Shadow of the Vampire

Shadow of the Vampire

E Elias Merhige (2000)

15 Certificate


Our Score
John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe gleefully sink their teeth into a couple of juicy roles in this film about German expressionist director FW Murnau. Malkovich plays Murnau in a curiously comic reconstruction of the making of his classic vampire film Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horrors (1922) - controversially based on Bram Stoker's Dracula. Eschewing historical accuracy, the film portrays the director as a fanatic, who hires a real bloodsucker (Max Schreck played by Dafoe) to star as the vampire, promising him the neck of his leading lady (Catherine McCormack) in return for his performing duties. Where Gods and Monsters was a poignant look at the declining years of horror director James Whale, this is more of a dark farce that starts promisingly but has fewer grand ideas up its sleeve than it thinks.


German silent movie director FW Murnau finds a real vampire to play the lead in his adaptation of Dracula. He convinces his cast and crew the star is simply a particularly committed method actor, and rewards the bloodsucker with the chance to feed on the leading lady when the filming is done. Horror, based on the making of classic silent movie Nosferatu, with Willem Dafoe, John Malkovich and Eddie Izzard.

Cast & Crew

Max Schreck/Count Orlok Willem Dafoe
FW Murnau John Malkovich
Gustav von Wangerheim Eddie Izzard
Greta Schroder Catherine McCormack
Fritz Arno Wagner Cary Elwes
Albin Grau Udo Kier
Henrick Galeen Aden Gillett
Wolfgang Muller Ronan Vibert
Director E Elias Merhige
see more

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: MetrodomeGuidance: Violence, swearing, drug abuse and brief nudity.Available on: video and DVD