Vienna 1932. One evening Sigmund Freud finds a new patient on his couch. A mysterious Count, burdened by the weight his great existential secret, haunted by the death of a lover 500 years in the past and tired of his eternally long life with his wife. What Freud does not know is that the patient is a vampire. The vain Countess incessantly complains about not being able to look at herself in a mirror, the count tells the professor. Unaware of the fact that the count and his wife are vampires, Freud introduces his mysterious patient to a young painter, Viktor, who paints portraits that express more than a mirror ever could. While visiting the painter, the count takes an instant shine to Viktor's girlfriend Lucy - more so than Viktor and the countess would like.Written by
Ulf Kjell Gür
From personal experience I know there's only one thing worse than zombie comedies, and that's vampire comedies! I vividly remember how much I hated painfully embarrassing films like "Love at First Bite" or "Vampire in Brooklyn", and even the almighty Mel Brooks failed to bring a smile on my face with his parody "Dracula: Dead and Loving it". Therefore I wasn't really planning to watch "Therapy for a Vampire" when it played at the Fantastic Film Festival in my country, but since I had nothing better to do I went to see it anyways. I'm very glad I did, in fact, as this Austrian/Swiss co-production turned out an incredibly pleasant surprise. Writer/director David Rühm was present at the festival to introduce his film, and that probably also helped me to appreciate the film even more, because he's a really amiable person and more than obviously a hard-working guy. This is Rühm's first film in 17 years and he explained that he needed this time primarily to gather funds and raise money for this ambitious project. The humor in "Therapy for a Vampire" is almost constant and often very sharp, but it never becomes vulgar or tasteless, and the film never turns into slapstick neither. The basic plot is quite inventive and David Rühm's explanation on how he thought up the idea makes perfect sense. Since they are immortal and forced to live only at night, it must be very difficult for vampires not to get depressed, especially since they cannot even stop and look at themselves in the mirror for a moment of reflection. This is what happens to Count Geza Von Kösznöm in Vienna in the year 1932. He seeks the help of the acclaimed psychiatrist Dr. Sigmund Freud because he's bored with his life and tired of his wife Elsa's nagging that she can't admire her own beauty in the mirror. Freud suggests that his assistant Viktor could paint Elsa's portrait, but then Count Von Kösznöm spots Viktor's girlfriend Lucy and sees in her the reincarnation of his muse Nadilla whom he lost centuries ago. The Counts wants Lucy to become his new bride, but how do you get rid of an immortal wife? Apart from an inventive script and surefooted direction, "Therapy for a Vampire" also benefices from delightful costumes, set-pieces and gore! The make-up effects are delightfully old-fashioned and even the special effects that are generated with the help of computers and modern techniques are admirable. The gimmick of making the world-famous psychiatrist pioneer Sigmund Freud a lead character was a brilliant idea of Mr. Rühm, and there are several more truly original comedy sequences, like for example the vampire lady walking around tipsy after having killed two drunken sailors ("Their blood was full of schnapps!") or Lucy accidentally falling in love with the Count's hideous sidekick Oscar when under hypnosis. "Therapy for a Vampire" isn't the type of film that will make an everlasting impression, or one that will show up in the lists of best genre films of the year, but it's a more than enjoyable horror/comedy and certainly worth an hour and a half of your time!
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