I’m going way back for this week’s Fangs God It’s Friday. I’m drawing on the 1974 film The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. For Hammer Films star Peter Cushing, this was his fifth outing as a variation on the vampire hunting Van Helsing character from Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula.
This particular Hammer film was notable for several reasons. Not only was it Cushing’s last time playing Van Helsing (named Laurence Van Helsing for this film), but it was the only one of his Van Helsing films in which Dracula was not played by Christopher Lee. Lee passed on the role after reading the script, so the biggest baddest vampire of them all was played by John Forbes-Robertson and voiced by David de Keyser. It’s worth noting that it wasn’t Cushing’s first Van Helsing-related film without Lee, because 1960’s The Brides of Dracula didn’t actually have Dracula in the film.
While I could have drawn on any of the Hammer films with Cushing playing Van Helsing, I chose the 7 Golden Vampires, because I remember watching this one as a kid. I found it particularly fun, because it was as much a martial arts film as a vampire film.
Of course, while Cushing played Stoker’s heroic vampire hunter five times (kind of), many people might only remember him for his villainous role in the original Star Wars as Grand Moff Tarkin.