The Vampire’s Night Orgy (1974)

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The Vampires’ Night Orgy (La Org’A Nocturna De Los Vampiros)

Spain. 1974.

Crew

Director – Leon Klimovsky, Screenplay – Gabriel Burgos & Antonio Fos, Producer – Jose Frade, Photography – Antonio Lopez Ballesteros, Special Effects – Pablo Perez. Production Company – Jose Frade Producciones Cinematograficas S.A.

Cast

Jack Taylor (Luis), Dianik Zurkowska (Alma), Jose Guardiola (The Major), Charo Soriano (Raquel), Manuel de Blas (Marcos), Helga Line (The Countess), David Aller (Cesar), Sarita Gil (Violet), Fernando Romero (The Boy), I. Gonzalez (Ernesto), Luis Ciges (Godo), Fernando Bilbao (The Giant)


Plot

A group of people who have been hired as the domestic help in the castle at Bujoli are travelling there by bus when their driver collapses dead at the wheel. They quickly take over and decide to stop at the nearby town of Tolnia for the night. There they are welcomed by the locals and even offered money and a place to stay by The Countess as they wait for the bus to be repaired. What they do not realise is that the townspeople are vampires who are relishing to opportunity to feast on them.


The Vampires’ Night Orgy was one among the numerous Euro-horror films of the 1970s. Countries like France, Italy, Spain and Germany created a fad of their own for Gothic horror films. All of the countries made numerous contributions to the vampire film where they added a much more exotic mix to the standard Hammer staple with the addition of in particular much more liberal sexual elements. As with The Vampires’ Night Orgy, these films often exist in multiple cuts depending on which country they are seen in. The official runtime of The Vampires’ Night Orgy is listed as 84 minutes (although there are reports of even longer versions than that) but most English-language versions have been cut down to 80. From what one is able to glean, most of this seems to have been to trim nudity and all we are left with are a couple of brief topless scenes with Dianik Zurkowska.

The uncut four minutes or however long of The Vampires’ Night Orgy better have a heck of lot of steam or something to them. The version that remains comes with a dullness that verges on the soporific. There is very little that seems to be happening with any of the vampire scenes. Little is done to distinguish the characters from one another and this is not helped the indifferent dubbing. Occasionally a giant (Fernando Bilbao) stalks through the town and corners a villager on behalf of the countess where he seems intent on hacking off a limb. For a time, the film generates a certain icky frisson out of not being sure what the meat being served up to the guests in the scenes immediately after is human or not. Of all the horror possibilities inherent though, everything that Leon Klimovsky generates is dull and plodding. The film’s pace is sleep-inducing and nothing that happens throughout raises the slightest interest.

Director Leon Klimovsky made a great many comedies, dramas and particularly Westerns for domestic Spanish-language audiences since the 1940s. He first broached horror material with the psycho-thriller Edge of Fear (1964). He then teamed up with Paul Naschy/Jacinto Molina for several of Naschy’s Waldemar Daninsky werewolf films The Werewolf vs the Vampire Woman (1971) and Dr Jekyll and the Wolfman (1972) and other Naschy horror films such as Vengeance of the Zombies (1973), The Devil’s Possessed (1974) and A Dragonfly for Each Corpse/Red Killer (1974). Klimovsky went onto other horror works during this period with Saga of the Draculas (1973), I Hate My Body (1974), Night of the Walking Dead (1975), The People Who Own the Dark (1976) and Trauma (1978).



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