This ultra-hip, post-modern vampire tale is set in contemporary New York City. Members of a dysfunctional family of vampires are trying to come to terms with each other, in the wake of ...
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An oddball family on a Kansas farm are trapped in their farmhouse by an impending storm. The patriarch of the clan is a retired soda pop tycoon. He is currently dating a children's TV ... See full summary »
Harry Dean Stanton,
Isabelle is an ex-nun waiting for her special mission from God. In the meantime, she is making a living writing pornography. She meets Thomas, a sweet, confused amnesiac who cannot remember... See full summary »
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A young writer becomes intrigued with a mysterious dark-haired woman who claims to be his long-lost sister and he begin an unusual relationship with her prompting a downward spiral involving his domineering mother and lovely fiancée
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Robert John Burke,
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Jason Butler Harner
This ultra-hip, post-modern vampire tale is set in contemporary New York City. Members of a dysfunctional family of vampires are trying to come to terms with each other, in the wake of their father's death. Meanwhile, they are being hunted by Dr. Van Helsing and his hapless nephew. As in all good vampire movies, forces of love are pitted against forces of destruction. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
An abandoned cancer ward in New York City was the location used for Nadja's Transylvania castle. See more »
In the opening dialog between Nadja and the man at the bar, Nadja is initially wearing a scarf over her hair. At one point the camera cuts to the man's face and we see the back of Nadja's head, but now suddenly and inexplicably, the scarf has disappeared and remains absent for the rest of the scene. See more »
I had never heard of "Nadja" until it turned up on a 4-film budget priced "Vampire Collector's Set" DVD that I recently purchased, where it shared space with three other low budget bloodsucker films. I'll be honest, from the package description "Nadja" didn't sound like my cup of tea from the get-go, so I wasn't expecting much from it to begin with. Sometimes when I go into such films with my expectations lowered, I am pleasantly surprised, but not this time. "Nadja" was 90 minutes of plodding, occasionally irritating "art house" crap disguised as a vampire film.
I pretty much knew I was in trouble as soon as I saw the words "DAVID LYNCH PRESENTS..." flash across the screen (though he can't be fully blamed for how badly "Nadja" turned out as he was only a producer on this film), because to a B-Movie kinda guy like me, David Lynch's name is pretty much Kryptonite. I've got nothing against Lynch, I know he's got a lot of fans, but he just doesn't make "my" kind of movies. So knowing he had a even a small hand in this thing was already one strike in my book.
Anyway, getting to the story (what little there is of it) as I understand it: "Nadja" transplants the Dracula myth to present day New York, with the famed bloodsucker's daughter prowling around Greenwich Village looking for a random hookup. She meets "Lucy," a depressed, bisexual night owl, who soon falls under Nadja's spell, much to the dismay of Lucy's drunken doofus of a husband. Fortunately hubby's Uncle (Peter Fonda, who appears to be the only cast member having fun in this film) happens to be Van Helsing himself, and he of course knows how to handle a vampire problem. From there...well, there's a whole lot of pseudo-philosophy, endless talking, a lot of cigarettes being smoked, a lot of self important dialogue, and not much else. Eventually Nadja's estranged twin brother hooks up with Hubby and Helsing and they travel to Nadja's lair in Romania, where... awww the hell with it, I'm not even going to bother describing the rest of this nonsense. Let's just say if you can make it to that point in the film without feeling an urge to drift off to sleep (or change the channel), I salute you.
At first I thought the film being made in stark black and white might be distracting in this day and age, but I'll admit the B&W photography in "Nadja" is really cool...for a while. Then along came numerous segments where, for no discernible reason whatsoever, the picture would suddenly go grainy and pixellated for minutes at a time. At first I thought something was wrong with my DVD, but it turns out that director Michael Almerayda shot those particular scenes (which turn up randomly throughout the film) with a Fisher-Price kids' toy camera. He's probably got some artsy fartsy explanation for why he did those scenes that way, but to me it only served to antagonize an already bored audience.
Ultimately "Nadja" comes off like one of those 1990's Calvin Klein commercials stretched out to feature length, complete with its hip (for the time period) soundtrack (The Verve, Portishead, My Bloody Valentine, etc.). It's nice to look at (occasionally, when it's not pixellated) but doesn't have an ounce of soul.
I'll (grudgingly) give "Nadja" two stars for two reasons: Number one, the lesbian seduction scene between Nadja and Lucy was pretty cool, (though it's got nothing on the Catherine Deneuve/Susan Sarandon scene in "The Hunger," its obvious inspiration) and number two, the song "In the Meantime" by Spacehog plays over the end credits, and I've always liked that song. Otherwise, I can't recommend this one at all. Judging from the other reviews on this site, "Nadja" appears to be a film that people either love or hate. I guess it's obvious which side I'm on. Avoid!!!
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