‘Nosferatu the Vampyre’ Review: Vampire or Vampyre?

Posted in The Screening Room by - October 10, 2014
In color for her pleasure...

In color for her pleasure…

Nosferatu the Vampyre is a strange film mostly due to the fact it was made by Werner Herzog. Herzog isn’t exactly known for making straightforward films, or even films that are fun to watch. Watching a Herzog film seems almost like an experience in itself due to the way he films. The film feels more like a documentary than a fictional tale because of the visceral way that Herzog films. 

Klaus Kinski however is the real star of the film as the finally properly named Count Dracula (looking at you Nosferatu A Symphony of Horror). As Dracula, Kinski is effeminate and soft spoken, unlike any vampire portrayed before or since. He is not garish like Karloff or macho like Paxton; he is quiet and strange. He almost speaks with a lisp and stares longly into space, looking for an answer to a question in his head. His white skin and deformed ears make him as physically repulsive as Max Schreck’s Orlok but he is less of a caricature. His motives are never clear but it is hinted that he wants companions for eternity as being alone is emptiness. 

Herzog takes the chance to dial into the fears of plague and death that weren’t present in the original film. Dracula not only kills people himself but also spreads the Black Plague through his rats that he commands. Herzog sees Dracula as the bringer of death not only for Johnathan Harker but for all of Europe. It’s a stark realization but one that works in the context of the story as whole. Dracula is death personified.

Nosferatu the Vampyre is a film worth watching if you’ve seen the original since it is different. Klaus Kinski brings a different take to the Count Dracula character that is unique in its creepiness. Also, there is a twist to the ending that addresses a plot hole from the original film that seems to be forgotten, and makes a villain out of a well known hero. Watch this film if you’re a Herzog fan or enjoy Kinski but understand that this isn’t Herzog’s commercial film; its as bizarre and visceral as any Herzog film.

Final Say: Watch It

Who Said What?

Count Dracula: “Death is not the worst. There are things more horrible than death.”

This post was written by

Chris Stachiw is the Editor-in-Chief and co-host of the Kulturecast. He’s a native Californian with a penchant for sarcasm and a taste for the cinematic bizarre. You’ll often find him wandering the wasteland of Nebraska searching for the meaning of life and possibly another rare Pokemon.

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