or, Dance of the Vampires
1967 horror comedy
Plot: A pair of clumsy vampire hunters travel to Transylvania in search of vampire hearts to hammer some wooden stakes into. They stop at an inn because Professor Abronsius needs thawing, and Alfred, his young assistant meets and falls for the beautiful red-headed daughter of the innkeeper. She's swiped by a vampire while bathing, however. Oh, snap! Can the professor and Alfred get to the castle and save her in time?
I'd only known Sharon Tate as a name. I'm not going to claim that she's the greatest actress who ever lived or anything, but there sure was something appealing about her. There is a lot to see in this movie. The cinematography is often stunning, the settings are sensual, and the quirky goings-on in the backgrounds force your eyes to examine every inch of the screen to suck it all in. But despite the gorgeous imagery, my eyes were a little angry every time Sharon Tate wasn't on the screen. But my eyes needed to calm down since most of her scenes seemed to take place in bathtubs. This is an unusual movie, a sometimes baffling movie. Unfortunately (I guess), it's neither scary or funny, and you'd figure that a "horror comedy" would be at least one of those. But there are enough of those How's-Polanski-Doing-That? moments to make it not really matter. I did have a lot of trouble understanding the actors, especially the Jack MacGowran who at times looked like Dana Carvey doing some failed Saturday Night Live character. And after a bit, I really stopped caring about the plot so that I could focus on Sharon Tate and the way Polanski weaves his camera through the gray corridors of this really cool castle. There are some really cool mirror tricks, and a great vampire ball scene where the vampires are all gray, like they've been borrowed from a Roy Andersson movie. Seeing them mingle with the still-human characters in an ornate ballroom was a nifty effect. Cool vampire flick! It does have too many names though.