of love. When he meets schoolteacher Cynthia Nelson (Mariette Hartley), he falls for her and attempts to make her his wife, with the expected opposition from her family.

As a film, the first Yorga shook up the genre a little bit. That left it as a disappointment because it became awfully dull.

On the positive side, this left Return with a lot of room for improvement. Given that the prior flick bored me, I hoped to get a more intense, exciting affair from the sequel.

And that I did, though I want to temper expectations. No one should anticipate a horror classic from Return - or even a particularly good movie.

That said, after the tedium of the first movie, the moderately sassy Return comes as a pleasant surprise. While not a parody, Return does lean toward self-awareness, and that gives it a kick absent from its predecessor.

For instance, at one point our potential vampire-hunting heroes seek out the author of a book on the topic. Whereas most movies would make him a fountain of wisdom, Return turns him into comic relief, a clever way to undercut expectations.

Return also comes with moments of actual terror. Nothing that will truly shock or alarm occurs, but the movie provides a reasonable mix of spooky/scary sequences.

That comes as a relief given how chatty and plodding the first movie was. Unlike that one, Return actually manages to introduce/develop characters in a logical manner and also evoke tension.

Quarry remains a lackluster lead villain, and it doesn’t help that it looks like he gained 30 pounds between movies. This damages his already tenuous sex appeal.

Return also loses some steam during its second half. While the movie doesn’t fizzle, it tends to drag more than it should, especially since the story needs to percolate toward a climax.

I suspect much of my appreciation of Return comes from the fact I viewed it as soon as my screening of Count Yorga, Vampire ended. If I’d watched Return a year later, I’d probably like it less.

Whatever the case, Return manages to create a decent horror effort. No one will view it as a classic, but it entertains.

Footnote: Roger Perry appears in both Yorga movies as different characters. In keeping with the sequel’s occasionally snarky vibe, I assume the producers cast him again as a wink toward the horror genre’s tendency to reuse the same actors over and over in alternate roles.

The Disc Grades: Picture C+/ Audio C+/ Bonus B

The Return of Count Yorga appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not a poor image, this one felt less vivid than I’d expect.

For the most part, sharpness seemed fairly good. Occasional soft spots emerged – mainly in wider elements – but most of the flick brought reasonably appealing delineation.

Neither jaggies nor moiré effects created concerns, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain felt natural, but print flaws became a persistent distraction. These never turned dominant, but little specks and other marks cropped up too often through the film.

Colors felt relatively natural, with a lean toward a moody feel to match the horror setting. They didn’t leap off the screen, but they replicated the source in an effective manner.

Blacks felt deep and dense, while low-light shots displayed more than adequate delineation. Lose the print flaws and this would become a better presentation.

Don’t expect much from the wholly ordinary DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack of Return. Speech felt generally natural, with lines that suffered a little edginess but that usually came across in a decent manner.

Though neither music nor effects boasted much range, they also didn’t show prominent distortion. The effects could become a bit rough around the edges, but they usually seemed accurate enough. The movie offered an average soundtrack given its age and origins.

When we head to extras, we begin with 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 Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at cast and crew, genre domains, influences, aspects of the production and related areas.

I thought the track Del Valle and Joyner did for the first film seemed decent but erratic. Some of the same issues occur here, but the end result feels more informative, mainly because the Returns chat focuses less around praise.

We do get some plaudits, but Joyner and especially Del Valle seem less enchanted with the sequel, so there’s a more even-handed view here. I’d still like more about the movie’s creation but nonetheless we find a reasonable take on the genre and the flick’s pros/cons.

For the second commentary, we hear from film critic Stephen R. Bissette. He provides his own running, screen-specific discussion of cast and crew, locations, genre domains, and general movie notes.

On the positive side, Bissette offers a chatty style, and I appreciate that he listened to Tim Lucas’s track for the first movie before he recorded his own. Bissette consciously attempts to avoid topics already covered by Lucas, so that makes it a better complement than otherwise might be the case.

However, I think this ends up as a mostly enjoyable but erratic track, partly because Bissette can get a little hung up on some subjects. He talks too much about locations, and he spends too much time on marginal areas like when 1970’s Vampire Lovers - which we see Yorga briefly watch – ran on TV. This is a good commentary but not a great one.

From there we go to video features, and The Count and the Counter-Culture runs 18 minutes, 13 seconds. It brings notes from film critic/author Maitland McDonagh.

Here we examine how the Yorga movies reflected their era as well as other genre domains and forms of interpretation. I think McDonagh makes the flicks seem more intellectual and well-thought-out than they were, but she provides some interesting themes.

Chamber-music of Horrors goes for 35 minutes, 17 seconds and features info from music and cultural historian David Huckvale. He dissects the scores for the two Yorga movies and gives us a good perspective on the material.

Lastly, we find an Interview with Film Historian Kim Newman. During this 33-minute, two-second piece, Newman discusses some information about the Yorga movies along with an appreciation for them. We already get a lot of this material elsewhere, but Newman nonetheless brings a decent array of thoughts.

Along with the movie’s trailer and two radio spots, we discover two Image Galleries: “Stills” (149 frames) and “Lobby Cards and Posters” (13). These offer good content.

By no stretch of the imagination could I call The Return of Count Yorga an actual quality horror movie. Nonetheless, it improves on its sluggish predecessor and becomes a moderately involving effort. The Blu-ray brings mediocre picture and audio along with a mix of supplements. Though not a particularly well-made film, Return offers moderate entertainment.

Note that this Blu-ray of Return comes as part of a 2-movie package called “The Count Yorga Collection”. It also includes 1970’s Count Yorga, Vampire.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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