Shadow of the Vampire supposedly tells the story
of the shooting of Nosferatu,
the first Dracula film made in 1922. The two main characters in the
film are the director of Nosferatu
(John Malkovich) and its star (Willem Dafoe). As played out in
Shadow of the Vampire, Dafoe is an actual vampire found by Malkovich
in the wilds of Czechoslovakia who proceeds to start drinking the blood
of various members of the cast and crew. This film is high camp all
the way with John Malkovich at his worst, overacting and playing John Malkovich.
Dafoe, on the other hand, is amazing in his re-creation of the character
of Nosferatu and rightly
deserves his Oscar nomination. The rest of the cast, including Cary
Elwes and Eddie Izzard, is also good but more or less wasted. I really
don't know what I was expecting from Shadow of the Vampire but what
I saw, wasn't it. This isn't really a movie. It's a collection of
outtakes, maybe. The closest I can come to describing it, is a very unfunny
If they had put in some jokes, it could have been, well, funny. But
as it is, it is played straight except for the exceptional level of overacting.
So it's just weird. The Producer of this film is none other than
Nicolas Cage. He should stick to acting. The good buzz of this
film seems to come completely from Hollywood types who think this is a
hilarious satire on movie-making. I guess I'm not really a Hollywood type.
Dafoe has benefited from all the hype by getting nominated at every major
film awards show. But beyond his performance, I can't really recommend
this movie at all. Too bad Nosferatu
didn't manage to drain the blood out of the real director before he finished
Shadow of the Vampire.