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Just For Fun / Anne Frank: Vampire

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It’s 1942 in Amsterdam, and Anne Frank has a lot of questions in her life. Can she tolerate being cooped up with several other people in a few small rooms? Are they all going to survive until the Nazis are kicked out of the Netherlands (if ever)? And who is the creepy old man who has just moved into the attic, and why does everyone else seem to think they’ve known him for years, when Anne’s never seen him before in her life?


Anne Frank: Vampire is a “Jewsploitation” action-horror film that caused an almighty row when it was released in 2015, to the point of the scriptwriter, Daniel Cane, being assassinated, either by Jewish people who objected to the portrayal of literal “bloodsucking Jews”, or neo-Nazis who objected to said vampires being Creepy Cool heroes who save most of the inmates of the attic and bloodily slaughter the entire leadership of the Third Reich occupation of the Netherlands. Nevertheless, or maybe because of it, it has made a huge amount of money in the cinemas and on home video release.

For more information on the real-world shenanigans surrounding the film, see China Miéville’s “The Junket”. Compare Disney's Anne Frank, an 1989 film in the Disney Animated Canon also telling a fictionalized, supernatural version of Anne Frank's story.


’’Anne Frank: Vampire’’ provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Asshole Victim: All the people who Anne kills are Nazis actively taking part in the Holocaust, so yeah.
  • Backstory Invader: The Watcher uses vampiric mind-control to make the other people in the attic think he’s an old friend of theirs with only Anne being immune.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Anne persuaded the Watcher to turn her so that she could fight the Nazis raiding the warehouse and protect her family, but was much too optimistic about what being a vampire would mean for her body and mind.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Fritz Schmidt throws himself to his death from a train rather than find out just what Anne intends to do to him.
  • Blood-Spattered Innocents: The well-known shot during the raid sequence of Edith Frank spattered with the blood of the Nazis and watching her daughter slaughtering them in frozen horror.
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  • Bond One-Liner: Anne makes an incredibly tasteless one after killing a particularly youthful and boyish-looking SS member, which alludes to the Blood Libel. One rumour has it that it was this line in particular that Cane's real-life murderers were so pissed off about.
  • The Cast Show Off: Originally Anne was intended to be a generic "hot goth action girl" type of vampire, until Abi Hempel's audition, when she showed off her contortionist and gymnastic skills, and how creepily she could use them. This led to the much scarier J-Horror influenced depiction of her in the film.
  • Death by Adaptation: All of the named Nazis (except Fritz Schmidt) die a lot earlier than they did in real life. Also, “Henk van Santen”, who in the film is killed when the Watcher blows up the warehouse (although he was probably already dying after Silberbauer shot him as soon as the raid started to seriously go south), when the real Jan Gies lived to a ripe old age.
  • Development Gag: Anne's "cool vampire" daydream is basically what the role was intended to be like before Abi persuaded Cane and Johnny D to go with her idea of what vampire Anne should be like.
  • Emergency Transformation: Anne browbeats the Watcher into turning her when Nazis turn up at the door of the building and she's desperate for some kind of power to protect her family.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Abi Hempel actually did spend quite a lot of time lurking underwater with a scuba tank during the canal scenes — contrary to some rumours she's said that she was fully onboard with the idea and enjoyed herself. Also Daniel Bruehl in Silberbauer's death scene — while he knew Anne was going to jump out of the canal and drag him in, it was the first time he'd seen the full make-up and his reaction is not acting.
  • The Fog of Ages: According to the Watcher, he can't remember anything about his human life in the Middle Ages, not even his original name.
  • Follow the Leader: Word of God confirms that it was conceived as a Jewish equivalent of Django Unchained, in terms of ultraviolent and consciously tasteless rewriting of history to show the oppressed striking back.
  • Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire: Averted. The Watcher only starts feeling any genuine liking for the people in the attic shortly before his death, and Anne is a bloodthirsty monster who is only "good" because she has lots of Asshole Victims to feed on.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Otto Frank said that the real Silberbauer was a Punch-Clock Villain who treated him and his family with politeness while arresting them, as opposed to the dog-kicking sadistic psychopath that he is in this film.
