Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) - Werner Herzog

This is a fuller and richer telling of the Nosferatu tale using the original Bram Stoker characters. Klaus Kinski does a wonderful job as Dracula, but the film compliments his performance almost too much. There was a mystery about Max Schreck that really made his performance. Something that couldn't be eclipsed or duplicated. Nevertheless, this is a fantastic film that has been on the playlist of many film students and cinema-lovers. 

Following in the footsteps of Browning's Dracula and F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu before it, Werner Herzog's Nosferatu takes the source material loosely, but nearly completely. Dracula is interested in a home in Varna and has sent for an agent to go over properties with him. Jonathan Harker from Varna itself answers and, against the warning of just about everyone, takes a trip to Dracula's estate. This is where Dracula sees the lovely Lucy. Dracula leaves Harker as a prisoner in his home while he travels to Varna for Lucy. Can Harker get to Lucy before the evil lurking Dracula does? 

Beautifully designed and very good looking.This film's overarching and depressive tone is constant through out. Dracula yearns to be human, to age and die. But he cannot. Herzog did a fantastic job of transferring this emotion onto the screen. Along with thebeautiful cinematography and stage design, this movie has a lot to keep you interested. It's like watching some dark classical masterpiece being played out. 

Parts of the movie could be considered to be dragging. At least by some. To those that fancy the Michael Bay's of our world. This movie would seem boring and long. However, this movie is rich with story and the storyteller doesn't waste the space, he embellishes. There is a strong difference. If you are not familiar with Werner Herzog's work and would like to know more. Watch Aguirre: The Wrath of God and Heart of Glass. Everyone has their favorite Herzog. 

Director: Werner Herzog


Klaus Kinski, 

Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz, and Roland Topor

Country: West Germany

Style: Dramatic Suspensful Re-Telling - Dracula

Studio: Werner Herzog Filmproduktion

Did ya know...

Procuring rats for the film proved difficult, though the production eventually procured a large quantity from a scientific research facility. When shipped to Holland for filming, a customs inspector reportedly fainted upon opening their crate and discovering its contents. In addition to the notorious dye job the rats had to endure, each had to undergo spaying or neutering to control their breeding. Animal rights activists have also alleged that the rats were underfed and actually began to eat one another during production.