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Shadow of the Vampire [DVD] [2001] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

3.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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  • Shadow of the Vampire [DVD] [2001] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Product details

  • Language: English, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005B6L0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,954 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
'Shadow of the Vampire' is a great film, a must for any serious horror fan (or cineaste generally). I saw it in the cinema when it first came out and owned the original DVD (which I somehow lost), so I repurchased it via amazon from Discgiant.

The edition I'm writing about here is the Metrodrome one, ASIN barcode 5055002550386. It has the WORST trasnfer I've ever seen on a contemporary feature film, so I'm wondering if Discgiant are supplying a genuine product. DON'T BUY THIS EDITION - as I said, having owned the original DVD and seen it on celluloid in a cinema, I was shocked by the dreadful picture quality.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Be prepared to be haunted by such sinister questions before watching "Shadow of the Vampire": should filmmaking be considered an art or science?, what's the thin line between genius and lunacy?, what might be the complications of uncontrolled creativity? what threads have humans and vampires in common? wickedness, loneliness, voraciousness, monstrousness or something more we don't know?

The premise of the film is based on the story of two tortured souls: one in human form, an obsessive and ambitious director who will sacrifice his cast and crew to "science" for the sake of making history through his purely realistic work, Nosferatu. The other is an hybrid form seemingly a rodent-like actor with clicking long, green fingernails and scowling gutteral grunts, who skulks in a nocturnal pit where his only companions are rats and bats. Both are after his own immortality; the former feeds on souls, the latter feeds on blood.

Thanks to impeccable cinematography, the aura and ambiance of the film are dark and depressing. The film uses different cameras and angles very well. As a photographer, I must say that the use of lights, shadows and reflections enhance the intended effectiveness. Along with good close-ups, it mixes bright shots with shadowy darkness pretty well. Overtures from "Tristan and Isolde" & "The Flying Dutchman", combines exquisitely with the picture. But, putting all these positive elements aside, the beauty of the film has a lot to do with the top notch performances of Willem Dafoe and John Malkovich.

But..... The pacing is a little too slack; duration is too short; script is shallow and not strong as it should be; depends too much on stereotypes, and pushes the viewer too much, not allowing enough room for imagination.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you want special effects and blood and guts you will be disappointed. It's not even a very well constructed film. But I recently saw it by chance and if you want to feel as though you have met the real Dracula (or rather Count Orlock), this is the one. The part is played sublimely well by Willem Dafoe; and this together with the film's general mediocrity makes him stand apart from the film, and thereby (and I'm sure the irony is unintended)the most 'real' of all the characters. It is also of note that Orlock is the only character in the film with a sense of humour. I am no film buff and I do not normally bother to watch horror films but I know a good thing when I see it, and there is genius in this film.
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Format: DVD
It is 1921 and autocratic director FW Murnau (John Malkovitch) is filming his masterpiece: an unuathorised, Weimar-Republic take on Dracula. Unknown to cast and crew, the somewhat eccentric Murnau hires real vampire Schreck (Willem Dafoe), in the guise of a method actor, to play the lead role of Nosferatu: his deal being that Schreck can feast on the blood of diva Greta Scroder as the film wraps its final take.
However, bored with the blood of bats and chickens, the isolated, lonely Schreck gets peckish during the early days of filming and starts an early course of cameraman Wolfgang (Ronan Vibert), and one by one, crew members fall sick and die... Mehrige's ingenious film is at once a dedicated homage to the look and feel of the original silent Nosferatu, a classy drama-horror, and a black comedy on the excesses of, and sacrifices for, Art. The scenes are cleverly shot, with colour 'backstage/real life' footage merging into the sepia-toned, closed-filter stagey-ness of the silent movie scenes. Peculiarly, even though Schreck is supposed to be bumping off cast and crew at a rapid rate, we only ever see him attack 2 crew members: Wolfgang (who he repeatedly visits) and a camera assistant (who he throws from the boat set after biting him once). The film was shot on an incredibly tight budget and a 35 day schedule, and according to interviews with Mehrige, he began to realise that he was rapidly running out of money and time about halfway through the production, having to throw out pages of script. This would explain why we get plenty of development of Vibert's character slipping into anemia-induced fear and death, but characters such as Eddie Izzard's (terrific) von Wagenheim simply disappear from the plot.
Shadow is a short-feeling 91minutes.
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Format: DVD
F.W. Murnau (John Malkovich) is filming Nosferatu (1922), but isn't reclusive star Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe) taking his role of the vampire way too seriously?

In some ways it's a curate's egg of a film. It certainly helps if you are a lover of old classic film and have some knowledge of the source material at the film's core. It's a fabulous concept that the screenplay is based around, that the star of the film may actually be a real vampire, and the whole production is executed with consummate skill (Dafoe was deservedly Oscar nominated as were make-up artists Ann Buchanan & Amber Sibley). But come the end it fizzles out and proves to not have delivered on its devilishly intriguing premise. Fun, though, and tech credits all round keep one well involved. 6/10
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