Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why Roman Polanski Deserves Jail Time

I've been surprised at the extent of the outcry about Roman Polanski's arrest in Switzerland and his potential extradition to the United States to face 30 year-old statutory rape charges. The victim in that case, who was 13 at the time but is now a middle-aged woman, apparently does not want him prosecuted further and wishes that she could put it all behind her once and for all. And some of his defenders assert that Polanski has "suffered enough" already.

Putting all of that to one side, I'd like to see him serve at least two hours of jail time to compensate any of us who have unwittingly sat through his 1967 film, "The Fearless Vampire Killers," in which he starred and also directed. The film was billed as a "comedy." (I use the quotation marks advisedly.) But it takes a real "artiste," I suppose, to combine Hammer horror influences with Peter Sellers slapstick and a dash of European sex comedy to produce such a transcendently un-funny melange. It's hard to believe that just a year later Polanski made "Rosemary's Baby," and just a few years after that, "Chinatown."
The trailer for the film begins with the narrator asking the rhetorical question, "Who says vampires are no laughing matter?" You'll be able to answer that if you watch that 2 minute trailer embedded below:

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