Shadow of the Vampire

  • Film
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Intriguing, eccentric, sporadically entertaining tosh (but tosh all the same), this fictionalised account of the shooting of Murnau's Nosferatu rests heavily on the engagingly loopy but finally limiting conceit that the director's mysterious star, Max Schreck, was indeed a vampire, and had to be fed and flattered accordingly. Malkovich, typically, enters into the crazed spirit of the piece with a vengeance, Dafoe is witty and affecting as Schreck, and there are, intentionally or otherwise, some very funny moments. But the whole is far too uneven and unfocused to make proper sense (the use of 'clips' is mind-bogglingly misjudged), whether as comedy, suspense or serious study of the ontological intersection between reality, myth and movie-making. Indeed, the opening credits, interminably padded out and featuring slow zooms into bizarre pictures that have nothing to do with the rest of the film, hint at the scattershot nonsense to follow.

Release details

Duration: 93 mins

Cast and crew

Director: E Elias Merhige
Screenwriter: Steven Katz
Cast: John Malkovich
Willem Dafoe
Cary Elwes
John Aden Gillet
Eddie Izzard
Udo Kier
Catherine McCormack
Ronan Vibert
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