Shadow of the Vampire is a film about the making of a German all time classic silent horror-movie from 1922 called Nosferatu-Eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu-a Symphony of Horror). The production of Nosferatu had to deal with a lot of strange things (some crew members disappeared, some died). This movie focuses on the difficult relationship between Murnau, the director, and Schreck, the lead actor.Written by
Based in part upon a legend that Max Schreck was in reality a vampire which is why he played the role of Orlock/Dracula so well. Some variations of the legend suggest that Nosferatu (1922) was the only film Schreck made, though in reality he was already a stage and screen veteran by the time Nosferatu was shot, and would appear in many non-Vampiric roles before his death in 1936. See more »
It was utterly impossible to film at night in 1922, so all night-time scenes were actually filmed in broad daylight. Originally, these scenes were tinted blue in order to differentiate them from those that were supposed to take place by day. See more »
There was a time... when I... fed from golden chalices. But now... Don't look at me that way!
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The Steamer, a revolutionary machine designed and built to cure the foam prosthetics rapidly due to the very limited production constraints. A world first in foam latex curing within the film industry. See more »
The premise of "Shadow of a Vampire" is simple, what if Max Schreck was really a vampire posing as an actor playing a vampire in the Murnau's masterpiece, "Nosferatu?" Well, the result is both slightly scary and pretty funny. Director E. Elias Merhige and writer Steven Katz create a fairly creepy mood, and inhabit the picture with some real interesting characters.
John Malkovich plays famous silent film director F.W. Murnau. This is perhaps the funniest performance of the bunch, especially when he is giving audible instructions to the "actors" while the camera is rolling. Then, there is Willem Dafoe who plays Max Schreck/ the vampire. It is incredibly fun to watch an almost unrecognizable Dafoe play this oddball, Max Schreck. Unfortunately for Murnau, Schreck starts doing what vampires tend to do... bite people. The original photographer dies along with a few others at the mouth of Schreck. After seeing this movie, it is quite easy to see why Dafoe was nominated for best supporting actor at the Oscars. His performance is worth the price of admission.
This is a film which is hard to classify, sense it is a fictional account of an actual film with real people. Yet this horror-comedy does have its moments of wonderful macabre humor along with great performances to help make it an enjoyable movie. A 7 out of 10. I highly recommend watching this as part of a double feature. First, watch Murnau's original 1922 masterpiece, "Nosferatu", then watch "Shadow of a Vampire." You will appreciate "Shadow of a Vampire" a lot more (or maybe vice versa).
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