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Vampires and ZombiesTranscultural Migrations and Transnational Interpretations$
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Dorothea Fischer-Hornung and Monika Mueller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496804747

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496804747.001.0001

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“Doctor! I’m Losing Blood!” “Nonsense! Your Blood is Right Here”

“Doctor! I’m Losing Blood!” “Nonsense! Your Blood is Right Here”

The Vampirism of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Film Vampyr

(p.191) “Doctor! I’m Losing Blood!” “Nonsense! Your Blood is Right Here”
Vampires and Zombies

Johannes Weber

University Press of Mississippi

This article discusses Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr (1931) within the larger context of the vampire film. While Vampyr is commonly believed to be inspired by J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 tale of a lesbian vampire, “Carmilla,” the film is less an adaptation of this Gothic tale than an appropriation of certain modes of narrative representation surrounding earlier vampires. In the opening credits, the film explicitly names its source: Le Fanu’sIn a Glass Darkly. This collection contains not only “Carmilla,” but four other stories as well. Dreyer uses, “The Room in the Dragon Volant,” as the model for the most iconic sequence in Vampyr in which a man meets his own corpse and faces the horror of being buried alive. Turning the representation of this experience into a depiction of the filmic condition per se, Vampyr goes beyond conventional views of adaptation and negotiates film as itself a vampiric medium.

Keywords:   Carl Theodor Dreyer, Vampyr, Sheridan Le Fanu, “Carmilla”, Vampire film

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