Therapy for a Vampire (Der Vampir auf der Couch)

In David Rühm's deadpan Therapy for a Vampire, decades of vamp films coalesce into one comedy with a throwback aesthetic, a wry, contemporary humor and notes of screwball in between. But it's still another movie about vampires. Bored Count Geza von Közsnöm (Tobias Moretti) wants out of his 500-year marriage to the Countess (Jeanette Hain), a vampire distraught by her inability to reflect an image in the mirror -- she has come to rely on her husband's perfunctory descriptions of her face. The Count, for his part, wants to "self-reflect" emotionally, so he pays a visit to Freud (Karl Fischer). The good head doctor thinks everything the Count is saying about his never-ending life is symbolic -- the exchange offers some good, cheesy one-liners, like "Life's lost its bite." Freud gets lucky, though, because his new client stumbles upon another couple -- mortal but eternally quarreling -- who can solve all these marital hardships.

Lucy (Cornelia Ivancan) is the spitting image (and maybe reincarnation) of the Count's one true love, and her boyfriend Viktor (Dominic Oley) is a trained painter who could easily capture the Countess' image with a brush. The dynamic of the two couples is the classic push-and-pull of the golden era of screwball comedy, complete with a nosy old neighbor. Rühm depicts the exasperated pairings on a stagy set any German Expressionist filmmaker would envy, but with an eye for horror of the Vincent Price style, framing the Count in gorgeously lit portraiture. The cast is strong, but with vamps there's only so much virgin flesh to sink your teeth into. If What We Do in the Shadows hadn't mined this territory so thoroughly, maybe the jokes would feel fresher.

Credits

Director:

  • David Rühm

Cast:

  • Tobias Moretti
  • Jeanette Hain
  • Cornelia Ivancan
  • Dominic Oley
  • David Bennent
  • Karl Fischer
  • Erni Mangold
  • Lars Rudolph
  • Anatole Taubman

Writer:

  • David Ruehm

Producers:

  • Franz Novotny
  • Alexander Glehr
  • Christof Neracher
  • Christian Davi
  • Thomas Thumena

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