Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
December 23, 2018 12:21 PM - Subscribe

Director F.W. Murnau (John Malkovich) makes a Faustian pact with a vampire (Willem Dafoe) to get him to star in his 1922 film "Nosferatu."
posted by jouke (8 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This was a compelling film with a performance of truly breathtaking creepiness by Willem Dafoe, but if I recall correctly it just kind of trails off into artsy weirdness at the end. It's been 18 years(!) so my memory is a little faded, but I remember it feeling unresolved.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:24 PM on December 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

100% worth watching, if only for DaFoe's unforgettable, "I'll eat her later."

I still drop that quote, when appropriate.
posted by mneekadon at 6:54 PM on December 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

posted by The Whelk at 8:02 PM on December 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

This was my favorite film of 2000. It's an adept and unpredictable film, tense and disturbing, then funny, and transcendentally weird in places. Yet I agree that it becomes too artsy at the end. It was directed by the creator of the unforgettable "metaphysical splatter film" Begotten (film, trailer, content warning). Based on the commentary track, Shadow of the Vampire was also very allegorically meaningful to him. But there's so much good stuff at the surface of this film already, I've never become interested in whatever he sees underneath.

The Schnapps scene ends with one of my favorite comic moments from film in that decade. There were screams of laughter in the theater, I remember. I don't know of any other actor so reliably watchable as Willem Dafoe. (He was nominated for an Academy Award for this film, but Benicio del Toro won for Traffic instead). The high-quality writing also stands out in this scene. It's such a bummer when you see a film like this with an original premise, good structure, and juicy dialogue, and there's little else to check out by the same writer.
posted by heatvision at 4:28 AM on December 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is one of my favourite movies ever. But it's not very well known.
So if this fanfare post results in anybody to view it my goal is accomplished.
posted by jouke at 3:06 AM on December 30, 2018

So, I am a big ol' Dracula nerd and I love this movie because it irrevocably changed the way I read the interactions between Dracula and Jonathan Harker at the beginning of the book.
Dracula hasn't had servants in 400 years and then a man comes to his ancestral home, and he must convince him that he... that he is like the man. He has to feed him, when he himself hasn't eaten food in centuries. Can he even remember how to buy bread? How to select cheese and wine? And then he remembers the rest of it. How to prepare a meal, how to make a bed. He remembers his first glory, his armies, his retainers, and what he is reduced to. The loneliest part of the book comes... when the man accidentally sees Dracula setting his table.
I think about that every time I reread.
posted by darchildre at 10:21 AM on December 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

This film probably pops into my mind at least once a month. "Don't eat him!"
But now I wanna see it again.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:34 AM on January 6, 2019

This has disappeared off of regular streaming services, but some kind person posted the entire thing on Vimeo.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:59 AM on October 10, 2022

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