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The film's story and screenplay were written by director Renato Polselli and screenplay authors Giuseppe Pellegrini and Ernesto Gastaldi. The original screenplay for the film was written by Giampaolo Callegaris. Ernesto Gastaldi described the script as "rather canine", and wrote a new one with director Renato Polselli. Gastaldi felt the script was no different than any others he had worked on, with the only new element being vampires. Gastaldi commented that since Dracula starring Christopher Lee had been such a big hit in Italy, producers and distributors were eager to make their own vampire films. See more »
A refreshingly surreal departure from typical vampire fare
Despite its obvious shortcomings...this early 60's Italian horror film is compelling for reasons other than ranking high on the fright index. The Vampire and The Ballerina is frankly anything but horrifying for the most part. Although, the expressionistic black and white photography lends the film a surreal and hypnotic quality that can't be dismissed. This is NOT your classical vampire flick. Thank God. Having endured the relentless tedium of countless Hammer vampire horror films, I can be grateful for that fact alone. No, the performances are not stellar but given the cheesecake Euro-babe thrust of the movie, they didn't have to be. The convoluted storyline is something David Lynch would appreciate. And so is the fixation on visual imagery such as the storm winds whipping those mysterious trees repeatedly whenever there is a hint of menace. The effective contrasts of shadow and light throughout the film does create a certain surreal moodiness that renders the need to frighten meaningless. It was simply enough for this viewer to be swept away by a tide of tight black leotards and fishnet stockings. A fetishistic confession? Perhaps...although what red-blooded vampire could possibly resist the urge to pray on a troupe of jazz-dancing nymphets posing as ballerinas?
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