Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nosferatu (1922)

Director: F.W. Murnau

Starring: Max Schreck, Gustav von Wangenheim, Great Schroder, Alexander Granach, Georg H. Schnell, Ruth Landshoff, John Gottowt, Gustav Botz, Max Nemetz, Wolfgang Heinz, Albert Venohr, Eric van Viele

More info: IMDb

Plot: Wisbourg, Germany based estate agent Knock dispatches his associate, Hutter, to Count Orlok's castle in Transylvania as the Count wants to purchase a isolated house in Wisbourg. They plan on selling him the one across the way from Hutter's own home. Hutter leaves his innocent wife, Ellen, with some friends while he is away. Hutter's trek is an unusual one, with many locals not wanting to take him near the castle where strange events have been occurring. Once at the castle, Hutter does manage to sell the Count the house, but he also notices and feels unusual occurrences, primarily feeling like there is a dark shadow hanging over him, even in the daytime when the Count is unusually asleep. Hutter eventually sees the Count's sleeping chamber in a crypt, and based on a book he has recently read, believes the Count is really a vampire or Nosferatu. While Hutter is trapped in the castle, the Count, hiding in a shipment of coffins, makes his way to Wisbourg, causing death along his way, which most attribute to the plague. Hutter himself tries to rush home to save his town and most importantly save Ellen from Nosferatu's imminent arrival. In Wisbourg, Ellen can feel the impending darkness as Nosferatu gets closer. But she learns that a sinless woman can sacrifice herself to kill the vampire. Will Hutter be able to save Ellen either from Nosferatu and/or her self-sacrifice?

My rating: 10/10

Will I watch it again? Naturally.

This film and the Werner Herzog 1979 remake with klaus Kinski are my two favorite vampire flicks.  After 90 years the '22 film is still a damn eerie and effective flick.  There hasn't been a more frightening vampire than what Max Schreck gave us.  I've seen it many times but last night I watched the version that has a soundtrack by Type O Negative.  I'd always thought they wrote the score/tunes to fit the film but it turns out that Arrow Videos created the soundtrack from the band's songs taken from their first four albums.  I really dug the music and sometimes the songs worked.  There are a few spots where the music awkwardly faded from one tune to the next.  It doesn't succeed as much as I'd like it to.  I'm a huge soundtrack geek so having a good score is important to me.  Since these songs were never written with this film in mind, it's only going to work on a certain level.  It's a great marriage of music and film if you wanted something to throw on the TV for a Halloween party - great music and great visuals.  More than a decade ago I tried my hand at piecing together a score for this film using cues written by Wojciech Kilar for THE NINTH GATE (1999) and BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA (1992).  I probably spent all of three or four hours working on it but the finished product was pretty fucking dark.  If you're familiar with these scores then you can imagine how much it could enhance the visuals.  Someday I'd like to take what I did and refine it.  THAT'S the version I'd like to see next.

Here's the full movie with the Type O Negative soundtrack.

1 comment:

  1. I love Type O Negative, but I'm looking forward to a showing of this film in my home town with live organ music at Halloween. I'll let you know how it was. This is the event.