The Return of Count Yorga appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not a poor image, this one felt less vivid than I’d expect.
For the most part, sharpness seemed fairly good. Occasional soft spots emerged – mainly in wider elements – but most of the flick brought reasonably appealing delineation.
Neither jaggies nor moiré effects created concerns, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain felt natural, but print flaws became a persistent distraction. These never turned dominant, but little specks and other marks cropped up too often through the film.
Colors felt relatively natural, with a lean toward a moody feel to match the horror setting. They didn’t leap off the screen, but they replicated the source in an effective manner.
Blacks felt deep and dense, while low-light shots displayed more than adequate delineation. Lose the print flaws and this would become a better presentation.
Don’t expect much from the wholly ordinary DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack of Return. Speech felt generally natural, with lines that suffered a little edginess but that usually came across in a decent manner.
Though neither music nor effects boasted much range, they also didn’t show prominent distortion. The effects could become a bit rough around the edges, but they usually seemed accurate enough. The movie offered an average soundtrack given its age and origins.
When we head to extras, we begin with two separate audio commentaries, the first of which comes from film critics David Del Valle and C. Courtney Joyner. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at cast and crew, genre domains, influences, aspects of the production and related areas.
I thought the track Del Valle and Joyner did for the first film seemed decent but erratic. Some of the same issues occur here, but the end result feels more informative, mainly because the Returns chat focuses less around praise.
We do get some plaudits, but Joyner and especially Del Valle seem less enchanted with the sequel, so there’s a more even-handed view here. I’d still like more about the movie’s creation but nonetheless we find a reasonable take on the genre and the flick’s pros/cons.
For the second commentary, we hear from film critic Stephen R. Bissette. He provides his own running, screen-specific discussion of cast and crew, locations, genre domains, and general movie notes.
On the positive side, Bissette offers a chatty style, and I appreciate that he listened to Tim Lucas’s track for the first movie before he recorded his own. Bissette consciously attempts to avoid topics already covered by Lucas, so that makes it a better complement than otherwise might be the case.
However, I think this ends up as a mostly enjoyable but erratic track, partly because Bissette can get a little hung up on some subjects. He talks too much about locations, and he spends too much time on marginal areas like when 1970’s Vampire Lovers - which we see Yorga briefly watch – ran on TV. This is a good commentary but not a great one.
From there we go to video features, and The Count and the Counter-Culture runs 18 minutes, 13 seconds. It brings notes from film critic/author Maitland McDonagh.
Here we examine how the Yorga movies reflected their era as well as other genre domains and forms of interpretation. I think McDonagh makes the flicks seem more intellectual and well-thought-out than they were, but she provides some interesting themes.
Chamber-music of Horrors goes for 35 minutes, 17 seconds and features info from music and cultural historian David Huckvale. He dissects the scores for the two Yorga movies and gives us a good perspective on the material.
Lastly, we find an Interview with Film Historian Kim Newman. During this 33-minute, two-second piece, Newman discusses some information about the Yorga movies along with an appreciation for them. We already get a lot of this material elsewhere, but Newman nonetheless brings a decent array of thoughts.
Along with the movie’s trailer and two radio spots, we discover two Image Galleries: “Stills” (149 frames) and “Lobby Cards and Posters” (13). These offer good content.
By no stretch of the imagination could I call The Return of Count Yorga an actual quality horror movie. Nonetheless, it improves on its sluggish predecessor and becomes a moderately involving effort. The Blu-ray brings mediocre picture and audio along with a mix of supplements. Though not a particularly well-made film, Return offers moderate entertainment.
Note that this Blu-ray of Return comes as part of a 2-movie package called “The Count Yorga Collection”. It also includes 1970’s Count Yorga, Vampire.