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Shadow of the Vampire


Shadow of the Vampire


Vampire Movies of the Noughties


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The Movie

Somewhere in Eastern Europe 1922 ...

Filming of F.W. Murnau's classic vampire movie, Nosferatu, is being disrupted not only by funding problems, but by rumours of disappearances and deaths amongst the cast and crew. On the first night of shooting, the cameraman mysteriously takes ill and collapses… Some days later, his replacement falls into a trance and never recovers…

Leading man Max Shreck (Willem Dafoe) is never introduced to the cast and crew he is never seen out of character. Hapless actor Gustav (Eddie Izzard) thinks his sinister co-star is the ultimate method actor. In fact, director Murnau (John Malkovich) has sealed a pact with Shreck offering him the neck of his leading lady (Catherine McCormack) at the end of the shoot if he delivers the ultimate performance for the camera.

Stranded on an island, the crew must finish the film before Shreck's bloodlust becomes uncontrollable.

Nominated for two Oscars (Willem Dafoe Best Supporting Actor and Best Make Up effects) Shadow Of The Vampire charts the horrifying lengths to which one of cinema's outstanding directors went, to put the most chilling interpretation of Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' on film.

  • Cast List
    John Malkovich as Friedrich Wilhelm 'F.W.' Murnau
    Willem Dafoe as Max Schreck
    Udo Kier as Albin Grau
    Cary Elwes as Fritz Arno 'Fritzy' Wagner
    Catherine McCormack as Greta Schröder
    Eddie Izzard as Gustav von Wangenheim
    Aden Gillett as Henrik Galeen
    Nicholas Elliott as Paul
    Ronan Vibert as Wolfgang 'Wolf' Müller
    Sophie Langevin as Elke
    Myriam Muller as Maria
    Milos Hlavac as Innkeeper
    Marja-Leena Junker as Innkeeper's Wife
    Derek Kueter as Reporter 1
    Norman Golightly as Reporter 2
    Patrick Hastert as Reporter 3
    Sascha Ley as Drunken Woman
    Marie-Paule von Roesgen as Old Woman
    Jean-Claude Croes as Murnau's Crew
    Christophe Chrompin as Murnau's Crew
    Graham Johnston as Murnau's Crew - Camera Assistant
    Orian Williams as Murnau's Crew
    Radica Jovicic as Murnau's Crew
    Tania Marzen as Eva
    Ingeborga Dapkunaite as Micheline
  • Director: E. Elias Merhige
  • Produced by Nicolas Cage
  • Format: Color, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Widescreen
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Audio Encoding: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Rated: Not for sale to persons under age 18
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • Run Time: 93min


"Shadow" sets out to be a "Making of Murnau's Nosferatu", but with a vampire in the leading role, film making rapidly descends into the realms of fear and suspense.

The cast and crew's ignorance of the director's cynical decision to use a vampire leads to some hilarious moments, especially as the vampire gets ever more impatient for his "fee"; but the real strength of this movie is that the preposterous story is wholly believable, and careful matching of the modern set to the 1922 template is a fine tribute to the original movie.

Dafoe is simply marvellous as the vampire-turned-method-actor, and Malkovich offers a chilling performance as Murnau. The supporting cast, with a fine Izzard as leading actor, and Catherine McCormack as drug-ridden leading lady, are utterly convincing as a cast and crew in the midst of inexplicable evil - we, the audience, always know much more than they do, and their confusion is palpable.

Well worth rewatching Murnau's classic, before watching this, to get the full benefit of this great vampire movie


  • Encoding: Read more about DVD formats.
  • Available Audio Tracks: English, French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Commentary by director E. Elias Merhige
  • Featurette
  • Nicolas Cage Interview
  • Photo Gallery
  • DVD Released: May 29, 2001

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The Vampyreverse 10 January 2016 Copyright Andrew Heenan Privacy