Tale of a Vampire (1992) - full transcript

Condemned to life without end, and to an undying passion for a lost love he can never find, a vampire stalks a beautiful young woman.


NARRATOR: It was many
and many a year ago

in a kingdom
by the sea

that a maiden
there lived

whom you may know

by the name
of Annabel Lee.



You needn't worry.

He wouldn't have suffered.










WOMAN: Alex.


-REPORTER: It's 5:00.

This is the XFM news.

Another body
has been found

in the River Thames today.

This is the third
unidentified body to be
recovered from the river

since the beginning
of this month.



Alex, this is what
you wanted, I believe.

Sorry it took so long,

but we're very short-staffed,

and it took a great deal
of persuading

for the archive
to let it go.

Thank you, Denise.

That's very kind of you
to go to so much trouble.

The book's reference only,
I'm afraid.

I'll leave you
to it, then.



DENISE: Going already?


See you tomorrow, then.



Got a fag, guv?

You're a pal.


MAN: Mmm.

Here. Got another?


Thanks, pal.





Sorry to have
kept you waiting.

I heard you, but I was
on the phone.

Now, can I help you
in any way?

I received this
this morning,

telling me to come
for an interview.

When did you say
you got this?

This morning. It says
to come today at 5:00.

Yes, I see that,
only I don't remember
sending it.

So there isn't
a job vacancy?

Well, yes,
there is, actually.

I was about
to put in an ad,

only I haven't
got round to it yet.

It's most odd.

Still, now you are here,

you'd better
come and sit down
and have a chat.

We are terribly

I suppose head office
must've sent this out.

Either that,
or I'm getting

even more forgetful
than I thought.

It's overwork, you know.

Actually, I'm terribly
glad to see you.

I've been on my own
for over a month now

and it's far too much for
a single member of staff.

Excuse me, Denise.

I'm sorry
to bother you again,

but I need
the manuscripts relating

to the fifth century
Alexandria riots.

I could photocopy
what I need,

and let you have them
back immediately.

Do you need it

I do rather.

Okay, I'll go
and make a phone call.

Do you mind
hanging on for a moment?




I'll have 20
of the usual, please.



Can you take that back?

♪ Boys and girls
come out to play

♪ Moon is shining
bright as day

♪ Leave your supper
and leave your sleep

♪ Join your playfellows
in the street ♪



Ready for a break?

There's coffee
and a kettle in the office,

or tea if you prefer it.

ANNE: I wouldn't mind.

Come on.

How you getting on?

Uh, it's a bit
strange at first,

but I'm getting
used to it.

It's your first day.

It takes time to learn
all the different sections.

I've had some assistants
who never lasted it, but,

you're not gonna be
one of those.

No, I hope not.

One of the things
you do have to
watch out for

are some of the regulars.

One or two of them
can be a bit of a handful.

Not the genuine

but those who
take up residence

because they have
nowhere else to go.

Like the magazine man.

he's one of them.

He just doesn't want
anyone else to touch
his magazines.

-DENISE: Otherwise
he's harmless.

He used to be quite
a scholar in his time,
I believe.

At least I know he won't
disturb the people
with real work to do.

Uh, thank you.

[WHISPERS] Thank you.

DENISE: Alex, for example.

Now, he's a real scholar.

He's writing a thesis
about religious martyrs.

People who were
burned at the stake,
that sort of thing.

This is an unusual place.


That's why we attract
people like Alex.

He's always so appreciative
of what we do for him.

Still, not everyone
can be like that.

In a way, I like to think
of as a sort of, um,


All the individual members

with their own little foibles
to be catered for.


I suppose you think
that's foolish.

No, no, not at all.

There should be
room for everyone.

Um, perhaps,
we should be
getting back to work.

You're right.

Duty calls.


ALEX: Do you like Forneret?

Do you know him?

Poet, novelist,

early precursor
of surrealism, French.

That's right.

You know,

you're only the second
person I've met

who's even heard
of Forneret in England,
let alone read him.

It's not your chosen
subject, though, is it?

One of my favorite poems
by Forneret

is Un Pauvre Honteux.
Do you know it?

