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The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)

tomatometer

66

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 29
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 10

This uneven but amiable 1967 vampire picture is part horror spoof, part central European epic, and 100 percent Roman Polanski, whose signature sensibility colors every frame.

40

Average Rating: 4.4/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 3

This uneven but amiable 1967 vampire picture is part horror spoof, part central European epic, and 100 percent Roman Polanski, whose signature sensibility colors every frame.

audience

77

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 11,780

My Rating

Movie Info

A pair of bumbling vampire-hunters attempts to destroy an undead nobleman and his cronies and rescue a buxom maiden in actor/director Roman Polanski's playful update of the venerable vampire genre. Bat expert and vampire obsessive Professor Abronsius (Jack MacGowran) barely survives his journey through the Alps into snowy Slovenia to continue his oft-maligned research into the undead. Thawed out by his hapless assistant, Alfred (Polanski), and the frisky local innkeeper, Shagal (Alfie Bass),

Oct 5, 2004

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All Critics (29) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (10) | DVD (11)

Ferdy Mayne is the menacing Dracula, and Sharon Tate, lady in question, looks particularly nice in her bath.

October 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film amiably runs through all the standbys associated with vampire movies, putting a personal and goofy spin on most of them.

October 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nobody laughed.

June 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comment (1)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Messy vampire spoof-cum-homage to Hammer, which doesn't really come off on either count.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

He was evidently only trying to make fun of horror films, forgetting that horror films, played straight, are now more often funny -- unconsciously to -- than horrible.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Shot in the Italian Alps, the cinematography is striking.

October 19, 2009 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Comment (1)
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Funny and scary, this is vintage Polanski.

October 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Infectiously silly vampire farce that's a lot more elegant than it had to be.

April 9, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Has its few garlicky moments of delight.

October 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Early Polanski is a treat.

April 15, 2005
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

An elaborate letdown.

December 16, 2004

Polanski rarely indulged in his taste for overwrought slapstick, but here it is.

November 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Really not as bad as the title; it IS Polanski

October 23, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Sporadically inspired.

April 9, 2004 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY
eye WEEKLY

Macabre, jet-black comedy with Polanski's unique sensibility in evidence in abundance.

March 17, 2004
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Alternando momentos de humor com outros mais tensos, esta paródia das produções da Hammer conta com ótima direção de arte, excepcional trilha sonora de Komeda, a beleza de Tate, o assustador vampiro de Mayne e direção surpreendente de Polanski.

July 29, 2003
Cinema em Cena

Benefiting from Polanski's skewed vision, the film takes on a quality of comic weirdness rarely present in Hammer's contemporary output.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

A moon-drenched eastern European fairy tale perfectly rendered onto film.

November 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

An affectionate parody of the Hammer horror films we all know and love from late-night TV.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Edinburgh U Film Society
Edinburgh U Film Society

redeemed by the movie's macabre silliness and folkloric atmosphere

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Audience Reviews for The Fearless Vampire Killers

Polanski's vampire comedy is hilarious and cute. Polanski plays the sidekick in the movie, and he's a really good actor too. I really liked this movie, he has such a cool style and the story and characters are so funny. If you love vampire movies I highly recommend this one.
December 9, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

I really don't understand why Roman Polanski ever decided to make a vampire movie in this fashion. You'd think that with all of his mastery in suspense, he would produce a truly terrifying film. However, the result is little more than cheap physical comedy and corny dialogue. I would say that I blame that more on the writing, but it's not excusable from such an amazing director. Truly my least favorite Polanski film.
January 1, 2010
ythelastman89

Super Reviewer

The comedy here seems to be more farce than humour (personally I didn't find it funny) but you can see which staples of the vampire film has been subverted or used for farce, especially if you've seen a lot of old horror films. The way it is shot also contributes to this.
January 11, 2008
newvogueravyn

Super Reviewer

Imagine a Hammer Horror version of Scooby Doo written & Directed by Roman Polanski

Did I mention Sharon Tate?

Yaozaa!
December 11, 2007
kenstachnik

Super Reviewer

Movies Like The Fearless Vampire Killers

    1. Shagal: [a young woman tries to fend off Shagail, a Jewish Vampire, with a cross] Oy vey, have you got the wrong vampire.
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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Foreign Titles

  • Tanz der Vampire (DE)
  • Dance of the Vampires (UK)
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