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Shadow of the Vampire

  • Drama
  • 2000
  • E Elias Merhige
  • 87 mins
  • 15

Summary

Horror about the making of silent classic Nosferatu, starring John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe. As director FW Murnau takes the production of his latest film on location, cast and crew await the arrival of Max Schreck, who is to play the vampire, Count Orlok. But Schreck's strange behaviour soon calls into question whether he is merely acting the part of a vampire.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

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.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
FW MurnauJohn Malkovich
Max Schreck, Count OrlokWillem Dafoe
Fritz Arno Wagner, cameramanCary Elwes
Henrick Galeen, the screenwriterAden Gillett
Gustav von Wangerheim, HutterEddie Izzard
Albin Grau, producer / art directorUdo Kier
Greta Schröder, EllenCatherine McCormack
Wolfgang Müller, cameramanRonan Vibert

Crew

rolename
DirectorE Elias Merhige

Details

Theatrical distributor
Metrodome
Released on
2001-02-02
Guidance
Violence, swearing, drug abuse and brief nudity.
Available on
video and DVD
Formats
Colour
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