.

Shadow of the Vampire

Willem Dafoe, John Malkovich

Directed by E. Elias Merhige
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
December 20, 2000

Shadow of the Vampire, the first film produced by Nicolas Cage, is a shockingly funny spellbinder with a plum part that Cage — talk about shocks — handed to Willem Dafoe instead of himself. Dafoe, who has never been better, bites into this Oscar-bait role with an uncanny knack for blending mirth and menace. Here are the facts: In 1921, German director F.W. Murnau cast unknown actor Max Schreck to portray the undead Count Orlock in what would become the silent-film classic Nosferatu. As screenwriter Steven Katz wickedly sees it, Murnau, played to the creepy max by John Malkovich, knew that Schreck (Dafoe) was a real vampire when he hired him, promising him the neck of leading lady Greta Schroeder (Catherine McCormack) at the end of shooting if Schreck helped Murnau achieve cinematic immortality. It's a deal that most directors today would make in a snap if they could. That's the premise, and an exceptional cast, including Eddie Izzard as a hambone actor, gleefully plays variations on it. But Dafoe goes deeper. With the help of director E. Elias Merhige (Begotten), who evokes the silent-film era with visionary brilliance, Dafoe captures the humanity in the monster. It's a mesmerizing spectacle.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Fantasy”

    Mariah Carey | 1995

    Serendipity stuck when Mariah Carey rediscovered the glitchy Tom Tom Club hook, a sample of which is the heart of this upbeat slice of dance pop. "I had the melody idea for 'Fantasy' and I was listening to the radio and heard 'Genius of Love,' and I hadn't heard it in a long time," Carey said. "It reminded me of growing up and listening to the radio and that feeling the song gave me seemed to go with the melody and basic idea I had for 'Fantasy.' I initially told [co-writer] Dave Hall about the idea, and we did it. We called up the Tom Tom Club and they were really into it."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com