Shadow of the Vampire
Movie Stats & Links
||Willem Dafoe, John Malkovich, Udo
Kier, Cary Elwes, Catherine McCormack
||They'd be bored.
||She won't get scared.
||Some neck sucking but nothing
||E. Elias Merhige
||Nicolas Cage, Jeff Levine
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
Shadow of the Vampire
A Movie Review
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
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
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!