Count Yorga, Vampire

So far, our examination of old fashioned vampires in modern day settings has covered Dracula, in the Hammer Studios films Dracula AD 1972 and Satanic Rites of Dracula, and some guy named Count Sinistre, from the previously obscure British horror film Devils of Darkness. But this trend of placing traditional vampires in a modern (well, 1970s) setting actually started in America, with a low-key film called Count Yorga, Vampire. At the time of Yorga’s release, there were very few people making vampire movies. Hammer was pretty much the only game in town, and they were still setting their vampire films in the Victorian era. Devils of Darkness was one of the first vampire films to transport a vampire into the current era, at least since the 1932 Tod Browning production of Dracula, which was set in what was then modern-day London. However, one can argue that the differences between the London of 1870 and 1932 is markedly less than the difference between 1870 and 1970, and so for our purposes here, Devils of Darkness is more substantial to our little foray than Dracula. It’s also less substantial because almost no one saw Devils of Darkness, Which means that Count Yorga, Vampire, is really where we can say this short-lived trend began.

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