Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
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as F.W. Murnau
as Max Schreck
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Critic Reviews for Shadow of the Vampire
The screenplay, by Steven Katz, suffers from arch, almost unspeakably theatrical dialogue, and, as Murnau, John Malkovich recites his lines as if monomania were synonymous with monotonic: He drains the drama of blood.
Wholly absorbing and inspired in parts, this carefully crafted curio dares to suggest that Murnau made a Faustian pact with an actual vampire to play the title role in exchange for the neck of the film's leading lady at production's end.
Intriguing, eccentric, sporadically entertaining tosh (but tosh all the same).
It's a marvelous, resonant joke that never quite succeeds: Stretches of the film resemble a Dario Argento horrorfest crossed with a Mel Brooks spoof.
Out of such dizzying layers of (un)reality, some sublime films have emerged. Nosferatu was one of them, and this is not -- but, c'mon, credit it with the old college try, a pretty decent effort.
This stupid and demeaning fantasy about the shooting of F.W. Murnau's 1922 masterpiece Nosferatu is a piece of postmodernist kitsch whose only redeeming quality is an enjoyably over-the-top, eye-rolling performance by Willem Dafoe.
Audience Reviews for Shadow of the Vampire
Willem Dafoe and John Malkavich in a horror film that wonders aloud if true horror is actually working with "committed artists". Very nearly a classic, while certainly a homage to one of horror's earliest masterpieces, the fun is less in the scares than in watching the cast emerge themselves in method acting.
The idea is really original and Dafoe delivers a spectacular performance under that fantastic makeup (the scene of the Count devouring the bat is hysterical); it is just a pity, though, that the weak script has such a redundant dialogue and Merhige's direction has some misfires.
Shadow of the Vampire Quotes
|FW. Murnau:||Go ahead! Eat the writer! That will leave you explaining how your character gets to Bremen!|
|FW. Murnau:||If it's not in frame, it doesn't exist!|
|FW. Murnau:||Why him, you monster? Why not the... script girl?|
|Max Schreck:||Oh. The script girl. I'll eat her later.|