BOOTLEG FILES 759: “Castle of Doom” (mid-1930s re-edited version of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s “Vampyr”).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On a VHS label in the 1980s.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Missing materials and a lack of commercial value.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Nope!
It is not uncommon for a film be considered a flop when it first opened, only to be re-evaluated years later and belatedly declared a masterwork. One of the most striking examples of this scenario is Carl Theodor Dreyer’s “Vampyr,” which opened in 1932 to withering reviews and dismal box office returns – the failure of the film caused Dreyer to have a nervous breakdown and not direct another film for a decade. Today, the film is considered a horror masterpiece – and not only did it survive its rough opening, but it also moved beyond a wretched re-edit for American audiences.