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Genuine: A Tale of a Vampire Reviews

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November 5, 2013
The same year he made the celebrated work The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Wiene made this shorter horror about an irresistible woman who may be a witch or simply cursed and wild, who leads all men who lay their eyes on her to obsession, madness and murder. Well, it's certainly plain to see that this short is hardly as remarkable as what would later come in Dr. Caligari, but it is still of some interest as a sort of evidence of warm up to Wiene's exploits in the cinematic branch of German expressionism. Genuine is plagued by plot holes and is very confused, yet its style is still noteworthy.
peter h.
November 23, 2010
GENUINE: A TALE OF A VAMPIRE (1920): after director Robert Wiene released his landmark film THE CABINET OF DR CALIGARI, the film was a hit. But what few people know is Wiene made and released a second film in the same year called GENUINE, DIE TRAGÖDIE EINES SELTSAMEN HAUSES; translated in English means GENUINE, THE TRAGEDY OF A STRANGE HOUSE or under the title GENUINE : A TALE OF A VAMPIRE . Now there is not much left of this film that survives today except for a condensed 45 minute version of the film. As a matter of fact this is a rear silent film that's fortunate to have been released as a bonus on DVD as an extra feature a part of the DVD release of THE CABINET OF DR CALIGARI by Beyond Home Video & Kino Home Video.

This film is another good example of German Expressionist cinema with beautiful distorted sets and set pieces and as a bonus the weird hair styles of some of the main cast members. Genuine tells a story of a high priestess called genuine being sold as a salve to an old, rich business man who is captivated by her beauty. So the rich business man houses her in a big distorted room where he admires her, one day the young town Barber shows up as usual to shave the business man were he falls asleep while the shave is taking place. Genuine escapes to find the Barber with the razor near the old man's throat, with her hypnotic powers she makes the Barber kill the old man and makes the Barber fall in love with her. Before too long the townsfolk becomes suspicious of the strange house and its new resident.


While no were near as creepy or for that matter as brilliant as CALIGARI, Genuine is a good film made in the style of German Expressionist cinema. It's just a shame I've only seen the condensed 45 minute version of the film, apparently one film archive in Germany might have a full copy of this film but for now the condensed 45 minute version will just have to do. 7/10
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