Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fantasia International Film Festival Review: THERAPY FOR A VAMPIRE


Director and Writer: David Rühm.
Cast: Tobias Moretti
, Jeanette Hain, 
Cornelia Ivancan, Dominic Oley, and Karl Fisher.

You have to hand it to the vampire subgenre; it has managed to survive the assault on its mythos perpetuated by the TWILIGHT saga. There's been some really outstanding vampire movies released in the years since the end of that franchise including ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE and WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS. And now we have, THERAPY FOR A VAMPIRE, another movie riffing on old vampire tropes.

The movie mainly deals with the Count Von Közsnöm's vampire mid-life crisis as he realizes that he is not happy in his marriage and has grown bored with his eternal life. His wife is now longer attractive to him, and he doesn't even go and hunt for blood any more! He has his servant go and get it for him. To try to deal with this crisis, he turns to no other than Sigmund Freud for assistance in the matter, leading to some hilarious misunderstandings.

Freud, meanwhile, is seeing a patient, Viktor (Oley), a painter plagued with strange and macabre dreams. He also paints his gorgeous brunette girlfriend Lucy (Ivancan) as a blonde for some weird and unknown reason. Then Count realizes that Lucy reminds him of his first, true love who was decapitated hundreds of years back. Then there's also the Countess Elsa whose big dilemma comes from not remembering what she looks like and her attempts at trying to get a portrait painted. When all of these plot lines intersect, very bloody hijinks ensue.

To start off, this is a funny movie with a dry sense of humor. The majority of the humor comes from some rather excessive violence and the relationships between the five main characters. The plot mostly centers around the Count's attempts at resurrecting his love, Nadilla, by convincing Lucy to voluntary want to be bitten. 

There is a lot of humor being mined by the two main vampires, still move freakishly fast and seemingly teleport around a room much to the surprise of the humans. Then there's the bufoon-like portrayal of Freud, who plays a relatively minor role but ties everyone together. 

The part where the movie gets interesting is where it apparently becomes an allegory about women and their autonomy in a relationship. Lucy's frustration at Viktor mostly stems from his overall idiocy, but more specifically about the fact that despite being a talented painter, he will always paint her as having blonde hair. 

Throughout the movie she struggles as these men try to tell her she is something or someone that she isn't, and it's the source of much frustration for her. She is who she is and she's fierce about it. 

Overall, this is a fun movie. It's interesting to note that while there is a lot of comedy in here, it is dealing with a lot of rather serious issues and manages to mix those two aspects well. Also, this film is another in a series of movies that are exploring the downside and frustration of being immortal as a vampire and what that does to a person. As it stands this is a fine entry into the genre. 

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