of the Vampire
confused...Max Schreck was or wasn't a vampire?
Max portrayed the ubercreepy Count Orlok in the infamous Nosferatu.
Shadow's version stars ubercreepy Willem
Dafoe as the Freddy Krueger- nailed Mosquitoman, Count Orlok.
From the get-go Shadow of the Vampire plays a few
games with our delicate brain matter. But all in all delivers
a refreshing cinematic cocktail of non-telegraphed scenarios
with fabulously frilly wardrobes, mixed gently, with an old
fashioned camp reminiscent of Hammer Films.
story goes...It's 1921 and eccentric director F.W. Murnau (
John Malkovich, being) is shooting what
will become one of the most seen vampire movies of any generation-
Nosferatu. (a silent film, but non-the-less, scary. Verbal
audio would only have dulled Murnau's effect) We join Murnau's
now-legendary cast and crew to spy on the making of his Nosferatu...the
Bram Stoker's wife wouldn't give up the rights to Dracula,
so they improvised with the Count Orlok.)
Murnau drags his scrumptiously- plump-blood filled crew to the
backwoods of Czecolapepsislavakia for some location shooting.
Lead actor, Mr. Max Schreck (Willem DaFoeadeerafemaledeer)
has foraged ahead of them and been Stanislavski-ing into his
role as the anorexic Count Orlok. At least that's what the human
appetizers, er, fellow cast members, have been told by their
the crew finally arrive, mysterious things begin to happen...
Gustav von Wangenheim (Eddie Izzard all mansteaked up) is just
freaked by the count. Of course the count is a tad a
frightening. Gustav's not really acting as the pure terror paints
across his pompous little face.
What's this? Maxie's been knoshing on a camera crew member?
Tsk. Tsk. The poor man, Wolfie, will now have to be replaced.
Hope the famished Count can curb his appetite until the end
of the shoot. Geeze. Can't he dine on the nervous locals or
something and lay off the fancy imported stuff?
You'll just have to see for yourselves.
Willem DaFoe and John Malkovich are the real/reel reasons to
see this tale. Two of our finest actors revel in a near frolic
on film. They are both at once their solemn, serious, characters
and yet ooze a charming hilarity.
my favorite stand-up comedian, Eddie
Izzard, is pretty much the straight guy here (he's a heterosexual-
transvestite- comedian). He's not given a single witty comment
to spew from his big brilliant silver-quick mind. Mr. Fabulous
does a fantastic job, as always. His Gustav was purrfect.
you're an old horror movie buffthis is simply a positively
must see, tippity-top of your movie going agenda. If
you're into seeing different smaller movies with great
acting, again, run to see this.
If you're into big Hollywood flashing- gizmos and goobly- bits
edited with obligatory sex-scenes starring young-buff-mini-waisted-quazi-virgins-ala-
Brittany Spears- wanna bees...this may bore you!
Recommendation: A pitcher of Bloody Mary's heavy on
Willem DaFoe, John Malkovich, Eddie Izzard, Udo Kier, Catherine
McCormack and Ronan Vilbert
By: E. Elias Merhige
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