It's about a starving man
who eats his own hand.

Yes, I know it.

I had a friend who
loved its quirkiness.

You have
very nice hands.

You don't like
being touched?

I do. It's reassuring.

I can be sure that
the person's there.

Now, give me your hand.


I can read palms.

I don't believe
in all that.

Then don't.

Let's see.

You'll live a long life.
That's for sure.

At least 80.

That's good to know.

You have the temperament
of an artist.

Probably don't
have any trouble
finding admirers.

For a scholar,
you tend to be

dangerously untidy
in certain things.

You may lose something
very precious to you.

If that happens,
you'll never be able
to find it again,

so just forget about it.

How many men have you
seduced in this way?

I think
I'd better be going.





MAN: Oi.

You fucking bastard.





What are you doing here?

GIRL: I've lost my way.

And what's your name?





♪ Leave your supper
and leave your sleep

♪ And join your playfellows
in the street

♪ Come with a rope
and come with a cord

♪ And come away through it
and over it all

♪ Up the ladder
and down the wall

♪ A penny loaf
will feed us all

♪ Boys and girls
come out to play

♪ The moon is shining
as bright as day

♪ Leave your supper
and leave your sleep ♪


[GASPS] God!
You scared me.

I'm sorry.

I've been
looking for you.

For me?

Why, what do you want?

I want to give you

A present.

For me?


It's beautiful, isn't it?

Yes, yes.

Yes, it is.


I'll get back
to my studies, then.


I should never
have trusted the forecast.

I could have told you.

The smell was
becoming unbearable.

You smell rain?


Will you come
for coffee with me?

No, thank you.
I want to get home.

I need
an early night.

Then take this.

What about you?

I don't mind.

You'll get soaked.
You'll catch a cold.

I won't.

You could...
walk me home.

Then I will.

Will you?

I hope it's not
too out of your way.

It isn't.


This is it.

I'll be on my way, then.

MAN: Got a fag, guv?





Don't hurt me.

I didn't see nothing.

Don't hurt me.

Why are you
afraid of me?

I gave you cigarettes.

Don't you remember?




VIRGINIA: Thank you,
thank you, dear Alex.

ALEX: Are you happy now?

VIRGINIA: You always know
just what I want.

ALEX: I mean, your marriage.

VIRGINIA: That won't
make a difference.

Besides, I'm sure Edgar
will find you most agreeable.

ALEX: Will he?

VIRGINIA: How could he not?

Nothing can ever
separate us...

forever and ever.


I've promised.

ALEX: Forever and ever.

MAN: You must have been
very deeply in love.

I see you come here
almost every day.

You work at
the Foster Library,
don't you?


Are you happy
in your new job?

There is something
exquisitely satisfying

standing here
amongst the dead

on a beautiful morning.

I've never looked
at it that way.

MAN: Perhaps it's
an acquired taste.

Well, I'd better
be off to work.

Maybe I'll see you
at the library later.

Can I help you?

MAN: About that girl
by those shelves
over there...


She's our new assistant.

MAN: What do you think?

Isn't she remarkable?

Yes. I'm very glad
she came.

Hello, Denise.

Hello, Alex.

Are you all right?

Yes, I'm fine,
thank you.



The body of a man
was found today

on Dean Street
in London's Soho.

He was
the principal witness

in the brutal murder of a man
and a five-year-old girl.

The police have
doubled their efforts

to hunt
for the murderer

who they suspect
may be responsible

for both of the killings.

It's 9:15.
Back to the music.

-This is the new one from...


ANNE: Oh, it's you.


Can I come in?

ANNE: Yeah, sure.

There's a power cut.

ALEX: So I see.

It's very nice here.

It's all right.

Sit down.

Can I get you tea
or coffee?

Am I disturbing you?


It's good to see you.

Then I'll have
whatever you're having.

Vodka, then.

Vodka's fine.


Who's he?

A friend.

What's he like?

He's dead.

I'm sorry.

Do you miss him?


What about you?

Do you have someone?

I did,
a long time ago.

You said that once before,
"A long time ago."

