Most of director Roman Polanski's films are thrillers with a bleak overall tone, such as Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown. However, he did direct a comedy, although it's a pretty dark film: The 1967 movie The Fearless Vampire Killers. It's a parody of Hammer horror films, although I didn't find it as funny as I'd hoped when I finally saw it last year. Polanski not only co-wrote and directed the movie, he has one of the lead roles as Alfred, the young man enlisted by Professor Abronsius (Jack McGowan) to investigate the possibility of vampires in the small Transylvanian village they're visiting. In the above photo, Alfred is quite taken by one of the innkeeper's daughters, played by Sharon Tate. Life imitates art: Polanski and Tate fell for one another during the filming of The Fearless Vampire Killers, and were married a year later.

And it was on this day in 1969 that then-pregnant Sharon Tate and several of her friends were brutally murdered in her home by a group of Charles Manson's followers. It's difficult to watch her in films, particularly alongside Polanski in The Fearless Vampire Killers, and not remember. Perhaps that's one reason why I didn't find the film all that hilarious. The film is available on DVD, so you can rent it and decide for yourself.
categories Features, Cinematical