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The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)

Cast: Roman Polanski, Jack MacGowran, Alfie Bass, more...
Director: Roman Polanski
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre: Comedies, Foreign, Horror, British Comedy, Parodies, Vampires, UK
Running Time: 107 min.
Languages: English, French, Italian, German
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

A pair of bumbling vampire-hunters attempts to destroy an undead nobleman and his cronies and rescue a buxom maiden in actor/director Roman Polanski's playful update of the venerable vampire genre. Bat expert and vampire obsessive Professor Abronsius (Jack MacGowran) barely survives his journey through the Alps into snowy Slovenia to continue his oft-maligned research into the undead. Thawed out by his hapless assistant, Alfred (Polanski), and the frisky local innkeeper, Shagal (Alfie Bass), Abronsius quickly notices the overabundance of raw garlic as a decorating motif in the inn and its environs. Too ineffectual to save Shagal from having his blood sucked, the professor and Alfred miss the boat again when the mysterious Count Von Krolock (Ferdinand Mayne) kidnaps Shagal's built, beautiful daughter, Sarah (Sharon Tate). The itinerant vampire hunters must travel through the icy wilderness to Von Krolock's abode and evade his manservant and his effete son Herbert (Iain Quarrier) before Sarah joins the ranks of the ghouls. They soon learn, however, that the luxury-starved lass actually enjoys her captors' lavish attentions. The action climaxes during a costume ball attended by a phalanx of blood-suckers, although the laughs and surprises continue until the very end. Sixteen minutes of unauthorized cuts have been restored in some video editions of The Fearless Vampire Hunters, although the animated credits sequence that replaced them is also retained. The film marks the feature debut of Tate, who replaced Polanski's original choice, Jill St. John, on the advice of producer Martin Ransohoff. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Everyone misses now and then by emdoub May 28, 2009 - 7:00 AM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Roman Polanski, directing Sharon Tate - how can you go wrong? Well, perhaps there's a reason that Mr. Polanski didn't do other comedies.

A horror/comedy, obviously paying homage to the Hammer Studios vampire movies of the time, could have clicked. The cinematography was excellent, the sets impressive. Some of the effects were downright awesome - CGI didn't yet exist. In the ballroom scene, when the few humans spot the mirror in which they (but none of the vampires around them) are reflected, it's not really a mirror - it's a pane of glass, behind which is a mirror-image ballroom with other actors being the 'reflections'.

Unfortunately, what lacked was the script. There were, I suppose, some moments in which fright may have happened in some of the audience. Some of the dialog sparkled, but that scene wasn't very long. There was humor, now and again - but mostly, it fell flat.

The version here is the original, 106 minute version, not the U.S.A. theatrical release which ran 98 minutes with an animated sequence. There are English subtitles, which you'll need to follow the dialog. There's Sharon Tate in her first feature film, looking lovely. There is awesome scenery and cinematography. If only there'd been some actual entertainment, this could have been great.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.23)
138 Votes
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