Saturday, April 22, 2017

Deathmaster, A Groovy Vampire

Robert Quarry was on the edge of becoming the next Vincent Price.  His portrayal as Count Yorga in Count Yorga Vampire and The Return of Count Yorga was horrific.  Though he never portrayed Yorga after the sequel, you can be forgiven for calling 1972's "Deathmaster" the third Count Yorga film. Set in the L.A. area at the tail end of the hippy generation, the vampire in this film taps into the prevalent culture at that time.  When Charles Manson, Anton LaVey, and Jim Jones were amassing doomed followers, "Deathmaster" tells the tale of one such figure, who just happens to be a bloodsucker.
Khorda (Quarry), encased in a coffin, washes up on a California beach. Homicide follows as Barbado (LaSesne Hilton) acts as his Renfield and brings his coffin to a hippie commune. Meanwhile, Pico (Bill Ewing) is a Kung-Fu hippie seeking the true meaning of life. His babe hippie GF, Rona (Brenda Dickson) is more into the 'let it be' philosophy.  Well, soon it will be, as Khorda, and his Svengali like magnetism, takes over the commune.  Unbeknownst to Pico and Brenda, he has turned every hippie into a vampire, including the lovely Esslin (Betty Anne Rees).  Unfortunately for Esslin, Rona has bigger breasts and now Khorda desires Pico's GF as his new bride.
As Khorda goes through hippies like crap through a goose, he is biting his way to Rona's neck.  As Pico gets wise, perhaps too late, he devises a plan for escape.  This plan will hit some snags and now Pico must take on Khorda and his vampire hippie minions in order to save himself and the free-spirited Rona.  Far out, I know, but the plot turns groovy and grim as Pico seems over matched by his undead nemesis.  Their will be stake carnage, leech carnage, fang carnage, and free love, man.
Will Pico find the real meaning of life before finding the real meaning of death?  Will Esslin turn jealous of Rona's body and engage in a cat-fight?  Will Khorda seek to extend his dominion of influence into a population with earning power instead of flower power?  Directed by Ray Danton, "Deathmaster" capitalizes on several hippie-era fads like free-love, pacifism, and satanism.  Shortly after this film came out, satanism fell victim to Scientology as Hollywood's new fad.  So maximize your groovy and see "Deathmaster."

2 comments:

  1. Wow you can really feel the 70s off this flick like patchouli & love beads. Right on, Christopher! I think I would dig this scene, man. Good review. Always entertaining!

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  2. I think I remember seeing this movie on late night TV back in the day. I need to see this one again just for the sake of it, hey its Hyppies, free love, and Satan. What is not to like lol.

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