Young Indiana Jones 3.4 – Transylvania, 1918

Happy (belated) Halloween! Tonight we watched the seasonally appropriate tale of Indiana Jones’s first encounter with the supernatural, as written by Jonathan Hensleigh. Indy and an American officer are ordered into Transylvania to investigate reports that a General Targo is amassing a separatist Romanian army.

I hadn’t seen this story before, but what I did know led me to wonder whether this was about to become a tip of the hat to a classic serial from the pages of 2000 AD called Fiends of the Eastern Front, written by Gerry Finley-Day and drawn by the late, great Carlos Ezquerra. That’s about a mysterious company of Romanians who turn out to be vampires.

Sadly, General Targo is not an earlier incarnation of Fiends’ Costanza, but he is, of course, a vampire. He’s either a new incarnation of Vlad the Impaler or he really admires the guy’s style. The tone is pure early seventies Hammer – I was most reminded of Countess Dracula – and it’s very gory and very graphic and it creeped the absolute life out of our son, who first went behind the sofa and ended up in another room.

While I mention Hammer, that’s only to note the look and feel. The script is based on the original legends of vampire behavior, and the incredibly specific way to kill them (stake through the heart at a crossroads, for example) rather than on 20th Century film versions. But if I might be allowed one more Hammer comparison, Bob Peck is interesting as Targo, but he’s no Christopher Lee!

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