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The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)

Dance of the Vampires (original title)
Unrated | | Comedy, Horror | 17 November 1967 (Italy)
A noted professor and his dim-witted apprentice fall prey to their inquiring vampires, while on the trail of the ominous damsel in distress.



(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Alfie Bass ...
Shagal, the Inn-Keeper
Jessie Robins ...
Rebecca Shagal
Sarah Shagal
Count von Krolock / Narrator
Herbert von Krolock
Terry Downes ...
Koukol, the Servant
Magda, the Maid
Village Idiot
Sydney Bromley ...
Sleigh Driver
Andreas Malandrinos ...
Otto Diamant ...
Matthew Walters ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herbert (voice)


The elderly bat researcher, professor Abronsius and his assistant, Alfred, go to a remote Transylvanian village looking for vampires. Alfred falls in love with the inn-keeper's young daughter Sarah. However, she has been spotted by the mysterious count Krolock who lives in a dark and creepy castle outside the village... Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

vampire | castle | gay | transylvania | bat | See All (78) »


Who says Vampires are no laughing matter? See more »


Comedy | Horror


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

17 November 1967 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Fearless Vampire Killers  »

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Iain Quarrier, who played the gay vampire Herbert, was dubbed by an uncredited Vladek Sheybal. See more »


Just before Count Von Krolock locks Abronsius and Alfred on the balcony he tells them they'd have great difficulty getting away from there, unless they had wings "like a bat". The Count suddenly loses his Romanian accent when pronouncing the words "like a bat". See more »


Sarah Shagal: [Alfred hears her scream and makes his way to the bathroom door]
Sarah Shagal: No!
Shagal, the Inn-Keeper: I told you to stay in your room! But you always take a bath!
Sarah Shagal: No! No! No!
Shagal, the Inn-Keeper: I'll give you that bath!
Sarah Shagal: I won't! I won't, Papa! No!
Shagal, the Inn-Keeper: [Alfred looks through a keyhole to see what's going on]
Shagal, the Inn-Keeper: [spanking her] I told you, every day you are having baths!
Sarah Shagal: [kicking and screaming] I won't!
Shagal, the Inn-Keeper: I told you, no bath! No bath! No bath! No bath!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Fangs by Dr. Ludwig von Krankheit. See more »


Referenced in Black Christmas (1974) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

what Poland once was, with a smile (revealing fangs)
25 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Well, what is this movie about? To begin with: although the vampire was best popularized in the modern era by English writers, it is really a myth of Eastern European Roman Catholicism. (I could explain that better - and why the English so well co-opted it - but obviously not here.) This type of Catholicism (which finally produced a Pope in John Paul II) now only thrives (and none too well) in Poland - Polanski's home country. During the Second World War, Poland was utterly decimated. First, a large portion of its wealthiest citizens, who happened to be Jewish, were exterminated. The Polish catholics themselves were split radically between anti-semitic nationalists (who also, mistakenly, thought the Nazis would save them from the Russians) and pro-Communists who, mistakenly, thought the Russians would save them from the Nazis. Obviously, this was a no-win situation for the Poles. And yet the first cinematic impression of this disaster arrived in the form of - a comedy - Ernst Lubitsch's "To Be Or Not To Be" (later remade by Mel Brooks).

Does the reader really need to know all this to appreciate this movie? actually, yes. This film is laughter at death's door. The funniest and most memorable line in the film is from the Jewish vampire, responding to a threatened crucifix: "Oy vey, have you got the wrong vampire!" Funny? - Hilarious. Unfortunately, if this Vampire had any grandchildren, they all died in Auschwitz.

Why am I playing such a heavy hand here? Because this really is a great horror-comedy, far better and far more important than the studio hacks at MGM who released this film (after chopping it up) could ever have understood.

There is unfortunately no rumor that there's a director's cut in the vaults; it is well to remember that Polanski nearly disowned this film on release, and really only reclaimed it after the brutal slaying of his wife, who plays such an important role in the film.

But even as shredded as it is (pay especially close attention to the discontinuities involving the Professor), this is still marvelously written, directed, and photographed - truly frightening at moments, utterly hilarious at others, but always grounded in a particularly Polish sensibility which is now, alas, a thing of the past; - the preservation of a culture that, at its best, was among the best in Europe.

57 of 86 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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