A noted professor and his hapless assistant are on
the hunt for vampires in a village in Transylvania.
The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)
Directed by Roman Polanski
Written by Gérard Brach and Roman Polanski
Starring Jack MacGowran, Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate,
Alfie Bass, Ferdy Mayne, Ian Quarrier, Terry Downes, Fiona Lewis
I've watched The Fearless Vampire Killers twice now, and I believe I can say with certainty that I do not like this movie. It's just so dull, devoid of both comedy and horror despite being a hybrid. Polanski straight up missed the mark and delivered a film that meanders from one scene to the next without any direction or sense of story. The characters aren't particularly interesting and the pace is slow as hell. Frankly, considering this came out a year before Rosemary's Baby, I know he could've done better.
Polanski himself plays Alfred, a bumbling little assistant vampire killer who is helping Professor Abronsius (Jack MacGowran) track and hunt vampires in Transylvania. They take shelter at an inn run by the Shagal family, where Alfred falls in love with the beautiful daughter Sarah (Sharon Tate). When she's bitten and captured by the evil Count von Krolock (Ferdy Mayne), Alfred and the professor sneak into his castle to save her. This is when the movie falls apart for me, because the entire time they're in the castle, they don't do a damn thing and neither does the Count. They just kind of stroll about for the last hour until finally they make a break for it with Sarah, and the film ends without any resolution. There's an attempt at an ambigous ending, but everything leading up to it was uninteresting at best.
The Fearless Vampire Killers has a cult following because people will find something to like in everything. But the film was not for me. It wasn't funny despite being a comedy, and it wasn't scary despite being a horror. It had nothing going for it and my interest evaporated pretty damn quick. Thankfully, I can finally shelve this one as "one and done."