Vampire Week Movie 5 – Shadow of the Vampire (2000)–The Troubles of Casting a Vampire – In Your Vampire Movie
Set during the shooting of the iconic 1922 Vampire film, Nosferatu, Shadow of the Vampire tells the tale of the dangers that can face you when you look for too much realism in your films. Staring John Malkovich as famous German Director, Frederich Wilhelm Murnau, during his filming of the above mentioned Nosferatu. Taking his cast and crew to film on location in Czechoslovakia, where he instroduces the rest of the crew to the star of the film, Max Schreck, whom, Murnau explains, will be in character for the entire time of the filming, and will only be seen at night. Schreck is played masterfully by Willem Dafoe. When members of the crew start to disappear, we see interesting back and forth between Murnau and the Vampire, in which we find out that Murnau has made a very interesting and questionable bargain with the Vampire: His good behaviour for the life of one of his cast. Shame it’s so difficult to deal with the undead.
Shadow of the Vampire puts a new twist to the Vampire movie: it’s a movie about the making of a vampire movie – wherein the Director of said movie chose to hire a real Vampire to play the title role. The cast is composed of a lot of “A” Listers and they all do an amazing job in this unusual film. The story is gripping, and the switch between regular filming, and the representation of what Murnau is capturing on his cameras is a great way to capture the dualism of the story. After watching this, I was compelled to watch the original, 1922 Nosferatu the very next day. If you enjoy horror movies, plot twists and damn good acting then you owe it to yourself to watch this film. Check out the trailer below:
30 Days of Night tells the tale of a Vampire outbreak in the little Alaskan town of Barrow, during the 30 day polar Night (in the Arctic, there is a period each Winter where the sun sets and does not rise again for 30 days, due to the axial tilt of the planet Earth). A great time for light fearing creatures of the night. Just before the beginning of the long night, strange things start to happen. Peoples cell phones are going missing, and all means of escape from town are either vandalized or destroyed (including dog sled). Once the night hits, it gets weirder when the town’s power is cut. Investigating, the Sheriff, Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett), discovers that the crew at the power plant have been brutally murdered and the plant vandalized. You see, the Vampires have planned for this night… This is going to be a gory, un-dead versus the unsuspecting soft, humans. Of course there is the hiding to stay safe while one by one the survivors numbers shrink situation – like there is in almost all these movies.
These are dark, dirty, evil vampires. They seem much closer to a complete, separate species than just turned, ancient humans. That said, these Vampires can turn humans into Vampires also, but I did get the feeling that some of them may have been old, greasy dirty powerful killer hominids. I thought it was an interesting take (especially the use of a separate Vampire language). This is not a perfect movie, but it is an enjoyable, action and gore filled bloodfest that I thoroughly enjoyed. Have I seen better Vampire movies? Sure, but I would watch this again and not feel like I wasted my time. Check out the trailer below and decide for yourself if this movie is for you:
Suspiria is a 1977 horror movie directed by the Italian master, Dario Argento, and the fist of a trilogy of horror. And it’s weird… and loud.
Suspiria tells the story of America ballet dance student, Suzy Bannion who takes up study at a prestigious dance study in Germany, but quickly discovers that things are not what they may seem. Upon arriving at the school on a ridiculously rainy night, only to see an upset girl fleeing and mumbling something about a secret and a flower – and then to be refused entrance. Next we see a girl die in an artistically weird stabbing… The next day Suzy manages to get to the school, meets Madame Blanc and Miss Tanner, and is shown around the school and introduced to the girls in the locker room. Suzy is told that the room she was to stay in is not ready and that she will stay with another student for the time being. At the school, Suzy has a fainting spell (after a weird encounter with the school’s cook)… later she seems okay…
Alright: All I am doing is describing what happened in the movie – and that is a silly thing to do. It’s al artistic Italian Horror by the master Dario Argento and it is about a Ballet School run by witches…
Argento manages to create a creepy, artistic weird horror flick of sorts that keeps you watching. The strong uses of colour is very jarring as well as is the cacophonous soundtrack which built up so much tension in me that I almost felt nauseous. Seriously, I have never had a soundtrack for a film affect me so… and it was loud. This is a trippy experience of a film and definitely bot for everyone. If you have an open mind (and not overly sensitive ears) , then this will be a memorable watch. Will you like it? Many won’t – I did, but with reservations. You check it out and tell me what you think. Here’s the trailer:
My awesome wife and I saw the new Evil Dead remake this weekend and I have to say it was fantastic. Not a direct remake as much as a re-imagining of the original, but it manages to keep the basics of the original.
