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Fearless Vampire Killers [DVD] [1967] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.5 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002KQNJU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,828 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is one of Polanski's less appreciated efforts, and is often dismissed as a mere "horror spoof" , but it is a far more valuable film than that. I've watched a lot of movies in the horror genre and this is an outstanding example of its type, managing to be a near perfect blend of fairy tale, horror and comedy.
The plot is quite a simple and familiar one... a couple of travellers arrive at a remote Transylvannian inn and immediately suspect that all is not well...indeed, this being Professor Abronsius and his devoted sidekick Alfred they are hoping that all is not well. Straight away vampiric activity commences and Abronsius and Alfred leap into what they consider to be "action".
The hapless pair find their way to an absurdly remote and snowbound castle where the local Count and his son live in ragged and faded splendour. Needless to say, both of them avoid the sunlight....
The eccentric Abronsius, an expert in vampirology (although a generally unappreciated one) is marvellously played by Jack MacGowran, whilst his mild mannered assistant is equally well portrayed by Roman Polanski himself. They are very ably assisted by Alfie Bass as the Jewish inkeeper, the ill-fated
Sharon Tate as his vampire-bait daughter, Ferdy Mayne as the Count, Iain Quarrier as his son and Terry Downes as the brutish and mandatory hunchbacked sidekick. In less talented acting hands the film could have had problems, but all of the main characters and the supporting cast (including Ronald Lacey as the
village idiot) are excellent and carry off the plot comsumately.
Visually, the film is stunning. The snow-covered landscape manages to be convincing, yet has a fairy-tale beauty about it whilst the castle and its grounds do nothing to detract from the other-worldy atmosphere.
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Format: DVD
Right from the opening credits, this film perfectly captures the atmosphere of a snow- covered Transylvania, plagued by the sinister menace of an evil that the locals would rather keep under wraps. When the hapless Alfred (Roman Polanski) and his master Professor Abronsius (Jack MacGowran) arrive at an inn for the night, they stumble upon a community reluctant to discuss their embarrassing secret. The obvious clues, however, give the game away as to who, or more accurately, what, might be at large. "What is all the garlic doing here?" asks a suspicious Professor Abronsius, followed by the next obvious (to a vampire hunter) question; "Is there a castle in the district?" The exaggeratedly Jewish local innkeeper Shagal (played brilliantly by Alfie Bass) does his best to feign ignorance, as nearly all of the villagers clam up tight, but the game is afoot.
Add to the recipe the beautiful innkeeper's daughter (the simply lovely Sharon Tate) with whom Alfred falls instantly in love, and the scene is set for a wonderful tale of good over evil in the twilight world of the un-dead.
The thread of humour, horror and besotted love weaves it's way seamlessly to the climax of the film, the Vampire's Ball. There are many subtle jokes along the way, as well as some very obvious slapstick, but the lair of the vampires is truly menacing and with a haunting score to emphasise the plot, this film simply works on many levels.
It is a shame the film is generally hailed as a spoof, not helped by it's overly-complicated American title (The British title, "Dance of the Vampires", was far more fitting I think), because it is a cult classic if ever there was one.
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Format: DVD
This beautifully flawed film will capiaure your vision and, along with Krystov Komeda's hypnotic soundtrack (note: available on a cd with Rosemary's Baby), your ears. This is Polanski's first budget to get his teeth into (no pun intended) and it drips of quality - just look at the opening scene. I can understand criticisms from some but these dull compared to the strengths. Originally 'lost' due to the timing of release (not that long after the Manson murders) this is a glorious movie shamefully overlooked and one that is eminently watchable time and time again.
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Format: DVD
How does that line go, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"?

Well, much like the Dukes of Stratosphear's loving imitations of British Psychedelia on the equally enthralling '25 o' clock' album, Polanski's love letter to Hammer 'Dance of the Vampires' (US; 'Fearless Vampire Killers'), almost outdoes that which it is parodying.
The film immediately evokes the correct mood with the superb music of Kristof Komeda (a good friend of Polanski's, who would go on to record the soundtrack to 'Rosemary's Baby') and the superb exterior shots of the Alps-this is a fairy tale for sure, but it's one with a dark undercurrent.
the story rolls along fairly conventional vampiric lines, the superstitious villagers, the castle no one wants to talk about, the esteemed professor/vampire hunter Abronsius (Jack MacGrowan)...and Alfred, his side kick (Polanski himself); the charms of this film however, are in the details. There are twists to the conventions; Alfie Bass as Jewish inn keeper (which leads to interesting problems for our vampire hunters when he eventually joins the Undead), the Count's gay vampire son (cinema's first?) and the twist in the tail ending (more of that later).
But one of the greatest things I can say about this film is how it looks- the scenery is breathtaking and the sets are fantastic (i'm sure Hammer would have given anything to have such lavish creations)- production designed by Wilfrid Singleton and lensed by Douglas Slocombe, they manage to evoke a mittel-Europe that both enchants and chills in equal measures (the section where Polanski and MacGrowan follow the Count's hunchbacked henchman {Terry Downes} to the castle is like a sinister re-shoot of the Alpine scene in the Beatles movie 'HELP!').
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