The Fearless Vampire Killers

1967

Comedy / Horror

11
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 67%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 76%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 25668

Synopsis


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October 05, 2016 at 04:18 AM

Director

Cast

Roman Polanski as Alfred
Sharon Tate as Sarah Shagal
Jack MacGowran as Professor Abronsius
Ronald Lacey as Village Idiot
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
725.5 MB
1280*522
English
NR
25 fps
1hr 48 min
P/S 2 / 5
1.54 GB
1920*784
English
NR
25 fps
1hr 48 min
P/S 2 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Stevieboy666 9 / 10

Probably the best looking vampire film ever

I can remember watching this on TV under it's original - and better - British title, Dance of the Vampires, back in the 1980's & found it both silly & boring. However, now that I have matured, I can now appreciate it for the beautiful masterpiece that it is. Absolutely stunning sets, locations & camera work, great cast, a perfect blend of humour & horror and haunting musical score. One of the best vampire movies ever made. Genius.

Reviewed by Cineanalyst 7 / 10

Well-Made Vampire Farce Hammers Hammer

Since reading Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula," I've been viewing a bunch of Dracula movies. Although "Dance of the Vampires," renamed "The Fearless Vampire Killers" in the US, isn't a "Dracula" adaptation, it's said to parody the Dracula and vampire series of Hammer Films. Having endured some of the lackluster output from that studio to follow its more-successful original 1958 "Dracula" adaptation, I wanted to be rewarded for it by Roman Polanski's vampire comedy. In that regard, it's quite enjoyable despite a lot of the humor not working for me.

As far as vampire comedies go, I find "Love at First Bite" (1979) funnier—largely because of its rapid-fire structure of jokes. Many of the one-liners are duds, but they're quickly passed over by other lines that do work. "Dance of the Vampires," on the other hand, is rather slow and silent early on, although it picks up after the vampires come into the picture. The humor is more of the physical and slapstick variety. While this leaves a lot of dead space, when a gag does pay off, it can be more gratifying.

The best ones, methinks, are those that upend traditional vampire lore established by prior movies. The Van Helsing type Professor as a buffoon, for instance, or the first explicitly gay vampire in mainstream cinema that I know of—who is thwarted by a human biting him! Or the Jewish sexual predator who continues much in the same vein once he's turned into a vampire. In one of the film's best jokes, when his victim confronts him with the usual vampire repellent of a cross, he quips, "You got the wrong vampire."

Like some of the Hammer films, there's sex (plenty of cleavage and bath scenes and a bit of spanking) and color. "The Fearless Vampire Killers" is even better photographed and has richer locations than Hammer's output. Of course, there's a makeshift cross in one scene, too, and the vampires are a satanic cult. The bath scenes, the human and vampire sex predators and the hunchback assistant (à la Universal's non-Dracula monster movies) reminded me of another "Dracula" adaptation, "Drakula Istanbul'da" (1953).

The film's alternate title, "The Fearless Vampire Killers," can be read two ways: as referring to the human Professor and his assistant or to the vampires themselves. Reflecting this dual reading, there are two comedic chases: in the first, the humans chase a vampire and, in the second, the vampires chase the humans. Moreover, these vamps have mirrors in their mansion. Unlike the inexplicable mirror in Castle Dracula of Franco's poor 1970 adaptation, these mirrors have a reason. The vampires don't care whether the mirrors expose their true nature because they're not hiding. They're not like the suave Dracula of so many movies who sneaks into high-class English society. No, their mirrors expose the true nature of humans. This works wonderfully in the ballroom dance sequence (which is likely inspired by Hammer's "The Kiss of the Vampire" (1963)). It's far better as a gag than Mel Brooks's ballroom mirror exposure in "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" (1995), which returns mirrors to being a threat to vampires.

Reviewed by JLRVancouver 8 / 10

Fun, blood-sucking comedy

"The Fearless Vampire Killers" (aka "Dance of the Vampires") is a silly but enjoyable parody of vampire films, especially the contemporary Hammer series, with which it shares visual style. Director Polanski co-stars as Alfred, the bumbling assistant to dotty vampire-hunter Professor Abronsius (Jack MacGowran), as they infiltrate the decaying castle of dreaded Count von Krolock to rescue a beautiful village girl (played by Sharon Tate) with whom Alfred has become smitten (fiction presaging fact, as Tate later married Polanski). The comedy is generally broad and physical (including some sped up sequences), humorously contrasting with Polanski's and MacGowran's dead-pan delivery of a script that could be straight out of a 'real' horror film. The direction and cinematography is top-notch, especially the classic ball-room scene (itself parodied in 2014's "What We Do in the Shadows" mockumentary). I recently rewatched "The Fearless Vampire Killers" on TCM and, having seen the film as a kid, was surprised when it did not open with a cartoon. The reason for this is discussed elsewhere (e.g. Wikipedia; you can see the incredibly dated animated opening on You-tube). All in all, a goofy but fun film from a talented director that relentlessly spoofs a sometimes pretentious horror genre.

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