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'sSee more details below

Overview

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.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/11/2000
UPC:
0013131120936
Original Release:
1979
Rating:
PG
Source:
Starz / Anchor Bay

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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