Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Vampyr

(vt Castle of Doom US; vt Not Against the Flesh; vt The Strange Adventure of David Gray; vt Der Traum des Allan Grey; vt Der Traum des David Gray; vt Vampyr, ou l'Étrange Aventure de David Gray) German/French movie (1932). Tobis Klangfilm/Carl Dreyer. Pr Carl Th. Dreyer. Dir Dreyer. Screenplay Dreyer, Christen Jul. Based on "Carmilla" (1871-1872) by J Sheridan Le Fanu. Starring N Babanini, Albert Bras, Henriette Gerard (Marguerite Chopin), Jan Hieronimko, Rena Mandel (Giséle), Sybille Schmitz (Léone), Maurice Schutz, Julian West (Grey/Gray). 83 mins; most extant versions about 68 mins. B/w.

Beautiful, moody, surreal, atmospheric and largely incomprehensible Vampire-Movie classic. A young Englishman, Allan Grey or David Gray, arrives in an inn in a French village. There he falls asleep and presumably Dreams the rest of the movie. The plot is extremely complex and fails to hang together: Dreyer was aiming less at narrative tension than at the creation of a shift of Perception in his audience; in an explanation, he noted how one's perceptions of a room (the lighting, etc.) change instantly if one is told there is a corpse hidden behind the door, and that he wanted to create the same effect on film. At the time, the Danish movie industry was in recession. He obtained private funding for V from Baron Nicholas de Gunzberg in exchange for de Gunzberg starring (as "Julian West"); oddly, the baron's performance is excellent. [JG]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.