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The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)

Dance of the Vampires (original title)
Not Rated | | 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.

Director:

Roman Polanski

Writers:

Gérard Brach (story) (as Gerard Brach), Roman Polanski (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,956 ( 853)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack MacGowran ... Professor Abronsius
Roman Polanski ... Alfred
Alfie Bass ... Shagal, the Inn-Keeper
Jessie Robins Jessie Robins ... Rebecca Shagal
Sharon Tate ... Sarah Shagal
Ferdy Mayne ... Count von Krolock / Narrator
Iain Quarrier ... Herbert von Krolock
Terry Downes ... Koukol, the Servant
Fiona Lewis ... Magda, the Maid
Ronald Lacey ... Village Idiot
Sydney Bromley ... Sleigh Driver
Andreas Malandrinos Andreas Malandrinos ... Woodcutter
Otto Diamant ... Woodcutter
Matthew Walters Matthew Walters ... Woodcutter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vladek Sheybal ... Herbert (voice)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Who says Vampires are no laughing matter? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The portrait on the wall in Alfred's bedroom in Count von Krolok's castle is of Richard III, king of England from 1483 to 1485. See more »

Goofs

When the Professor is trapped in the window in the crypt, both he and his spectacles move between shots. See more »

Quotes

Shagal, the Inn-Keeper: [Magda tries to fend off Shagal, a Jewish Vampire, with a cross] Oy vey, have you got the wrong vampire.
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Crazy Credits

The events, characters, firms and vampires depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons living or dead or to actual events is entirely coincidental. See more »

Alternate Versions

This film was originally released in the United States in an edited version. This version was shortened by approx. 20 minutes, all actors voices redubbed to make them more American-sounding (most notably that of Abronsius), the music was slightly altered and a cartoon prologue featuring Abronsius & Alfred was added. This was done by producer Martin Ransohoff without Roman Polanski's approval. Other edits included the shortening of the trip to Krolock's castle, the shots of Shagal watching the maid cleaning the floor as he stomps the sauerkraut, and Alfred searching for the mysterious voice in the castle corridors. Ransohoff also tried to have the American version distributed under the title "The Fearless Vampire Killers: or, Pardon Me But Your Teeth are in my Neck". Upon seeing this American version, Polanski tried to have his name removed from the credits. The prints that are currently being used have been restored to their original British length of 107 minutes and carry the title of simply "The Fearless Vampire Killers". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Black Christmas (1974) See more »

User Reviews

 
Not very funny but it does have Sharon Tate
21 February 2013 | by Red-BarracudaSee all my reviews

Dance of the Vampires isn't a very typical offering from Roman Polanski. This is his first colour feature film and up until this point his films were decidedly left-field and arty. This one is a considerably more commercial offering. It's effectively a parody of the British Hammer horror films that had been very popular up to this point. So its cultural references were fairly mainstream in the 60's. Set in the 19th century, it's about a professor and his assistant who travel to Eastern Europe seeking vampires. Before long they find themselves at the castle of the mysterious Count von Krolock.

The problem I have with this film is fairly straightforward – I don't find it very funny. The humour is very broad and present throughout. It ranges from the clever (a Jewish vampire who is unafraid of a crucifix) to the low-brow (lots of slapstick). It's occasionally amusing but rarely properly funny. So this is a bit of a problem in a film that is first and foremost a comedy. On the plus side it does look pretty, with nice snowbound landscapes and a Gothic castle to look at. The vampire's ball is also very good. But, for me, the single best aspect of Dance of the Vampires is easily Sharon Tate. She is achingly beautiful and provides a very welcome sensuality to proceedings. Her horrible murder two years later at the hands of the Manson Family clearly robbed the film world of someone quite considerable.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 November 1967 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Fearless Vampire Killers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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