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The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula (1974)

How ironic is it that after I finish one Hammer review stating it's the best one I've seen thus far that I would be rewarded with a follow-up that's not only the worst Hammer film I've seen to date, but also possibly one of the worst films I have ever laid eyes on!  Being one of the last films Hammer produced it's now clear why the cult film company met their demise, because The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula is about as bottom of the barrel you can possibly achieve.

I must admit I did not give this film my whole attention, after about twenty-five minutes I was so utterly bored and disgusted by how absolutely horrible this film was that I turned my attention to my computer while the film played out in the background.  But I witnessed enough of this travesty to know that it never got better, and only got worse.  The film begins with Count Dracula transforming himself into a Chinese warlord, with the intent to travel to China and unite six vampires who have recently lost their 7th member.  But these six vampires aren't your typical fanged undead beasts, these guys are mummified ninja vampires who travel around the countryside fighting villagers with swords and martial arts!  Also in China happens to be Professor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) whose in town lecturing on vampires, although no one takes him seriously except a man whose village has witnessed the terror he speaks of.  After a little persuading Van Helsing agrees to assist a family of "kung fu" experts in destroying the seven golden vampires lead by Dracula.

If I really need to explain to you why this film is so awful you ought to read the above paragraph again, but to humor myself I will expound upon the common sense reasons behind this film being complete trash.  First off my biggest complaint is mixing Horror with Martial Arts.  I guess if done properly it could possibly work but mixing campy martial arts with an already ridiculous Dracula film in my opinon pretty much defeats the purpose of calling the film a Horror, unless that's short for "horrible"!  Secondly, Count Dracula should not be turning into a Chinese man, traveling to China and terrorizing the countryside with six mummified ninja vampires.  The concept of mummified ninja vampires alone boggles my mind, who came up with that idea?  Why not throw a ninja werewolf vampire into the mix as well!?!  Some people might find this whole combination extremely entertaining, I know they're out there, but I found this whole combination and storyline to be worse than any B-movie I have ever seen, and I've seen some bad ones.

Thirdly, the film overuses the slow motion feature as I've never seen before.  A majority of the fight scenes are intersperse with slow motion, and the first 25 or so minutes I watched was overloaded with slow motion from the very beginning of the film.  If this was done for effect the only affect it had on me was annoyance.  I could continue stating why this film is worthless, but the fact is there is no real reason to watch this unless your aching for some torture.  Some may find this bizarre film enjoyable but I can't fathom anyone thinking it's actually a quality film, not even the lovely Julile Ege could gain this film points (more about her in an upcoming review of Creatures the World Forgot). Overall The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula is a horrible way for the Hammer franchise to begin to fizzle out, but it really should be no surprise why it happened with a cornball horror film such as this being apart of its last stance.

I have been informed that this film is actually the extremely poor US cut of the film The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, which is the original United Kingdom release and is much better.



  1. This sounds like a movie that should be remade as a comedy. Throw in Jackie Chan as Dracula and we got ourselves a movie :P.

    By slow motion are you talking Zach Snyder/John Woo massive amounts? Or even more than that?

  2. I've never seen this one. I've heard so many bad things about it. I think I've avoided it over the years. I'm actually glad I did.

  3. Univarn - I'm not familiar with your reference off the top of my head. Let's just say it's extremely pointless slow motion and it's almost as if they just throw it in wherever. They really liked doing it when the mummy vampires where just riding around, I guess they thought it added suspense.

    Keith - Yea it's definitely one to avoid, I think only the die-hard martial arts fans like this. I really don't even remember why I chose to watch it, I guess because of Julie Ege, but her part was pretty small.

  4. I guess I will be the sole champion for this film here as I find it very exciting and entertaining. I even included it in my 20 Best Hammer Horror list at my site.

    Hammer was already in the hole by this time and the reason for this film was because the martial arts genre was all the rage then and Hammer was doing anything to stay afloat.

    The production values and set design surpassed almost anything Hammer was doing at the time and it was great fun to see Peter Cushing joining in on the fighting as well.

    I had no problem with the slow motion segments (relegated to the undead 7 golden vampires when on horseback) which were no doubt inspired by the zombie Templar knights seen in Ossorio's excellent TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD from a few years earlier.

    0 out of 10 is a bit harsh in my opinion unless you are reviewing the US cut of this film entitled THE 7 BROTHERS MEET DRACULA which was a horribly edited mess of a movie included as an extra on Anchor Bay's DVD of the film some years back.

    This film has a very interesting and tumultuous story behind its making, too.

  5. vemons5 - I'll have to double check which version I watched, I got it from Netflix, so I may have watched the 7 Brothers Meet Dracula that does sound familiar I really didn't think much of it because these films usually have multiple titles, but your saying there's a huge difference between the two cuts?