It makes you sound
like an old man.

What happened?

Like you,

I lost her.

But I think about her
all the time.

I want to be
forgotten completely

when I die.

I want all trace
of my existence

to be completely
wiped out.

Just one
of my romantic ideas.

There are some things

that cannot
be destroyed.

Are you talking
about love?


That passes.

A year or two of grieving,
and you're over it.

This is what matters...





It's so good.









[WHISPERS] I love you.

You must believe me.

I really do.

ANNE: Alex.

I must go.


[WHIMPERING] Virginia.

Where are you, Virginia?


You've used
your magic again.

I thought
you weren't coming.

We made a vow.

You're not hurt?

Were you able
to get enough blood?

I managed.

Were you lonely,
my love?

I thought of you





you must choose now.

There is not much time.

You can die
a human death

or live on forever
as an immortal beast.

I don't want to die.

I'm afraid.

I cannot bear
for you to forget me.

I want you never
to stop thinking about me.

Then you will
come with me?

Yes, Alex, I will.

I will live with you
forever and ever.

Oh, Virginia.

Drink, Virginia,

for this is your blood.

Good girl, Virginia.

Good girl.



Where are you, Virginia?



Alex hasn't come today.

I hope he's all right.

I've got the book
he wanted.

He's been asking
for it urgently.

I expect he'll
be in tomorrow.

I suppose it can
wait till then.


Excuse me.

Could you possibly
give it back to him?

I'm sorry,
but he does get
so distressed.

If you come over
to the magazine rack,

I'm sure I could
find you something
equally good.

Thank you, but this
is what I want.

I shan't be a moment.

I wouldn't ask

if it wasn't serious.

This is a public library.


I said
I wouldn't be long.

I know who you are.

I've seen
your picture somewhere.

I'm sorry. I don't wish
to disturb your work.

Attending to people
is part of my work.

What can I do for you?

Forgive me,

but I hate to see you
looking low.

You had seemed
much more cheerful of late.

I'm fine, thank you.

It isn't
any of my business,

but it's such an intimate
little world in here

that one can't help
noticing people.

It isn't perhaps
anything to do

with that charming
young man

not being here today?

Of course not.

But you know
who I mean?

Yes, I think so.

In my opinion,

he needs the friendship

of a strong young woman
like yourself.

Something vulnerable
about him.

Do you always
concern yourself

with other people
this way?

Obviously, some people
are far more interesting
than others.

Well, as you say,

none of this is really
any of your business.

You're right. It isn't.
It isn't at all.

I'm holding you up.

It's all right.

I'm not terribly busy
at present.

Do you know him?

Alex, I mean.

I have the feeling
we met once,

some time ago in France.

Oh, I see.

Look, what about
a spot of dinner

to show you're
not angry with me?

I don't think so.
Thank you.

When was the last time
you went out to dinner?

-I can't remember.
-There you are.

It would do you
good and give me
the greatest pleasure.

-You're very persuasive.
-I hope so.

All right, then,
but only a quick dinner.

I don't want to
be home late.



We're closing now.

I said we are closing.


"Quails with cherries."

What are they like?

Cailles aux cerises.
They are delicious!

Would you like
to try them?

Okay, never
had them before.

To start, I can recommend
tripes de noisette.

I think the cailles
will be plenty, thank you.

And to drink,
a nice claret?


The cailles,
a green salad,

a bottle of Chateau Lafite.

Very good, sir.


Do you come here often?

When I'm in London.

It's quiet.

The food is excellent.

What do you do?


I mean, what's
your profession?

I'm a writer.


Should I have
heard of you?

Have you been
published much?

Quite a lot.

I have to say, though,
that in all my travels,

I've rarely come
across a library

as fascinating as yours.

You're very lucky
to be working there.

Yes, I suppose I am.

I'd never heard
of it before.

I just needed a job.
And it came up, so I took it.

But you're glad now?

Yes, I am.

Fate often leads us
in the right direction.


Are you studying
those things?

Mysticism and occult?

Well, they interest me
a great deal.

Vampires especially.


