23 September 2012

count shylock.

6. Nosferatu (1922)

I know that you're supposed to love classic silent films because they're, like, historical and artful and stuff, but holy shit! I was bored stiff by F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu. I guess that makes me a heathen—but I'll gladly live with that epithet if it means I'll never have to sit through this movie again. 

Wikipedia told me that Nosferatu was an adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, but since the novel was only thirty years old (and not in the public domain as it is today) the studio couldn't procure the rights, so they just changed all the names and a few of the details to avoid litigation. Count Dracula is now Count Orlok, who somewhat resembles a Nazi caricature of a greedy Jew. I guess Orlok is creepy-looking—kind of like your alcoholic middle school janitor—but he's a little over-the-top for my taste. You could almost imagine Charles Nelson Reilly in the role without too much adjustment. 

Nothing much happens in Nosferatu, to be honest. Count Orlok wants to move from his secluded castle to a fixer-upper in town so that he can be closer the smorgasbord of unbitten necks that an urban center provides. In the end, a virginal woman who lives across the street (who looks suspiciously like a man in a Scarlett O'Hara wig) lures Orlok to her room in the hope that he'll be so busy guzzling down her blood that he'll forget to take cover when the sun rises. 

The plan works. The end. 


  1. Have you seen Shadow of the Vampire? It's a film about the making of Nosferatu with Willem Dafoe doing a mean Max Schreck.

    1. No, I haven't seen that. I believe Werner Herzog did a remake of this that I haven't seen either.

  2. I saw this for the first time last year.