Kah (Shen Chan) visits the crypt of Dracula (John Forbes-Robertson) to ask his help in resurrecting the seven golden vampires in China.  Kah is a high priest at the Temple of the Seven Golden Vampires and wants to return the vampires to their former glory.  Since Dracula is only in it for himself, he sees no reason to help China’s vampires.  He does, however, feel that the Golden Vampires can help him.  Dracula inhabits Kah’s body so that he can escape the confines of his castle and move about in the sunlight.  Once he has taken over Kah’s body, Dracula goes to China to wreak havoc.

A hundred years later Professor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) is giving a lecture at the Chungking University about the legend of the Seven Golden Vampires.  One of the students in the class is Hsi Ching (David Chiang).  Ching visits Van Helsing at his home.  He tells the professor that the legend is real and that one of the vampires was killed by his grandfather.  The vampires wear a gold medallion shaped like a bat.  The medallion holds the vampire’s life-force.  Ching wants Van Helsing to go with him to his village and kill the other vampires.

Van Helsing’s son, Leyland (Robin Stewart), meets the very wealthy widow, Vanessa Buren (Julie Ege) at a party.  They are attacked by mobsters while Leyland is escorting Vanessa home and are saved by some of Ching’s ninja warrior brothers.  The ninjas bring Leyland and Vanessa to the Professor’s home.  Vanessa meets Van Helsing and learns about the vampires and the journey to Ching’s village.  Vanessa offers to pay for the expedition provided she can go along.  Now that they have backing, the group takes a dangerous journey to Ching’s village to do battle with the Golden Vampires.  

“The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires” was released in 1974 and was directed by Roy Ward Baker and Cheh Chang.  It is a British-Hong Kong martial arts vampire horror movie.  The movie was produced by Hammer Film Studios in England and Shaw Brothers Studio in Hong Kong.  It is the ninth and last Dracula movie produced by Hammer as well as being the last of the vampire films.

The Golden Vampires look more like Chinese mummies and the movie is more like a bloody Kung Fu movie than a vampire flick.  This is one of two Hammer Dracula films that did not feature Christopher Lee as the famous vampire.  I don’t even know why Dracula is mentioned at all.  It is one of the strangest Dracula movies ever made.  It’s a rather cheesy combination.  I’m OK with vampires and martial arts together; it’s the Dracula part that is questionable.  During the seventies a whole spate of Kung-Fu style martial arts films and television shows were popular.  Combining martial arts and Dracula is not something that would normally be considered and with good reason.  It doesn’t work.    

In addition to the mummy vampires the movie also incorporates zombie mummies.  The zombies are pretty cool.  Other than them, the highlight of the film is all the Kung Fu style fighting, and there is a lot of it.  There is also some gore tossed in.  If you’re looking for a good Dracula movie, this ain’t it.  If all you want is an average martial arts film, it may suffice.  The movie isn’t great but it does have a lot of entertainment value.

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