• Review: Therapy for a Vampire (2016)

    From Mark R. Leeper@21:1/5 to All on Thu Jun 2 20:10:04 2016
    (a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

    CAPSULE: This is a genuinely funny vampire comedy that
    takes a playful look at its characters and at vampire
    lore. There is lots of visual humor and the film is
    well photographed. Writer-director David Ruhm seems
    to have researched his subject and wrings laughs from
    little-known facets of folklore. Rating:
    high +2 (-4 to +4) or 8/10

    A vampire film sets up a fantasy world where our rules of logic do
    not exist as we think of them. In our world people do not turn
    into bats and fly away. Since the rules of vampires are already
    illogical they are fair game for comics and satirists. We have had
    a number of very funny send-ups of the order of the vampire world.
    The best vampire comedies that come to mind are THE FEARLESS
    IN THE SHADOWS (2014). Fully up to competing with any of these is
    a new comedy from Austria THERAPY FOR A VAMPIRE, a German film with
    English subtitles. The movie is beautifully filmed and genuinely
    funny throughout. Along the way it quite neatly skewers vampire
    folklore. The photography is atmospheric and must be watched
    closely to pick up on all the humor in just the photography. Even
    the shadows join in the fun.

    The setting is Vienna of 1930. (Though it is a parallel Vienna
    with no political unrest.) An unshakable emotional depression has
    the vampire Count von Kozsnom (played by Tobias Moretti) by the
    throat just as he so often has his victims. The Countess Elsa von
    Kozsnom (Jeanette Hain) no longer gives him much pleasure. In
    truth the Count misses the female vampire love of his un-life,

    Meanwhile the Countess Elsa obsesses over the fact that she does
    not know her own face. Vampires do not reflect in mirrors; they do
    not photograph. There is no way the rules of vampiredom allow a
    vampire to see his or her own face. That is a problem not usually
    covered in vampire film. The Count is seeing analyst, Dr. Sigmund
    Freud (Karl Fischer), and Freud suggests that the Countess have her
    portrait painted by a local artist, Viktor (Dominic Oley). Viktor
    has problems with his model Lucy (Cornelia Ivancan). Complicating
    matters, Lucy may just be the current reincarnation of Viktor's

    The film was written and directed by David Ruhm who fills it with
    playful gags, too many to catch on a single viewing. This is a
    film the viewer needs to watch every minute (and subtitles do not
    help the matter). It follows the classic rules of vampires and
    lets them produce the laughs. Shadows on walls subtly refuse to
    behave. Werewolves occasionally pop up for just a flash here and
    there. There is one piece of genuine vampire folklore that never
    seems to have shown up in the films or contemporary prose.
    Vampires in the lore are compulsive counters. Drop a pile of poppy
    seeds in a vampire's path and he will be tied up for hours finding
    and counting seeds. Bram Stoker never mentions it, but this really
    is part of the legends.

    Tobias Moretti is not seen much in the United States, but he has a
    feel for comedy and Like Woody Allen he is blessed with a naturally
    comic face. Here the physiognomy works well and his comedy works.
    One would think that satires of vampire films would have worn
    themselves out by now, but this film does catch the viewer off-
    guard. I rate THERAPY FOR A VAMPIRE high +2 on the -4 to +4 scale
    or 8/10.

    THERAPY FOR A VAMPIRE will open in theaters on June 10th.

    Film Credits: <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3400980/combined>

    What others are saying: <http://tinyurl.com/hre6qva>

    Mark R. Leeper
    Copyright 2016 Mark R. Leeper

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