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Shadow of the Vampire
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Willem Dafoe, John Malkovich, Udo Kier, Cary Elwes, Catherine McCormack
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Lion's Gate Films
Kiddie Movie: They'd be bored.
Date Movie: She won't get scared.
Gratuitous Sex: Some boobies.
Gratuitous Violence: Some neck sucking but nothing gratuitous.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Nah.
Memorable Scene: Nah.
Memorable Quote: Nah.
Directed By: E. Elias Merhige
Produced By: Nicolas Cage, Jeff Levine

Shadow of the Vampire
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 1:30 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
Maybe I just need to be better educated, maybe I need to watch some old silent movies, maybe I need to take a film appreciation class, but for my money the critically acclaimed by most other people "Shadow of the Vampire" wasnít that great.

The movie is the fictional story of the making of a silent movie in the 1920ís called "Nosferatu." "Nosferatu" was sort of famous, I guess, in the silent genre, but I have never seen it. Nor probably have you. "Shadow of the Vampire" is a fake, behind-the-scenes look at how this film was made. It has John Malkovich playing the acclaimed director, F. W. Murnau. He wants to make the perfect vampire film but canít get the rights from the Bram Stoker folks for Dracula. Not to be snubbed, Murnau invents Count Orlok, searches out the best person to play the Count, and calls this man Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe) for the benefit of the crew.

Most of "Shadow of the Vampire" deals with developing Schreck as a real vampire. Murnau wanted reality so he found the best, a real vampire, and made a deal with him so that the vampire could rejuvenate his own existence. The cast doesnít really know how to take Schreck, being told by Murnau that he is a method actor, staying in character at all times. The crew buys it, even as some of them start getting offed by Schreck, and the movie climaxes in the vampireís death scene.

Real, fake, the movie had a lot of potential but just didnít carry through. It wasnít billed as horror, it wasnít billed as a comedy, but the last I read was it was a dark comedy. I agree about the dark part, it was kinda creepy, but Iím still waiting for the laughs. Even so, there was a huge bright spot and a somewhat dimmer one waiting for you if you venture to the theater for the movie. First off you get a great performance by Willem Dafoe as Max Schreck. Talk about creepy and this man portrayed it. From the fingernails to the hunched back look, he truly did portray a great vampire. Not over the top, just trying to survive and get the woman who would rejuvenate his life, or would it be his death? You also get a good performance by John Malkovich (which should have told me this movie would be a little off the wall), as the "Iíll do anything to make a great film" director in Murnau. He loves his art, he wants it to be the best, and he knows that to make the best vampire movie, well, the best way is to hire a vampire.

But the movie didnít do anything for me. I sat there waiting for the payoff (there was a quality boob shot but in all honesty, unnecessary) but it never really came. I guess I just needed to appreciate the art of filmmaking rather than the story.

So, with that, itís 2 Ĺ stars for "Shadow of the Vampire." It was decent, but if you are looking for a good vampire flick, well, as good as Willem Dafoe was, Iíd still look elsewhere.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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