“Lucy, my wife, is in danger — I must save her.”
In 19th century Europe, a real estate agent (Bruno Ganz) is sent by his boss (Roland Topor) to secure a sale with Count Dracula (Klaus Kinski) in Transylvania. Dracula quickly becomes enamored from afar with Ganz’s beautiful wife (Isabelle Adjani), and sets sail to ravish her.
- German Films
- Werner Herzog Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that “Werner Herzog’s remake of F.W. Murnau’s horror classic is beautifully filmed but too slow”, and notes that you’ll be “half asleep” by the time Ganz “reaches the castle of Count Dracula”. He writes that “what’s most disappointing is that the themes and storyline are almost identical to Murnau’s still widely circulated film, making one wonder if Herzog undertook the project only to see if he could make Kinski look like Max Schreck’s vampire (he comes mighty close)”. While it’s true that Herzog’s film is an unmistakably direct homage to Murnau’s film — he’s called it the best movie to come out of Germany — Herzog brings a unique vision to the project, making it distinctively his own. Working with cinematographer Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein, he crafts a luminously saturated historical landscape in which mortals interface warily with vampires, and it’s easy to imagine Dracula’s legend taking root. I agree with Peary that the film moves too slowly — patience is required; but Kinski is mesmerizing as the tortured Nosferatu, and the visuals (including impressive sets, costumes, make-up, and hundreds of live rats) are highly memorable.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Klaus Kinski as Nosferatu
- Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein’s cinematography
- Fine period sets and costumes
- Effectively creepy make-up
- Many memorable scenes and images
- The eclectic and haunting soundtrack by Popul Vuh and others
Yes, as a visually evocative homage to a cinematic classic.
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)