But I suppose you
haven't much tolerance

for such superstitious

Well, certainly
if you think it's nonsense,

it hardly seems
a subject worth pursuing.

Oh, no.
I was thinking

how the ignorant

and uninformed masses
would take it.

But you know better?


As a matter of fact,

it is my sworn belief
that vampires,

mythical and metaphorical
beings that they are,

have by now turned
into an everyday reality.

I've traveled far and wide
in search of evidence,

and my studies
have led me to believe

that the most concrete
and substantial evidence

yet to be found
on the subject
is here in London.

ANNE: That's very interesting.
If you need the services

of our library,
I'll be happy to help.

I thank you.

I'm sure that if I could
enlist your help,

my problems would
vanish instantly.

In truth, however, I'm pursuing
a slightly different line
of inquiry at the moment.

ANNE: What's that?

A minor dramatic work
of American origins.

It's a highly poignant
and tragic love story.

Are you in love
with Alex?

I don't think that's
any of your business.

No, you're right.
I'm concerned for you.

I want us to be friends.

Well, I'm here,
aren't I?

Yes, and I'm delighted
to have your company.

Perhaps I should explain.

I did know Alex once.

It was a long time ago.

We had some sort of...


I heard since

that he had
an unfortunate accident.

Lost his girlfriend.

I don't see what this
has got to do with me.

EDGAR: Well, I was wondering

if you would
do something for me?

Like what?

I want to send him a gift,

a token gesture

of renewed friendship.

Perhaps you will

take it to him.

I presume you know
where he lives.

I'm sorry.

But I really don't see
why you think

this has got anything
to do with me.

Bon appetit.




[GASPING] You go.
I can't run anymore!

You must, Virginia.
I'll help you.

-I can't.


-I'll head them off.

You stay here and find
a place to hide.

I'll come back and find you
when they've gone.

-Now, listen.

I didn't kill him,

that villager.

You didn't?
Well, then, who?

I don't know.

Somebody else like us.




-You will come back?
-Of course.

They mustn't get you.

They won't.


I promise.










-Come here. Here we are.

Come here.

Oh, hello.

MAN: It's time, Virginia.

Why? You promised.



ANNE: Alex!

What are you doing here?



I've missed you so much.


are you all right?


Come on. Sit down.

Is that better?

What happened
to you tonight?

I promised Virginia once

that I would always
be with her.

You can't feel guilty

about a promise made
to the dead.

She's alive!


She's somewhere suffering...

and there's nothing
I can do to ease her pain.

Her pain.

No one can take away
another's pain.

No one can do that
for anyone.

But we can

comfort one another a little.



The old man's died.

I've just been informed
on the phone.

Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.


Oh, if Alex comes in,
don't forget to tell him
about his books.

They're due back
at the archives soon.

-He's here again.

Him, the man in the hat.

Don't trust him an inch!

Good afternoon.

I wonder what she's
got against me.


Well, this
is a splendid development.


This calls for a celebration.

We'll go and have a drink.

I haven't got a clue
what you're talking about.

Besides, I've got
work to do.

Make an excuse.

It's almost closing time.

There's things
I need to tell you.

I'd really like
to get on with my work,

If you don't mind.

Look, I can see what
he did to you last night.

You want to know
how I know?

Come and have
a drink with me.

You'll regret it
if you don't.

I think you should
be told of his secret.

What secret?

Will you come?

All right.

I'll go and tell Denise.
I'll meet you outside.

I'll be waiting.

ANNE: You said you know
Alex's secret.

Are you sure
you really want to know?

It's what I'm here for,
isn't it?

Sometimes the truth
isn't always so pleasant.

I'd rather face the truth

than wallow in deception.

He will destroy you.

He cannot help it.

It is his nature.

Is that all?

[CHUCKLES] You think
that's nothing?

It's more of a judgment
than a secret...

Your judgment.

What I'm saying
is a fact,

something so loathsome,

I doubt it can
be assimilated

by a confident
little schoolgirl's
mind like yours.

Go on.

He lives by blood.

It feeds

and nurtures him.

To kill is the greatest

sensual delight he knows.

