Finally a movie that shows just how far an actor can take his role..literally.What can be said about "Shawdow of the Vampire" that hasn't been said already? I saw it at a small cinema here in Prague, and it fit perfectly.
"Shadow of the Vampire" will never set box office records simply because it is so damn intelligent that most of the planet won't appreciate its subtle beauty, razor sharp inside critiques of the film industry, or the wonderfully pathetic and tragic Count Orlock/Max Schreck, brought to live by Mr. Dafoe in the performance of a life time.
"Nosferatu" has a special place in my heart. When I was 7 my dad (rest in peace) bought me a simple book called "Famous Monsters of the Movies". It was a neat book, and filled with stuff 7 year olds love: Godzilla, The Mummy, the WolfMan, and of course, Dracula. But it ALSO had a special section on silent movie monsters, and it was there I first learned of Max Schreck, FW Murnau, and "Nosferatu".
The one picture from "Nosferatu", that of Orlock looking up from Greta's throat straight into the camera, to this day stands in my mind.
"Shadow of the Vampire" has that same effect, it stays with you. Its plot, a BRILLIANT "What If" that contends Schreck was a REAL vampire, is one of the cleverest and most imaginative stories in years. Malkovich is brilliant, as usual, and Eddie Izzard..well, damn what can I say he ALMOST steals the movie.
But this movie belongs to Willem Dafoe. He got nominated for, but didn't win, the Oscar, thus proving yet again that Hollywood wouldn't know acting if it bent them over and rammed a spike dildo up their asses. His performance DESTROYS every vampire all the way back to Schreck.
A grade a 100% delight, memorable, funny, and tragic."Shadow of the Vampire" should be required viewing for all.