“Why does the doctor always come at night?” It’s just a guess, but maybe he’s one of the children of the night? Join this episode’s Grue Crew – Whitney Collazo, Joseph Perry, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr – as they visit the somnambulistic world of Carl Theodor Dreyer in his underrated classic, Vampyr (1932).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 55 – Vampyr(1932)
A mysterious, somnambulistic young man wanders into a village where a castle owner’s daughters are endangered by an elderly vampire and her associates.– TCM.com
- Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer (as Carl Th. Dreyer)
- Writers: Sheridan Le Fanu (based on a book by) (as J. Sheridan Le Fanu), Christen Jul (screenplay), Carl Theodor Dreyer
- Featured Cast:
- Julian West (Nicolas de Gunzburg) as Allan Grey
- Maurice Schutz as Der Schlossherr (The Lord of the Manor)
- Rena Mandel as Gisèle
- Sybille Schmitz as Léone
- Jan Hieronimko as Der Dorfartz (The Village Doctor)
- Henriette Gérard as Die alte Frau von Friedhof (The Old Woman from the Cemetery, Marguerite Chopin)
- Albert Bras as Der alte Diener (The Old Servant)
- N. Babanini as Seine Frau (His Wife)
- Jane Mora as Die Krankenschwester (The Nurse)
- Georges Boidin as Limping Man
Vampyr is as enigmatic a film as Dreyer is a filmmaker and despite the negative reviews at its release, has become somewhat of an underrated classic. Dreyer expects a lot from the audience so the plot is not an easy story to follow.
Whitney loves the visuals and wants to see it again to gain a better understanding. A film class was Joseph’s first experience with Vampyr and the most memorable scene for him is the death of the village doctor under an ever-growing mound of milled flour. Chad is seriously creeped out by the shadow people along with many other scenes and believes Vampyr is a bonafide horror classic. The extras included on the Criterion Blu-ray of the film gave Jeff a better understanding and Vampyr has rapidly become one of his favorite films. The Grue Crew gives Vampyr an enthusiastic recommendation! Be ready for a relatively opaque story accompanied by a visual feast!
The Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew plan to release a new episode every other week. Hey, where else will you hear podcasts on films ranging from Nosferatu (1922) to Psycho (1960) to Strangler of the Swamp (1946)? The next episode in our very flexible schedule will be Nightmare (1964), a journey into mystery and psychological horror from Hammer Films.
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To each of you from each of us, “Thank you so much for listening!”