We call such beings


That is the man
you think you love.

It is the truth,

I assure you.

Such beings as Alex

inhabit the valley
of unrest,

between life and death,

and they devour the living

in a vain attempt

to assuage their hunger,

the emptiness and horrors

of everlasting life.

He will devour you.

That is what the vampire
calls love.

I don't believe you.

I don't believe a word
you're saying.

MAN: Why did you
come here then?

Isn't it because you, yourself,

entertain some doubt

about what Alex is

and what he does?

Tell me...

What did he do
to you last night?

A love bite?

But I have other proofs.

Would you like
to see them?

This is a diary

written by a 19th century
American woman,

Virginia Clem.

It records
her correspondence with Alex.

Here, see this signature,

"Always yours, Alex,"

and there,

"5th of February, 1846."

Read all of them.

1827 to 1846.

Quite a little archive.

How do I know
these are genuine?

Take them to an expert.
Have them authenticated.

The library will
know someone.

You recognize...

the handwriting,
of course.

Quite distinct.

And then...

there is this.

The work
of Julia Margaret Cameron

is very highly regarded
these days, I believe.

You must admit,it's a remarkable resemblance...

to you, I mean.

I have to be going now.

But we've only
just started,

and there's something else.

All these unsolved murders.

Many of them look to me

to be the work
of a vampire.

You cannot escape
from the truth.

Hello, Denise.

It's Anne.

I woke up this morning
feeling terrible.

Yeah. Do you mind?

No. I'll just stay
in bed and rest.

I'll be all right.

Thank you.










-ALEX: Go on.




I will make it easy for you.

I never thought
you would follow me here.

You have more courage
than I believed.

You're a vampire,
aren't you?

If you want
to call it that.

You kill people...

for their blood.


Will I become one, too?


It's not that easy.

Why me?

Because I look
like her?

I'm sorry.

I'm going to kill you.

I can't.

You would be doing me
a great service.

Do you want to die?

Why don't you
kill yourself?

It's no use.

You mean
you don't die?

Not as far as I know,

but you can try.

If anyone can do it,
it's you.

How do you expect me
to do it,

just kill in cold blood?

Remember, I'm not
strictly human.


The things that
cannot be destroyed...

You were talking
about yourself then.


This is very funny.

Take me.

I'll be another
Virginia for you.

Make me
into a vampire.


I want to be with you!

I can't.

I've made
this mistake before.



Forgive me
dropping in so late.

There's something
I need to tell you.

ANNE: You've told me
enough already.
It's finished.

Oh, no.

It's just started.



Alex. You've left it
a bit late this evening.

Where's Anne?

She isn't in today.
She called in sick.

I've been trying
to get her on the phone,

but I get
the answering machine
every time.

I suppose she's just not
up to taking calls.

Is anything wrong?

I hope not.



EDGAR: I've longed
to see your face

like this, Alex.


The man had killed

the things she loved,

so he had to die.

Poor Alex,
you can't die, can you?

You are immortal.

We both are.

I'm so glad
to see you

after all these years.

I haven't introduced
myself yet.

I am Virginia's husband...


Virginia made you
a vampire.


Where is she?

Locked in a lead coffin,

deep at the bottom
of the North Sea,

where it is
forever cold,

and no moonlight
ever reaches her.

She has been there
a century.

She will be there
till the end of time.


Alex, have I bored you...

so much?



You're brilliant.

So were you, Anne.

I haven't forgotten you.

You were delightful.

I can't tell you
how much you remind me

of my beloved wife Virginia.

She'd been made perfect
in loveliness

for the single purpose
of attaining death.

Unfortunately for her,

she did not die.

She dared to betray
my high ideals.

I had to punish her.

Oh, you...

You thoughtless, Virginia.

And, Alex...



Anne! Anne.









NARRATOR: For the moon
never beams

without bringing me dreams

of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

And the stars never rise,

but I feel
the bright eyes

of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

And so all the night tide

I lie down
by the side

of my darling,
my darling,

my life and my bride.

In the sepulcher

there by the sea...

In her tomb

by the sounding sea.