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Spooky Movie Week #2: Nosferatu | Manolo for the Big Girl

Spooky Movie Week #2: Nosferatu

I was 20 when I first saw Nosferatuand I wasn’t expecting much. I think some boy I liked at the time got tickets to one of the famous Alamo Drafthouse’s “Rolling Roadshows” which involved driving and then hiking out into a state park in the dark to this sort of “moonscape” of rocks and watching Nosferatu on a full-size inflatable drive-in screen in the woods with a live score from those symphonic crazies, Brown Whornet.

I got the heebiest of jeebies.
Max Schreck as Count Orlok

Granted, you’ll probably not be able to recreate this experience at home but turn off the lights and pop in this 1922 silent flick (yes I know the link says 1929, it’s wrong) and you’ll have a serious case of the creeps. It is the definitive vampire movie and a revelation for those of us who were first exposed to the genre with Coppola’s entertaining but overwrought Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

I know vampires are “in” now what with that show with the guy who bought it in one of the Harry Potters and all, but I don’t really know anything about that (are they really about sparkly Mormon vampires? Embarrassing!) but this is my favorite of the genre and as much as I love Bela Lugosi and Gary Oldman, no one will ever be a better vampire than super-creepy Max Schreck.

If you wanted to make it a double feature, rent Shadow of the Vampire where Willem Defoe plays Max Schreck as a real vampire pretending to be a vampire during the filming of Nosferatu. It’s all very meta.

9 Responses to “Spooky Movie Week #2: Nosferatu”

  1. Kai Jones October 27, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    Oh honey–don’t tease the Twihards, they can be vicious!

  2. gemdiva October 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    I loved, loved, loved Shadow of the Vampire! But then I love, love, love Willem Dafoe!

  3. Twistie October 27, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    Hey! sparkly Mormon vampires are from Twilight, not Harry Potter! And Sirius Black wasn’t a vampire, either. His buddy Remus is a werewolf, but that’s not at all the same thing. IIRC, only one vampire actually shows up in the course of seven Harry Potter books, and he’s an incidental background character at a truly ghastly dinner part.

    As for Nosferatu, dayum! but that’s a brilliant film! Willem Defoe’s performance in Shadow of the Vampire rocks, too. But for my money I match German silent expressionist film with German silent expressionist film and pair Nosferatu with The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Then for full on headtwisting glory, put in Casablanca and watch The Somnambulist from Caligari as Col. Strasse. Superfantastic!

  4. teteatete October 27, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    I think Plummy meant that the actor bought it in Harry Potter and now he’s a sparkly Mormon vampire (REALLY?! I knew about the sparkles part but the rest? Eeeesh.).

  5. Maureen October 27, 2009 at 5:56 pm #

    I haven’t seen Nosferatu, but I saw Shadow of the Vampire this weekend. It is AWESOME. John Malkovich as a director who’ll do anything – anything – for his picture? Eddie Izzard as a suspicious co-star (with excellent German Impressionist eyeliner)? Full of win.

  6. Rach October 27, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    Oh the youngins thinking sexy vamps are a new thing – completely forgetting the first HOT Dracula, Frank Langela! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079073/

    Back when he still had hair. ;-)

  7. Twistie October 27, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    @teteatete: Ah, I did not realize Gary had succumbed to Morman vampirism. That clears things up a bit. Too bad, still.

    @Rach, I go back even further. The two Draculas I like best are Bela Lugosi and Louis Jourdan (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075882/).

  8. Plumcake October 27, 2009 at 7:47 pm #

    Twistie you dingdong, it’s not Gary Oldman!

  9. Twistie October 27, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

    (smacks forehead) I keep forgetting Cedric Diggory was played by Robert Pattinson. The character was far more memorable to me in the book. He kind of disappeared onscreen for me.

    And since I don’t do Twilight, I tend to forget he exists at all.