The second film that Sharon Tate filmed was the comedy horror movie “The Fearless Vampire Killers”, directed by Tate’s future husband Roman Polanski (“Rosemary’s Baby”, “Repulsion”).
Set in 19th century Transylvania, the film opens with the elderly Professor Abronsius (Jack MacGowran – “The Exorcist”, “Doctor Zhivago”) and his shy and bumbling apprentice Alfred (played by Polanski) travelling through a snowy landscape to a small town on a search for vampires.
Arriving at a tavern run by Shagal (Alfie Bass – “Up The Junction”, “The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins”) Abronsius notices lots of cloves of garlic strung around, whilst he is being thawed out, and the locals acting more than a little strangely.
Later Alfred meets Shagal’s daughter Sarah (Sharon Tate – “Eye Of The Devil”) and is instantly smitten. However he then witnesses her being taken by Count von Krolock (Ferdy Mayne – “When Eight Bells Toll”, “The Vampire Lovers”) leading Abronsius and Alfred to follow the trail to Krolock’s castle in the nearby hills…
Although billed as a horror comedy , and it is amusing, unfortunately the laughs are rather thin on the ground. As an aside, I do think that Professor Abronsius looks rather like the dentist with the melting face as portrayed by Peter Sellers in “The Pink Panther Strikes Again”!
Tate isn’t given a whole lot to do here, in truth, but makes the most of what she is required to do and looks suitably alluring for any lurking vampire bats that may be around.
The film is beautifully filmed, the costumes are great and the characters all hit the spot so it’s not a complete write off, but not essential viewing…