Is Hamlet a vampire?
January 21, 2009
Vampires, William Shakespeare, and the quest for the Holy Grail. These are not generally found in the same genre, let alone the same sentence. So what do they all have in common? In the Jordan Galland film, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead," they are all part of a 2,000-year-old conspiracy in which Hamlet is a vampire and the Holy Grail is the antidote to the undead.
This 2009 Slamdance feature is an interesting and refreshing vampire tale based on, as Galland calls it, a Shakespiracy. In the film, Julian Marsh (Jake Hoffman) is out of work and finally lands a job directing a modern adaptation of Hamlet, only to find that the writer and star of the play is the master vampire, Theo Horrace (John Ventimiglia).
Julian soon discovers that he must find the Holy Grail to reverse the vampire’s curse before his whole cast becomes "undead."
The film’s inspiration comes from various theories, or Shakespiracies, surrounding the truth of Shakespeare’s writing. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two characters in "Hamlet" rumored to represent the Holy Grail’s location. Some suggest that the names are representative of the "Rose Cross" and the "Golden Stone," both considered symbols of the grail.
Furthering the connection between the three topics, another Shakespiracy suggests Hamlet is a vampire. The proof, they say, can be found in his soliloquy in act III, scene II, "Tis now the very witching time of night Now I could drink hot blood."
Whether or not these theories can ever be proven true, they do offer an interesting background for Galland’s film. For more Shakespiracies, go to http://www.shakespiracy.blogspot.com .
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In an interview, Galland, points out that since "Dracula" premiered in 1931, "each vampire movie creates a new rule" regarding vampire behavior; whether it is an allergy to garlic, the inability to be in the sunlight, or super-human strength. This film not only introduces a new set of vampire rules, but does it in combination with new rules regarding other classic folklore.
For showtimes and tickets visit http://www.slamdance.com .