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Posted on June 9, 2016

Therapy for a Vampire: Fantasy and Feminism


NR   |   87 min   |   David Rühm |   Austria   |   2014

While it’s touted as horror-comedy, Therapy for a Vampire is neither horrifying nor laugh-out-loud funny, although it certainly has moments of more subtle humor. The film is, however, a visually beautiful invocation of the classic horror tradition and a provocative exploration of the role of art and fantasy in both human and vampire lives.

1. Therapy, V painting, opening

Therapy is set in 1932 Vienna and centers on two couples—one human and one vampire—whose lives meet in the office of Dr. Sigmund Freud (Karl Fischer). Aspiring artist, Viktor (Dominic Oley), works for Freud, drawing his patients’ dreams. The problem is that every time Viktor draws a woman, he draws the same woman—his girlfriend, Lucy (Cornelia Ivancan), except in his renderings her hair is always long and blonde (not dark and in a bun) and she wears make-up (when in actuality she never does) and a skirt (not trousers). Lucy is an independent woman whom Viktor tries to turn into someone else every chance he gets. Read more

Posted on June 22, 2015

Coded Queerness in Dracula’s Daughter (1936)


Last week we took a look at how the Legion of Decency’s strict moral code caused horror filmmakers to get creative in their depictions of  queerness. This week we are looking at how coding in a film works. Dracula’s Daughter (1936) traces the struggle of Hungarian Countess Marya Zaleska who, upon learning of the death of her father Count Dracula, believes the curse of her being a vampire will be lifted. When her hope is not fulfilled, she enlists the assistance of psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Garth whom she believes has the power to cure her. When his help too proves ineffectual, Marya flees to Transylvania intent on turning Garth into a vampire and her everlasting companion. As noted by film historians, Dracula’s Daughter contains a number of scenes in which a lesbian subtext is evident.

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