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The bonnet of the black sports car rises and falls as if there were a hungry heart beating beneath it. Can that really be the case? The emergency physician Dr. Marek played Jiří Menzel summons all of his courage and reaches through a narrow slit in the bonnet. It could be the last thing he does...

‘Ferat Vampire’, released in 1981, is a cult sci-fi horror film nowadays. Why? For one, because every scene and all the special effects were filmed in an extremely attentive way – even if the latter is more likely to give viewers in 2016 the giggles rather than the shivers. Secondly, because 35 years later the car still elicits ‘AHs’ and ‘WOWs’ from viewers. And all of that, even though the black Ferat vampire, which was based on the 1972 ŠKODA 110 SUPER SPORT prototype, had to be fuelled with blood for its victories.

Photo credit: archive of Stanislav Cinkl
Star on set: the blonde actress Dagmar Veskrnová, who later married future president Václav Havel. Her character, Mima, falls under the spell of the mysterious car, which literally drains her blood bit by bit whilst her boss and hero of the story, Dr Marek, tries to reveal the car’s secret.

Of course, the vehicle in the film had plenty of special equipment, provided by costume designer Theodor Pistek. Pistek is a big name in the Czech film world – in 1985, he won an Oscar for his costumes in the box-office hit ‘Amadeus’. Thanks to Pistek, the Ferat bore a tailgate spoiler – a detail that the film car shares with its extremely fast anniversary gift from ŠKODA Motorsport: a specially painted FABIA R5. 

The gift also included the line-up at the 43rd Rally Bohemia, and it is there that the Czech factory pairing of Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler instilled fear into the competition with the black R5 with a red ‘F’ on the bonnet. Their result: 1st place – with blood, sweat and tears, and fortunately without actually bleeding.

Photo credit: archive of Stanislav Cinkl
Four powerful headlights shaped the front of the Ferat Vampire, pictured here during filming in the early 80s. The original title is Upír z Feratu, the name ‘Ferat’ is a reference to the film ‘Nosferatu’ (1922) by German director and expressionist Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau.