Fearless Vampire Killers VHS
One of Roman Polanski's more overt comedies, this 1966 monster spectacle stars Jack MacGowran and Polanski as a clunky but heroic pair of vampire killers. Called upon to rescue the beautiful and buxom daughter (Sharon Tate) of an innkeeper from a Draculalike bloodsucker, the duo muddle through all sorts of scrapes, the most intense being a scene in which a room full of dancing vampires realize the human interlopers are the only ones in the room who are reflected in a mirror. Scary and funny, the film has some unforgettable set pieces, a terrific score, one of the few records of Tate's extraordinary beauty, and vibrant performances. Not exactly Polanski in a relaxed mode, but clear evidence of his estimable skills as a director of both brilliance and polish. --Tom Keogh
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"The Fearless Vampire Killers" is in my opinion, the first modern day horror/comedy, or should I say, comedy/horror? Sure, you had earlier films like "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein," "Ghost Breakers," "the Old Dark House (both versions)," even "the Munsters" & " The Adams Family" on TV. These films were geared more towards a younger audience, both in their horror & comedy, where" the Fearless Vampires Killers" is a much more adult & sophisticated in it's comedy & horror, but that is not to say it can't appeal to most age groups today in this environment.
"The Fearless Vampire Killers" is about the bumbling adventure of professor Abronsius (Jack MacGowran of, "The Exorcist" - "There's a alien pubic hair in my gin.") & his assistant, Alfred, played by director Roman Polanski, looking for Vampires in Transylvania. Professor Abronsius is a expert on the bat, & has wrote a paper on the existence of Vampires, but is the laughingstock of his peers, so off he & Alfred go to Transylvania to prove the existence of Vampires & exterminate their plague. These two are so hilariously inept, that they make Abbott & Costello look like Batman & Robin!
The movie starts out with a sleigh ride in the snowy forested mountains of Transylvania, with wild dogs chasing them. Alfred beats them off, while professor Abronsius sleeps, or at least we think he is sleeping, but when they get to their destination, a boarding house inn, the professor is frozen solid, something that happens quite easily to him. Once thawed out at the boarding house, they find garlic hung all over, as the professor smiles & points at all the cloves hung up & asks about the garlic, but to no avail, & our story starts.
"The Fearless Vampire Killers" is just filled with one hilarious scene after another. Especially funny is the scene stealing, Shagal, the innkeeper, played by Alfie Bass! When Shagal isn't ogling his female maid, Magda, or sneaking in to her room only to be rejected by her & hunted down by his 400 pound wife, Rebecca, he is kicking his beautiful daughter Sarah (Sharon Tate) out of the bath tub, as she takes two or three baths a day! Sarah taking her ritual bath is attacked & kidnapped by head Vampire, Count von Krolock, played with great tongue in fang by Ferdy Mayne. She's whisked off to the Counts Castle. Shagal goes out to rescue her, but is himself turned in to a Vampire, a Jewish Vampire, which leads to one of the funniest scenes in the movie, as Shagal goes up to his maids room, Magda, to bite her & she pulls out a cross, "Oiee, oiee! You got the wrong Vampire," Shagal giggles & feigns off the cross with a gesture of his hands.
All this eventual leads our dynamic duo, professor Abronsius & Alfred to the Counts castle to kill the Count & save Sarah. Here Alfred meets up with the Count's son, Herbert von Krolock, who takes a shine to Alfred. Yes, the first gay Vampire in movies! Alfred does not know if he is more horrified that the Counts son is a Vampire, or gay, that wants to put the bite on him, literally, LOL! There is a hilarious chase scene between Herbert & Alfred, that just has to be seen to believe! Later, Count von Krolock describes his son as," a sensitive youth," & as I said earlier, one hilarious scene after the other ensues! But, "The Fearless Vampire Killers" does have it's share of down right eerie scenes & a soundtrack that is truly eerie, & in turn, funny at all the right times. A soundtrack that is as original as the movie, & one that is memorable! The film would only work two thirds as well with out it.
True, "The Fearless Vampire Killers" could be construed as a comedy with sprinkles of horror, but the two work so seamlessly together, that the film is a part of both genres, as a whole, & truly the first of it's kind! Many films have copied it, followed it, but few have matched it, & none have surpassed it. "The Fearless Vampire Killers" is just a master work of acting, script, plot, & direction. All the cast members are perfectly cast. It's cinematography truly amazing! This is a film that is beautiful to watch! It's sets, magnificent! It's setting, lonely, eerie, cold, & beautiful! This film begs a top notch transfer to Blu-ray!
"The Fearless Vampire Killers winks at you, as it bites your neck, but you don't mind. If anything, it will be your tummy that hurts from laughter, & not your neck when you watch this film!
5 Stars = Masterpiece
I enjoyed it and recommend it to those in the general audience. The reaction of devotees of the horror genre I cannot predict.
Translated into English, French, German and Italian with subtitles in English, French and Spanish.
~The Fearless Vampire Killers: Vampires 101
This movie was funny right from the get go.
If I were in a debate, okay... maybe "objectively" I'd give it four stars. But, whatever... I love this movie.
Funny how the first half of the movie is practicaly silent while the play is full of dialogue and jokes but my biggest amazement was that even though well aware of the surprise ending, it still felt quiet shocking.
And by the way, the very day I get this DVD from Amazon I read Polanski has been let go on bail.......Enough coincidences !
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