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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)

An incompetent vampire hunter (Jack MacGowran) and his timid assistant (Roman Polanski) find lodgings at a small inn in Transylvania. Noticing the garlands of garlic hanging about the inn, they suspect vampires are at hand and when the innkeeper's daughter (Sharon Tate) is kidnapped, they trace her to a mysterious Count's (Ferdy Mayne) castle. In most horror comedies like THE GHOST BREAKERS or ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, the emphasis is on the comedy. The director Roman Polanski's often witty farce balances the comedy and the horror with equal aplomb. The film, beautifully shot by Douglas Slocombe (THE LION IN WINTER), has the look and feel of a Hammer horror and despite the silliness never let's you forget this is also a horror film, too. The actors are all attuned to the style of the material and give appropriate performances. Polanski and co-writer Gerard Brach's screenplay score some trenchant digs amid the madness as when the coffin of a Jewish vampire is not allowed to rest aside the coffins of the gentile vampires. The clever score is by Christopher Komeda. With Alfie Bass, Fiona Lewis and Jessie Robins.

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