  6. Yes, the 7 BROTHERS version has scenes from the end edited into the beginning and vice versa. Also there's little to no dialog for the first 20 minutes. That version only lasts 75 minutes while the original version lasts around 100 minutes.

    That compromised version was on the other side of the disc. Another extra was an audio book read by Cushing himself.

    You may have seen the original and preferred version, but it just didn't appeal to you. I just didn't see it as that bad of a movie at all. But we all see things differently as you know.

    There were a lot of fans who didn't care for this one, but have grown to seriously enjoy it over time. I guess when compared to prior Hammer horror, it is a bit jarring.

    There was a proposed sequel to this one entitled KALI, DEVIL BRIDE OF DRACULA, but it never materialized. Initially, Dracula supposedly wasn't even supposed to be in this movie, but at the insistence of the Shaw Brothers at the last minute, the character was included.

  7. I may have seen the 7 Brothers then, because there was very little dialogue in the first 20 minutes, which was one of the reasons I started giving up, and I did think it was pretty choppy. I'm not a big fan of martial art films anyways, but I will certainly check into which version I watched just to be sure. If I watched a edited US version I want to at least note that in my review.

    Thanks for the info!

  8. You're welcome, MVP.

    Just for clarity, the original film begins with the Chinese monk (Chan Shen) making his way to Dracula's castle and begging him to come to China to resurrect the 7 Golden Vampires. He agrees and transforms himself into the monk. There's a good deal of dialog here at the beginning.

    The credits roll (one of the most rousing Hammer scores, IMO). Then we are introduced to Van Helsing (Cushing) giving a class on vampires to a skeptical group of Chinese students.

    The other version begins with all sorts of scenes from all over the movie with no rhyme or reason as to some semblance of cohesiveness.

  9. I don't remember Van Helsing coming in until about the time I started giving up which was about 20 or so minutes in. Honestly I was so confused and bored by that time I pretty much gave up paying attention, so I'm thinking I watched the US version. It will be easy for me to find out though I still have it at home, so I'll check tonight.

    In general are there big differences between the US cuts and the UK cuts of most Hammer films? Like last night I watched Prehistoric Women, which I believe is the US cut, the UK cut is Slave Girls. I'd much rather be watching the original cuts if I'm missing out on some things, or just watching poorly edited versions. Getting a hold of UK cuts won't be too hard for me on most of the films I was just renting what I could off Netflix but I'm probably getting more US cuts there.

  10. There's a massive difference between the US and UK cut of SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES and not just the time difference, but in the editing as already discussed.

    I wouldn't know about the PREHISTORIC WOMEN movie. I have it, just not watched it. If it's the release from Anchor Bay (I do believe they released this back then along with some others like VENGEANCE OF SHE, etc...), than no doubt it's the complete version. AB also released GOLDEN VAMPIRES, but with the US cut on the flip side so I'm not sure how netflix screwed that up unless there's another release. The AB tape and DVD was released some years back.

    Have you seen my 20 Best and 11 Worst Hammer lists, MVP? I would be curious of your feedback on those titles if you have seen them yet.

  11. Yea I checked that out, I haven't seen any of those yet. Everything I've reviewed in the last few days (in addition to The Viking Queen and When Dinosaurs Ruled the World) is the extent of my Hammer viewing.

  12. I have WHEN DINOSAURS RULED...but haven't watched it yet. At least not this version. Warner accidentally snuck out the uncut Brit version with the sex scene and nudity in it while the box had a PG rating on the back. That disc was stopped for a time and sellers on amazon were selling them for outrageous amounts. I'm not sure if the future releases were altered in any way after that. I had a time grabbing mine as they were difficult to find upon initial release.

    I'll be sure to check out your other Hammer reviews shortly. In the middle of cleaning right now, lol.

  13. Yea I did watch the UK uncut version of When Dinosaurs Ruled. I really didn't like that film much. That and The Viking Queen were reviewed a while back. I haven't gotten around to including them in this months endeavor yet, but they're listed on my Complete Reviews page under Adventure, if you care to take a look.

  14. Seems I did watch The 7 Brothers, the unedited cut was on the bonus disc side with the Peter Cushing narrative!

  15. LOL! I assure you that the complete version will make a lot more sense. If you attempt to watch it again, hopefully you will enjoy it a tad better.

    Believe it or not, there are people who actually prefer the bastardized version. But those people had seen it in the theater that way and I guess nostalgia has a lot to do with it.

  16. I'll eventually try to watch the good cut, but I'll give myself a little time to get over the horrible US cut.


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