Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)

This second of five Herzog-Kinski romps* is an impressionist-stylized remake of F.W. Murnau’s unauthorized, 1922 black-and-white silent adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula (loosely chronicled in the drama Shadow of the Vampire). But how did Herzog manage to make this film without the same copyright issues that plagued Murnau’s version? Simple. The day the copyright expired on Stoker’s novel and entered the public domain, Herzog began his adaptation.

As with all of Herzog’s films, this is scored by the West German progressive rock group Popol Vuh who, when it comes to soundtracks, are that country’s greatest musical export, next to the commercially better known Tangerine Dream**. And as with Tangerine Dream, Popol Vuh released both independent studio albums and soundtracks. Seriously. The soundtrack is incredible. (I played the album until it split apart like a cinnamon roll.)

The original Murnau film.

And we’ll leave it at that, as Sammy P, the bossman at B&S About Movies, did a commendable job at reviewing this masterpiece of horror. No disrespect to Max Schreck who scared the sand out of me, but Kinski giving a “voice” to the character really ups the game. A highly recommended horror watch if there ever was one. You know me and Kinski.

You can watch this as a free-with-ads stream on TubiTv. And Kinski made a pseudo-sequel with Christopher Plummer and Donald Pleasence in Italy—1988’s Nosferatu in Venice, which you can also stream for free on TubiTV. You can see Sam’s take on the film from 2019, HERE.

* Be sure to check out our exploration of the Herzog-Kinski oeuvre with our “Drive-In Friday: Kinski vs. Herzog” featurette.

**And don’t forget our review of all the films Tangerine Dream scored, with our “Exploring: 10 Tangerine Dream Film Soundtracks” featurette.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

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