Nosferatu, the Vampyre (1979)
Written and Directed by: Werner Herzog, based on Dracula by Bram Stoker.
Plot: An ancient vampire (Klaus Kinski) travels from his home in the back woods of Romania to Germany in order to bother a beautiful young woman (Isabelle Adjani).
Review: This is probably one of the better adaptations of Dracula out there. It’s not my favourite by any means, but it certainly is interesting. It’s extremely arty, and extremely unsexy, but everything in it has a certain feeling of decaying gothic filth, from the streets full of rats and scabby people, to the fact that the film is practically in black and white, to, you know, Klaus Kinski who seems to be decomposing before our very eyes! Or maybe that was just make-up. Who knows.
It is sort of depressing though. In a general way, if you know what I mean. I’ve only seen, like, two other Herzog movies but all of them have left me with this horrible crushing feeling of despair no matter what happens. Aguirre was the worst for this, even though I slept through about seventy percent of it (I was tired, dammit). Actually, no, Grizzly Man was worse, but that movie really was extremely depressing in every conceivable way. I mean… holy shit, eh. His other stuff is less tangibly depressing. It slowly wears on the spirit until, by the end of the movie, all I want to do is curl up on the floor in the foetal position, sheltering myself from the gaping chasm of nihility.
Or whatever. I seem to remember seeing this before I saw the original movie, so it’s always been even more iconic in my mind than that version. Although maybe I didn’t… now I’m confused… I’m pretty sure I saw the original much more recently than this.
Moving on, I saw this before I saw the other one, but after I’d seen many other adaptations of the novel, so I always thought of this as The Anti-Dracula in a way. Klaus Kinski isn’t Captain Sexy - he’s a creepy old man with weird teeth and no hair. Sort of pathetic but almost too creepy and gross to feel too bad for. He looks like he’s cold and moist. And kind of like a rat or something. Ew.
No offence to the rat people but… well, they’re weird.
Aaaaanyway, can’t think of anything else to write about this movie. So… yeah.
Favourite Part: Fuck, I dunno. The whole movie makes me want to die.
Other versions: Nosferatu, ein Symphonie des Grauens, and numerous other adaptations of the novel.
Sequels: Apparently there is a sequel called Nosferatu in Venice. Weird.
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