Grapes of Death may not be exactly what people expect from a zombie film, and even if it is Rollin’s most accessible and straightforward narrative, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t rely heavily on weirdness and surrealism.
So in between the soul-searching and pondering and Yorga sneering at the mere mortals around him, you get scenes like a woman eating her own cat and plenty of vampire attacks. It’s just that ultimately you come for Robert Quarry’s performance as Yorga. Everything else is just dressing. Sweet, bloody dressing.
If you like the AIP Poe films or don’t mind lots of dialog, this is a good old-fashioned occult thriller that winds up being a great way to spend midnight, provided you don’t have any decadent rich parties that devolve into an orgiastic ritual lorded over by a vampire to attend at midnight.
One would assume, then, that with a title like The Satanic Rites of Dracula, the sequel would follow in the footsteps of turning Dracula into a religious anti-icon. But then, honestly, what more can be done to make him Lucifer incarnate than having him summoned by rituals and pentagrams and strange runes?
The plot is a bit of a letdown, especially considering that it’s the first time Van Helsing and Dracula have been on screen together since the first movie.
Dudikoff may not be much of an actor, but he’s not so bad that you’d be shocked by how bad he is. He’s well-suited for the role, and he has Steve James on hand to provide some actual charisma
I wonder why the only time Superargo uses his super strength is when he throws the tree at the robots. The rest of his powers are pretty useless. He gets to levitate once, but he misses the chance to really piss off Dr. Wond by using mental powers to shatter the madman’s assortment of antique vases.
There are no eagles in it, and the acting and writing are nothing to highlight in your acting or writing class, but the cast is fun, the action is plentiful, and everything moves along nicely.
Sinbad’s crew is one for the ages, consisting of his trusted friends the Viking named Viking, Prince Ali, a bald guy named The Bald Cook, Poochy the Dwarf, and the Chinese Soldier of Fortune, who is played by a Japanese guy and dressed like a Thai ladyboy on his way home from a particularly colorful Siamese gay rights parade.
Aoki and Valance seem to possess almost no athletic ability whatsoever, and so to pass them off as fighters, Yuen relies on gravity-defying wirework and jumpy editing, as well as a dollop of CGI. He does the most he can with what little he has, but no one is going to be mistaking these gals for legitimate fighters. Even Hsu Chi was more believable.