  • Horror Hunger: Anne's bloodlust doesn't even abate when her own close relatives are involved. After only a brief time, she hands them over to the Resistance and begs them never to try to find her again.
  • I Have No Son!: Otto is viscerally horrified by vampire Anne and sees her as a monster in place of his daughter. She, disgusted by her own urges, entirely agrees. They have a final moment of closeness when he recites the Kaddish for her, which is then horribly disrupted when he hugs her and she for a split second uncontrollably moves to bite him.
  • I Have the High Ground: The Watcher's introductory shot, of him climbing the spire of the Oude Kerk in animalistic bat-like style.
  • I Love You, Vampire Son: The Watcher gives his life to allow Anne and the living Jews to escape from the warehouse.
  • In a Single Bound: Anne jumps from the roof of the Rijksmuseum to rip Friedrich Wimmer's throat out, and then jumps right back up again seconds later.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: The early, more humorous, scenes in the film depict the Watcher as this. Then the Nazis raid the building, and in quick succession we have Anne's consensual but brutally violent and painful turning, followed by the Watcher tearing his way through the first Nazi squad like tissue paper.
  • Infernal Retaliation: The Watcher, after being set on fire with a flamethrower when bullets didn't stop him, kills a dozen Nazis while burning to death and then finally throws himself onto Henk's explosives cache to destroy the warehouse.
  • Kick the Dog: Silberbauer is introduced arresting a Jewish family and sadistically drowning their dog in a canal in front of them, making his own similar death Laser-Guided Karma.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Nazis try this on the Watcher. It works... eventually.
  • Lima Syndrome: The Watcher initially sees the people in the attic as simply protection and an emergency food supply, but comes to genuinely care about them.
  • Looks Like Orlok: The Watcher permanently due to his extreme age, and Anne when she has her Game Face on.
  • Mook Horror Show: Repeatedly, and in particular with the deaths of Silberbauer and Rauter.
  • Morality Chain: Subverted. Peter seriously intends to be this to Anne after she becomes a vampire, giving her hope, but on actually witnessing the horrific violence that she’s capable of he runs away in terror and is never seen again (although we are told that he went back underground and survived).
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: The Nazis are all unspeakable bastards with not one redeeming feature between them. The Dutch resistants and the living Jews, albeit flawed, are all basically good people. Anne is a Reluctant Psycho who barely manages to restrict her predation to Nazis, several times only just restrains herself from killing at random when hungry, and kills herself when she runs out of legitimate targets. The Watcher is a vampire who’s been casually killing people for centuries, but finds the company of the other people in the annex reawakening his capacity for human connections and altruism.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The European trailer didn't show Anne's real vampiric appearance at all. The trailer sequences where she was a leather-clad She-Fu Ms. Fanservice with Cute Little Fangs were actually pretty much the whole of Anne's short daydream about what she thought she'd be like as a vampire. The US trailer was more honest.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Anne has hints of this as her relationship with the Watcher becomes less fearful and more sympathetic.
  • Profane Last Words: Henk's lengthy and imaginative rant in untranslated Yiddish when he's bleeding to death after being shot, which turns into an astonished and joyous Yiddish Cluster F-Bomb when the Watcher comes back and starts slaughtering the Nazis.
  • Reluctant Psycho: Anne once she starts experiencing true vampiric hunger and predatory urges.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Anne on the Nazis for everyone killed in the Holocaust.
  • Roof Hopping: Anne does this in her daydream, and then a bit in reality, until she realises that staying below the waterline is more efficient.
  • Sequel Hook: The secretly Jewish resistant Kees stumbles upon a circle of literal Nazi Werewolves but thinks he escaped from them. In The Stinger, he notices that one of them bit him...
  • Shout-Out:
    • The idea of a vampiric Game Face which gradually becomes permanent is clearly taken from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Angel's immediate post-soul-loss scene in Buffy is also directly parodied when a recently vampirised Anne kills a cigarette-smoking man with a Nazi armband, and promptly goes into a coughing fit as a non-smoker inhaling the contents of his throat. And an ancient vampire being called "the Watcher" has to be some kind of joke about Buffy.
    • Many people were reminded of Amsterdamned by the canal sequences, but Cane said it was actually supposed to be an Homage to the amphibious vampires in Swamp Thing.
