When Anne (Suzanna Hamilton) gets a job at the library, she is immediately attracted to the quiet and studious Alex (Julian Sands) and he to her. Alex claims to be a scholar who is at the library to do research on “religious martyrs” but Anne cannot escape the feeling that she has known him before. What Anne does not immediately realize is that Alex is a vampire and that she was set up with a job at the library through the machination of Edgar (Kenneth Cranham), another vampire who claims to be a doctor. Once, Edgar and Alex were both in love with the same woman, the beautiful Virginia. After circumstances led to Virginia being taken away from both men, Edgar dedicated the rest of his vampiric existence to making Alex miserable. Anne, who looks exactly like Virginia and may even be the reincarnated version of her, is a pawn in Edgar’s latest scheme. When Alex and Anne start to fall in love with each other, Edgar’s plan leads to tragedy.
Tale of the Vampire is an unjustly obscure vampire film from the early 90s. It used to play frequently on late night Cinemax, where it was advertised as just being another sex-fueled horror film but actually, Tale of the Vampire is a moody and contemplative art film. The focus is on Alex’s feelings of guilt and his fear of hurting Anne in the same way that Virginia was hurt while Anne has to decide how far she is willing to go to be with Alex. All three of the main actors give good performances, with Cranham nearly stealing the show as someone whose actual identity will become obvious after repeat viewings. Tale of the Vampire has never gotten the attention that it deserves and it’s not an easy film to find but I recommend it.