Synopsis for
Schalcken the Painter (1979) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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The story begins with Schalcken's (Jeremy Clyde) arrival at Dou's (Maurice Denham) Leiden studio as an impoverished young artist just as he's making the transition from sketches to oil paintings. Schalcken falls in love with Dou's niece Rose (Cheryl Kennedy), but Dou has already promised her hand in marriage to the wealthy, mysterious corpse-like Vanderhausen (John Justin) in exchange for some gold. Schalcken promises the terrified Rose that he'll one day become successful enough to buy her back, but has to let her go for the time being. He then becomes so immersed in his work, that by the time he does actually have fame and money, he finds he may be too late to save his former love from her ghastly suitor.

The film doesn't even bother to define the Vanderhausen character in clichd horror terms. You're never quite sure what he is (a vampire... a demon lover... a sadistic old man...?) or what he's done to Rose. That is up to us to decide, and the film is all the better for allowing us to use our imaginations to fill in the blanks.


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