    • The sequence where Anne climbs out of the dumbwaiter before killing Hanns Rauter is a shot-for-shot remake of the famous “Sadako crawls out of the TV” sequence at the climax of The Ring.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The Nazi characters are all real people with exactly the same roles that they actually had in the occupied Netherlands. And Fritz Schmidt actually did die after mysteriously exiting a moving train.
    • Anne leaving Rauter's corpse with the teat of a sow stuffed into its mouth is a dark joke on a genuine, now almost forgotten, central European anti-Semitic trope.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Lampshaded and justified. Anne makes it clear that she's working her way up the Nazi hierarchy in order to grind and level up, and also to make the most culpable people suffer most from fear and dread.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Everybody in the attic except for Anne and Henk, who die, and Otto, who also survived in real life.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": The elderly vampire known only as the Watcher.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: Not just in tone but in plot to Disney's Anne Frank, in which Anne is an ordinary human with Incorruptible Pure Pureness while the Nazis are actually tools of a supernatural Eldritch Abomination. In this film, in exact reverse, the Nazis are totally mundane and realistic while Anne becomes a supernatural Humanoid Abomination Dark Action Girl.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Anne initially only keeps quiet about the Watcher because he threatens to kill her family, but gradually comes to feel more positively towards him. Less creepy because he develops his Lima Syndrome at much the same rate.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Anne after her vampirisation, especially after she starts living in the canals.
  • Suicide by Sunlight: Anne, unable to see any hope that she will be able to live as a vampire without eventually killing innocents, deliberately incinerates herself in the sun while embracing Arthur Seyss-Inquart and burning him to death in the process.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Anne realises that not having to breathe means that, if you unlive in a city full of filthy canals, you have a very easy and practical way of hiding from the sunlight and moving around without being noticed.
  • Suppressed Mammaries: Abi Hempel bound her breasts to more convincingly play an innocent pubescent girl. Hilariously subverted in Anne's "cool vampire" daydream sequence, where her breasts are unsuppressed and shown off in a barely-zipped-up Spy Catsuit.
  • Take That!: A quiet take that to the underlying anti-Semitic subtexts of Nosferatu, which are often minimised by fans.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Dutch Resistance are quite rationally scared to death of Anne, and make it clear that their limited co-operation will end immediately if any of them get their blood sucked.
  • Terror Hero: Anne, completely. Controversially including consciously playing up to everything that Nazis would expect in a superpowered Jew out to get them.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil:
    • Much of the Jewish protest against the film, as well as the outrageous basic concept, was down to the Watcher and vampire Anne making many wry jokes about how as Jewish vampires they end up looking and behaving very like the caricatures of Jews in Nazi propaganda.
    • Also symbolised in the way that Anne never drops her Game Face after Peter runs away from her, until she disguises herself as a BDM girl to kill Seyss-Inquart while also destroying herself.
  • Tone Shift: The part of the film up to the raid and the Watcher turning Anne, despite the background threat of the Nazis, is mostly domestic comedy with a vampire thrown in but played for laughs. The rest of the film is an extremely violent and horrific revenge thriller.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: The weird bit with Kees stumbling on the Nazi werewolves, which he doesn't manage to tell Anne about before she dies and doesn't seem to be resolved at all... until The Stinger.
  • Undead Child: Anne is a very creepy one.
  • Vampire Bites Suck: All the feeding scenes are utterly animalistic and horrific. Even though the Watcher intends to turn rather than kill Anne, and she is happy for him to do so, he still can't completely control his bloodlust and absolutely mauls her throat.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Averted. The Watcher is an emaciated man who truly looks eight hundred years old, and Anne after vampirisation is a terrifying demonic entity with an Orlokian Game Face and a habit of moving in ways that humans really shouldn't.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Silberbauer flees when setting the Watcher on fire doesn't immediately kill him but makes him even more annoyed, leaving all his men to get massacred.


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