Nosferatu The Vampyre

Nosferatu The Vampyre

4.0 11
Director: Werner Herzog

Cast: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz


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For Werner Herzog's 1979 remake of F.W. Murnau's classic 1922 silent horror-fest Nosferatu, star Klaus Kinski adopts the same makeup style used by Murnau's leading man Max Schreck. Yet in the Herzog version, the crucial difference is that Nosferatu becomes more and more decayed and desiccated as the film progresses. Essentially a retelling of Bram Stoker's


For Werner Herzog's 1979 remake of F.W. Murnau's classic 1922 silent horror-fest Nosferatu, star Klaus Kinski adopts the same makeup style used by Murnau's leading man Max Schreck. Yet in the Herzog version, the crucial difference is that Nosferatu becomes more and more decayed and desiccated as the film progresses. Essentially a retelling of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Nosferatu the Vampyre traces the blood-sucking progress of the count as he takes over a small German village, then attempts to spread his influence and activities to the rest of the world. All that prevents Dracula from continuing his demonic practices is the self-sacrifice of Lucy Harker, played by Isabelle Adjani. Director Werner Herzog used the story to parallel the rise of Nazism. The film was lensed in the Dutch towns of Delft and Scheiberg. Nosferatu the Vampyre was filmed in both an English and a German-speaking version; the latter runs 11 minutes longer.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Tony Nigro
German iconoclast Werner Herzog's 1979 Dracula film is indeed a remake of F. W. Murnau's silent classic, but it's also first and foremost a Herzog film: deliberate and stylistic in the extreme. Klaus Kinski stars as the bloodthirsty Count, who, upon purchasing a local home, sucks Jonathan Harker (Bruno Ganz) and his wife Lucy (Isabelle Adjani) into a world of darkness and immortality. As usual, Herzog's wildly imaginative and surreal imagery makes a lingering impression and remains distinct even as it quotes the Murnau classic. Despite the efforts of Herzog and cinematographer Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein, though, Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht is mainly carried by the inimitable Kinski. Previously and appropriately cast as the crazy Renfield in Jesús Franco's 1970 El Conde Drácula, Kinski was no stranger to the legend. His Dracula here is as menacing as he is sympathetic, appearing as a cross between Max Schreck and a sad, albino man-bat. The Count's tragic immortality and the turmoil he arouses afford Kinski license to chew the scenery in an uncharacteristically placid way. But while fans of the star's tortured melodramatics in Aguirre: The Wrath of God and Woyzeck may feel slightly disappointed, there is no shortage of the grueling, Herzog-Kinski intensity that ensures a uniquely challenging cinematic experience for all.
All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
Werner Herzog's take on the Bram Stoker novel Dracula is one of the most stunning of the numerous screen versions of the classic vampire tale. The film is basically a remake of F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922), with notorious Herzog collaborator Klaus Kinski borrowing much in the way of style and character from Max Schreck's performance as the count. Kinski's Nosferatu is a sympathetic vampire, consumed with the sadness of his own plight. In painfully silent scenes, he appears ashamed of his ghoulish appearance and often hides behind his disturbingly long nails. With little to no gore and nothing drastically scary, it doesn't so much seem like a horror movie, yet, thanks to Kinski, it is intensely creepy. Herzog uses stark images, like ancient-looking skulls, and a powerful score from electronic pioneers Popol Vuh to create an eerie nightmare atmosphere. Also adding to the eeriness is the performance of Isabelle Adjani as Lucy, whose ethereal beauty and deadpan delivery produce an unsettling aura for the often underwritten heroine. The additional plot of the plague allows for more surrealist creepiness, such as wandering goats and sheep in the town square. Nosferatu the Vampyre was a characteristic film for Kinski, who excelled in playing other disturbing madmen in many Herzog films, most notably Aguirre, the Wrath of God.

Product Details

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Original Release:
Shout Factory
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Special Features

German language version with English subtitles; English language version; Audio commentary with Werner Herzog; Vintage Making of Nosferatu; Theatrical trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Klaus Kinski Count Dracula
Isabelle Adjani Lucy Harker
Bruno Ganz Jonathan Harker
Jacques Dufilho Captain
Roland Topor Renfield
Walter Ladengast Dr. Van Helsing
Clemens Scheitz Town Employee
Dan van Husen Warden
Jan Groth Harbormaster
Carsten Bodinus Schrader
Martje Grohmann Mina
Rijk de Gooyer Town Official
Lo Van Hensbergen Actor

Technical Credits
Werner Herzog Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Ulrich Bergfelder Production Designer
Dominique Colladant Makeup
Florian Fricke Score Composer
Henning Von Gierke Art Director
Reiko Kruk Makeup
Beate Mainka-Jellinghaus Editor
Harald Maury Sound/Sound Designer
Popol Vuh Score Composer
Walter Saxer Executive Producer
Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein Cinematographer
Cornelius Siegel Special Effects
Gisela Storch Costumes/Costume Designer


