Shadow of the Vampire

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Product Overview

John Malkovich and Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe star in a riveting suspense thriller about an obsessive director who's so consumed with making the most realistic vampire movie ever, he's willing to sacrifice everything--and everyone--to achieve his vision! In his quest to create a vampire film to die for, F.W. Murnau introduces Schreck as "the ultimate method actor"--one who will appear only in character, in full makeup and only at night. But as the cast and crew begin to disappear, it appears the Murnau has made a devil's bargain with Schreck, whose dead-on performance is, perhaps, too authentic!


Studio Lions Gate
SKU 40221363
UPC 031398833826
UPC 14 00031398833826
Format DVD
Release Date 6/17/2003
Rating Rating
Black Comedy
Silent Films
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note E. Elias Mehrige's SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE explores the fictional premise that the star of director F.W. Murnau's 1922 German expressionist horror film, NOSFERATU, was an actual vampire. When the dictatorial Murnau (John Malkovich) sets about filming his monster masterpiece, he makes a Faustian deal and enlists the grotesque, reclusive Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe) to play the rodentlike Count Orlok. Schreck proceeds to both horrify and fascinate the unwitting cast and crew---including producer Albin Grau (Udo Kier), actor Gustav von Wangenheim (Eddie Izzard), and actress Greta Schroeder (Catherine McCormack)--who, at first, believe Schreck is merely an eccentric actor. As the production continues, however, mysterious accidents and deaths begin to reveal why Schreck never gets any makeup.^From its lavish opening sequence to Murnau's filming of the final scene, Mehrige's movie serves as a tribute not only to the original NOSFERATU but to the art of cinema itself. Because Murnau's project is a silent film, the overbearing director can coax and shout at his actors during the takes, making for some cleverly comical scenes. Although Malkovich, Izzard, and Kier are excellent in their roles, SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE could simply not exist without Dafoe's hideous and hilarious performance, which ranks among the finest of the versatile actor's career.
Memorable Quotes
Quote "A native has wandered into my frame!"--F.W. Murnau (John Malkovich) to his film crew
Quote "I'd like some makeup."--Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe)|"Well, you don't get any."--Murnau
Quote "I feed...eratically."--Schreck
Quote "How dare you destroy my photographer! Why not the script girl?"--Murnau to Schreck|"I'll eat her later."--Schreck
Quote "I will finish my picture!"--Murnau|"This is hardly your picture any longer."--Schreck
Quote "If it's not in frame, it doesn't exist."--Murnau
Quote "I think we have it."--Murnau as he finishes the last reel of the film
Premiere "...A movie lover's movie....Dafoe's portrayal of vampire Schreck is remarkable -- frightening and funny and completely sui generis..." 12/01/2000 p.24-26
Movieline's Hollywood Life "...[A] stylish pastiche....[Dafoe] gives a breathtaking performance..." 12/01/2000 p.39
Entertainment Weekly "...[A] delicious premise....[Dafoe's] exciting performance shades terrifying thirst with poignant, century-old tristesse..." -- Rating: B 01/12/2001 p.57
Sight and Sound "...SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE stands witness to the enduring iconic potency of the great classics of the horror genre..." 02/01/2001 p.50-1
Los Angeles Times "...Dafoe's Schreck combines crazy dignity, towering presence and an unstoppable blood lust to create the kind of presence you just don't see every day..." 12/29/2000 p.F1
Chicago Sun-Times "...The movie does an uncanny job of re-creating the visual feel of Murnau's film....The supporting cast is a curiously, intriguingly mixed bag..." 01/26/2001 p.27
E. Elias Merhige
John Malkovich
Willem Dafoe
Cast & Crew
Cary Elwes - Actor
Eddie Izzard - Actor
John Malkovich - Actor
Willem Dafoe - Actor
E. Elias Merhige - Director
Lou Bogue - Director of Photography
Dan Jones - Musical Score
Paul Brooks, et al. - Producer
Steven Katz - Writer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2000
Catalog ID 8338-D
UPC 00031398833826
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 93 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English [CC], English
Aspect Ratio
Oscar (2001) Willem Dafoe, Nominee, Best Supporting Actor,Ann Buchanan & Amber Sibley, Nominee, Best Makeup
Golden Globe (2001) Willem Dafoe, Nominee, Best Supporting Actor
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review This material doesn't lend itself to subtelty, and Malkovich and Dafoe chew their lines like characters who know they are always beings observed... The supporting cast is a curiously , intriguingly mixed bag...
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource The New York Times
Review improbably blend of behind-the-scenes satire and art-house fright-fest, anchored by Willem Dafoe's creepy, comical and oddly moving performance as the blood-sucking Schreck...
Reviewer A.O. Scott
ReviewRating 9
Product Attributes
Actor Dafoe,Willem
Label Trimark Home Entertainment
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Todd McCarthy, Variety An outstanding performance by Willem Dafoe...
Rolling Stone A shockingly funny spellbinder!
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