Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Fearless Vampire Killers: Rub a Dub Dub Sharon Tate is Always in a Tub.

Yes that's right, sexual assault cases don't discourage me from watching Roman Polanksi films. Especially Roman Polanski films about vampires. Through all the hilarity and the bad fake teeth and the bosomy Sharon Tate- The Fearless Vampire Killers is a delightful movie filled with an amazing Gothic atmosphere- a snowy and desolate landscape adorned with the deceiving sound of sleigh bells echoing through the night. Poetic I know.

Professor Abronsius and his bumbling apprentice Alfred are tracking down vampires in the heart of Transylvania. Upon arriving at an Inn where garlic is hung all over the ceiling- Alfred is immediately captivated by Sarah, the daughter of the tavern keeper. One night while in a luxurious soapy bath- Count Von Krolock appears in the skylight and bites Sarah, then steals her away back to his castle. The Professor and Alfred then embark on a journey to destroy Von Krolock and to save Sarah.

I already said this film was a delight, but did I mention how insanely hilarious it is? I was watching this movie by myself last night- tucked away in my cozy bed and laughing my ass off. Roman Polanski as the pathetic and overly jumpy Alfred was classic. The noises he makes when something scary happens and his over the top reactions were genius. The Professor was also wildly entertaining, and his uncanny resemblance to Mark Twain made it all the better. My favorite part was when they try to stab the servant and end up stabbing a wine cask instead. This brilliant spout of red shoots out and for a moment you are shocked- then realize that it's just wine. Bloody fantastic. There were so many wonderfully hilarious parts- the ending chase sequence where the servant uses a coffin as a bobsled comes to mind- and the movie is just filled with that kind of understated and fantastic comedy.

Despite the comedic aspect- there are some great images and moments that add to the horror aspect. The last shot of Sarah in the sled, the beginning when the wolves run after the sleigh, Count Von Krolock looking through the window at Sarah- and the blood in the bubbles after he takes her. While the movie is certainly more on the comedic side- it is always nice to get some genuine horror moments. As for fans of vampire lore- Fearless Vampire Killers is certainly a staple. As I've said before we all know the parts of a vampire movie very well- the insistence on crosses, garlic and the lack of a reflection- and the best vampire movies take those and show them to us in an original way. The two most memorable moments in Fearless Vampire Killers involve all of those aspects. At the vampire ball- when the Professor and Alfred are pretending to be vampires to get Sarah out and then suddenly we see the entire ball before a mirror- with only the 3 reflections- it was fantastic- and even a little chilling I might add! Then when The Professor and Alfred draw swords to try to defend themselves- and The Professor forms a cross with his sword and Alfred's. Little moments like that really give you an ultimate appreciation for the subtleties this movie creates.

Overall, this movie is not one to be missed- and I'm sure many of you have not missed it. But on the off chance that you have- you must see it at once.


Jen said...

I have this at home right now! Can't wait to watch it- great review!

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for the great suggestions. I'm gonna watch this one too. I don't know how you find so many "off the beaten path" movies, but I'm glad you do.

Chris H said...

Spot on, Ms. Andre.
Spot on!