Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)

AKA: Dance of the Vampires

Director: Roman Polanski

Writers: Roman Polanski, Gerard Brach

Composer: Krzysztof Komeda

More info: IMDb

Tagline: You'll never know what bit you... but you'll love it!

Plot: A noted professor and his dim-witted apprentice fall prey to their inquiring vampires, while on the trail of the ominous damsel in distress.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again?  Probably not.

Oh, boy.  I've known about this picture since the 70s, I'm a huge fan of Polanski's films and I only got around to watching it just now.  Nuts.  I really wanted to like this and I was excited that I was finally getting around to seeing it and now I'm sad.  I barely laughed at all.  As a comedy it's only mildly amusing and the horror is mild and intentionally not even remotely scary.  That's the worst of it which is pretty bad.  But the film is drop dead gorgeous.  The art direction and cinematography are some of the best (if not THE best) I've seen in a Gothic horror film.  Hammer pictures look great but this film takes it up a notch or two.  And that's probably the reason I didn't fall asleep watching it.  I liked spending time in this tiny world but the pacing is really slow at times and the laughs just aren't there.  Having seen the trailer many, many times (and it plays up in spades the comedy making it seem like a laughfest from start to finish) and then finally watching the film, I'm just perplexed at why this picture is held in such high regard.  I don't get it and I really wanted to.  I did like the ending, though.  The Warner Bros. DVD looks amazing.  The only extras are the theatrical trailer (anamorphic widescreen) and a 19 minute cute as hell promo (which is funnier than the film) called THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS: VAMPIRES 101.

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