This movie was a great horror on it’s own and a great addition to the Evil Dead movies as a whole. If you are a horror fan then you owe it to yourself to see this film.
Here’s the trailer if you’re not convinced:
Tonight we’re watching the third and final (so far, that is) episode in the Evil Dead trilogy. This one takes place in medieval times (see The Evil Dead 2 to see why this is so), and is another over the top Horror romp starring our buddy Bruce Campbell as Ash once again. Thrust into the middle of…ummm the Middle Ages, it’s once again up to him to save the world from the Darkness that we were introduced to in the first two movies.
Two things remain consistant in all three Evil Dead movie: Bruce Campbell and the humour. Despite being horror films, they manage to be quite fun. Little off hand remarks by minor characters go along way in these films… And Bruce Campbell ALWAYS rocks.
Lots going ioon in this film and the big battle against the army of the Dead iis like a giant Homage to Ray Harryhausen (the stop motion master behind the great Sinbad films and the original early 1980s Clash of the Titans). Nothing like an army of smart-ass Skeletons doing battle!
This movie has a lot going for it but please, watch the two precursors, The Evil Dead and the Evil Dead 2 first – It will be worth it!
Check out the trailer below:
Evil Dead 2 was the movie of the night last night. Released six years after the original Evil Dead, this is more of a re-imagining of Evil Dead than a sequel. Still starring Bruce Campbell as Ash and the same scary cabin as the first movie, Evil Dead is set as if the first movie did not happen.
This time it’s just Ash and his girlfriend that heads to the cabin, where they unwittingly awake demons by playing a recording or phrases from the Book of the Dead. All Hell breaks loose (yes, again an intentional pun – deal with it), and Ash is left bouncing between battling the Demonic forces and being part of those forces.
Soon joined by the daughter of the Cabin’s owners and a hillbilly and his girlfriend, the battle between humanity and the darkness just intensifies. Visually creepy, and full of campy horror goodness, I believe Evil Dead take what was started with the Evil Dead and raises it to a new level. While the whole movie is great, there are a few particularly great scenes, including a great eye-ball in the mouth scerne and a psychotic/psychedelic scene where Ash absolutely loses it in a room full of laughter – you’ll know both scenes when they happen.
In the six years between the original Evil Dead and this movie, Bruce Campbell seems top have honed his acting skills a little, and creator and director Sam Raimi seemed to have managed to drum up money for a larger budget.
Like the original Evil Dead, this too is a must watch for Horror fans.
Check out the trailer below:
Last night we began the first of the three great films that make up the Evil Dead Trilogy. We watched the original 1981, Evil Dead – a movie that I have seen many times, and will match many more time most likely.
This as a great, cheezy and ground breaking horror film that introduced the world to the acting Juggernaught that is Bruce Campbell. The gist of things? 5 friends travel to a cabin in the woods, accidentally raise some Demons and then the fun starts. Creepy looking, evil voiced demons take over most of the group and all Hell breaks loose (yeah, pun is intended).
This movie was (and is) very influential for horror movies that went forward, and while low budget, very watchable. If you are a horror fan, and haven’t seen this film, then you must.
Over the next few days I’ll be talking about the next two movies in the series, also.
Check out the original tailer from The Evil Dead below: