Shadow of the Vampire
2000 - Rated R (MPAA)
Release Date: 06/17/2003
Time: 93 mins.
Label: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
DVD Features: Region 1 Keep Case Single Side - Dual Layer Anamorphic Widescreen - 2.35 Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 - English Dolby Digital 5.1 - French Additional Release Material: Making Of Film Highlights Audio Commentary: E. Elias Merhige - Director Production Interviews: 1. E. Elias Merhige - Director 2. Willem Dafoe - Star 3. Nicolas Cage - Producer Trailers: 1. Original Theatrical Trailer 2. Bonus Trailer - BEGOTTEN Text/Photo Galleries: Production Notes Biographies: Cast & Crew Stills/Photos: 1. Make-Up Application Montage 2. Production Scrapbook
E. Elias Mehrige's SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE explores the fictional premise that the star of director F.W. Murnau's 1922 German expressionist horror film, NOSFERATU, was an actual vampire. When the dictatorial Murnau (John Malkovich) sets about filming his monster masterpiece, he makes a Faustian deal and enlists the grotesque, reclusive Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe) to play the rodentlike Count Orlok. Schreck proceeds to both horrify and fascinate the unwitting cast and crew---including producer Albin Grau (Udo Kier), actor Gustav von Wangenheim (Eddie Izzard), and actress Greta Schroeder (Catherine McCormack)--who, at first, believe Schreck is merely an eccentric actor. As the production continues, however, mysterious accidents and deaths begin to reveal why Schreck never gets any makeup. From its lavish opening sequence to Murnau's filming of the final scene, Mehrige's movie serves as a tribute not only to the original NOSFERATU but to the art of cinema itself. Because Murnau's project is a silent film, the overbearing director can coax and shout at his actors during the takes, making for some cleverly comical scenes. Although Malkovich, Izzard, and Kier are excellent in their roles, SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE could simply not exist without Dafoe's hideous and hilarious performance, which ranks among the finest of the versatile actor's career.
"...A movie lover's movie....Dafoe's portrayal of vampire Schreck is remarkable -- frightening and funny and completely sui generis..." -- Glenn Kenny , (Premiere)
"...[A] stylish pastiche....[Dafoe] gives a breathtaking performance..." -- Stephen Farber , (Movieline's Hollywood Life)
"...[A] delicious premise....[Dafoe's] exciting performance shades terrifying thirst with poignant, century-old tristesse..." -- Rating: B+ -- Lisa Schwarzbaum , (Entertainment Weekly)
"...SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE stands witness to the enduring iconic potency of the great classics of the horror genre..." -- Philip Kemp , (Sight and Sound)
"...Dafoe's Schreck combines crazy dignity, towering presence and an unstoppable blood lust to create the kind of presence you just don't see every day..." -- Kenneth Turan , (Los Angeles Times)
"...The movie does an uncanny job of re-creating the visual feel of Murnau's film....The supporting cast is a curiously, intriguingly mixed bag..." -- Roger Ebert , (Chicago Sun-Times)
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