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Nosferatu Phantom Der 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I disagree with the people who say that the original is better. I think they are just repeating what the ''wise'' critics say. In my opinion this film has images of dark gothic beauty that the original cannot even dream about. Claus Kinsky's performance is wonderful and Herzog's direction superb. The crown to all this is the imposing gothic music. In all, one of the few cases when the remake is uncomparably better than the original.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this! I'm more a fan of campy vampires, the ''blah, blah, I vant to suck your blood'' kind but this Nosferatu is some serious stuff. It's fun to watch the English and German versions. I actually got into the German version a little more because I could read on the screen exactly what everyone was saying. Even if you are not a big fan of vampires or monsters in general this is just a good movie. Some of the strangest scenes in this movie involved rats. Rats play a big role in this movie but not in a sickening or graphic way. This is anything but a gore movie. It's well thought out, put together and edited. The acting is wonderful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Herzog's remake is a tribute to Murnau but was it really necessary? See THE ORIGINAL then compare and decide yourself. This version offers little that the 1922 production didn't already do better. It probably satisfies less attentive modern audiences who can't get into old black & white/tinted silent films but must see everything in color with contemporary actors and present-day film & narrative techniques. Interesting to see Kinski in one his last roles as one ugly vampire, but he is no Max Schreck. Adjani looks quite goth spooky too in the character that Greta Schroeder first portrayed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't quite agree with the first review. This film has something magic about it, music, images, yes haunting images that can leave you dazzled and wondering what this world, all our being is about. I also don't think that this film is for normal audience, far from that and we should not compare it with ''the original'' and by the way, what is the original? Boundaries between original and image can be very elusive, if there are at all! Can somebody let me know, if there is the soundtrack to this film? I have been looking for it, but so far nothing...
Guest More than 1 year ago
The original is a pure classic, this sucked. Good directing but just doesnt live up to the original.
catu11us More than 1 year ago
Werner Herzog is one of those self-proclaimed cinematic geniuses who writes, produces, directs, takes the tickets ... all that. Some years ago he undertook to remake the 1922 silent classic, "Nosferatu". The result is the 1979 flick, "Nosferatu the Vampyre". The last word isn't exactly a misspelling: they often spelled it that way in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Nowadays it's an affectation, and this little anachronism ought to give us a clue as to the film's (apparent) true intent. This isn't so much a remake as a parody ... it's not "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" (alas), but rather an almost-humorless Teutonic parody. Once you get past the deliberate dead-panning, it's hilarious. Now, I have no proof of this, other than the evidence (which, of course, is evidence in court). One correspondent assures me that Werner Herzog hasn't got a "parody" bone in his body and that his comments on the DVD version of the film don't begin to speculate about the merest suspicion of a contemplation of the containing of even a hint of such a thing. Well, how do you make a good dead-pan parody if you then admit it? But consider the evidence. Although this is a remake of the original Nosferatu, some things have been done to bring it closer to the traditional "Dracula" story -- primarily the introduction of Dr. Van Helsing. There's a big clue -- in this film Van Helsing absolutely doesn't believe in vampires until the very last few minutes. And then he takes it into his head to drive a stake into Dracula, who has already been killed by sunlight. The overkill is a nice parody touch. The relationships between the basic characters has changed. Lucy is Mrs. Harker, and Harker works for Renfield. The last, although he apparently has never laid eyes on Dracula, is (also apparently) under his spell -- he giggles at lot for no good reason: a manic Dr. Hibbert. In fact, the only character in the film who believes (a) in vampires and (b) that Dracula is one is Lucy (who, in the original story, has no such opinions). Van Helsing is a local doctor who has decided that local victims of the vampire have died of plague. It's true that the ship that brought Dracula also brought a bunch of rats ... scads and slathers of white (!!) rats, or perhaps oversize lab mice. Whenever they appear, they are shown in exaggerated piles and clumps, like hundreds of malformed puppies. Parody here is often in the little details. Dracula's chiming clock, with a prominent skull on top and a skeleton going in and out doors below, is a great bit of guignol, but wonderfully out of place otherwise. And of course the music. Most of it is by Popul Vuh (often oddly folksy but usually appropriately creepy), but some is by Wagner -- specifically a few moments from the prelude to Rheingold. It's music related to the Rhein and the creation of the world. The music appears in 2 scenes, for both of which it is wholly inappropriate due both to the general character of the music and to its meaning in the Wagnerian universe. The scenes are: Harker travelling through a mountain pass to Dracula's castle and Dracula moving his coffins off-ship to his new home. Such use of this music is -- as Hertzog would well know -- laughable. There is also the question of black-suited, black-hatted morticians/pallbearers. There seems to be quite a population of these people in Wismar (a canal-laced ancient city in Mecklenburg, near the Baltic Sea). At
Corbin007 More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most beautiful vampire films I have ever seen! I could watch it over and over again! It has some of the most beautiful and disturbing imagery I've seen in a film. Furthermore, Klaus Kinski was amazing as Dracula! His performance was intriguing but repulsive simultaneously! He really knows how to get under one's skin! I absolutely loved the original film! However, I must say this film is just as amazing!
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