It's a typical scene from a typical horror film: a vampire romances his unwilling victim before finally attacking them, leading to a chase sequence. Except in Roman Polanski's The Fearless Vampire Killers, the vampire is gay, the "damsel" is also the ostensible hero (and male), and the chase sequence involves slick floors that cause both pursuer and pursued to slide crazily as they run.
Another director might play up the slapstick of the sequence with exaggerated angles and silly sound effects. Polanski avoids such clichés, pointing his camera as a documentarian would, observing the behavior of comedy in the wild. There is an implicit acknowledgement that, yes, this is humor we're watching, but Polanski refuses to cajole us into accepting it as funny. That is our own decision to make.(read more...)