Monster of the Day #55…

Just as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari set many of the benchmarks for the more reality or sci-fi based horror film, this set the stage for all the supernatural horror movies that followed.  And while werewolf lore as we know it was basically invented out of whole cloth by Curt Siodmak for The Wolf Man, movie vampire lore basically followed folklore.  Perhaps the biggest exception, fittingly enough, was introduced here: The notion that sunlight is fatal to the undead.

  • We’re lucky to have this one. Mrs. Stoker really wanted this sucker burnt and gone…

  • TongoRad

    On the subject of folklore- if I remember correctly both this movie and the Dreyer movie (‘Vampyr’) have expository sections of main characters reading from books about vampires to the audience, in case one wasn’t up to date on the folklore that they were basing the movie upon. FWIW, I prefer the Dreyer movie, though it does seem to lack a strong archetypical protagonist (but makes up for it with a genuine sense of surreal dreamy uneasiness). I consider both to be among my favorites, though.

    This post reminds me that I haven’t seen the Herzog remake yet; gotta remedy that asap.

  • Ericb

    Ahh, the good old days when vampires were actual monsters.

  • Cullen — Yep, and she got a legal order to that effect. Luckily, somebody seems to have hidden a copy or two.

  • Elizabeth

    It’s so funny to watch people complaining about Twilight‘s indifference to vampire lore and citing “they go around in the daytime!” as an example. I’m rereading Dracula right now and here’s the Count gallivanting around London in broad daylight.

    I mean, there’s still no excuse for the sparkling, which I read as Meyer’s inept attempt to liken vampire skin to marble in appearance, but sunlight doesn’t have to set vampires on fire.

  • The Rev. D.D.

    This and Shadow of the Vampire have been on my DVR for months. I want to watch them both together for the first time, but seem to lack the time to do so. *sigh*

  • Gamera

    We need a sparkly nosferatu movie! Bahahahahahha

    Ok so yes the whole ‘bursting into flame in sunlight’ wasn’t in Stoker’s novel but somehow I really love the idea and vamps don’t really seem right without it to me. Of course your milage may vary…..

  • I find Nosferatu far more terrifying that Vampyr. It really goes for the throat, so to speak. It is still one of my go-to choices for really scary vampire movies which is to its credit. I mean, despite my love of the original Frankenstein and Wolfman, I don’t kid myself that they would frighten anyone today. But Nosferatu still delivers in my opinion.

  • I saw Shadow of the Vampire at the Music Box back when it was made, and the director did a post-screening Q&A. (I think that was the same week I saw Christopher Lee there for a screening of Horror of Dracula–he still had that booming voice.) The best question was from one very earnest young lady who asked if he was worried he had smeared Nosferatu director Murneau, as portrayed in the film by John Malkovich. The incredibility of the entire audience was well expressed when the director replied, “No, I wasn’t worried that viewers would believe F.W. Murnau actually colluded in the murder of his actors with a vampire.”

  • I love this movie. I have both the 1922 and 1979 versions on DVD. Who do you think was better? Max Shrek or Klaus Kinski?

  • Rock Baker

    Seems like the vampire gunslinger from Curse of the Undead didn’t have a problem with daylight. I think it comes down to asthetics, a guy in a black cape looks spookier in the dark of night than he would wandering around in the daylight.

    Haven’t seen/read anything of Twilight and have no interest in doing so.

    Haven’t seen the remake of this, but I’d watch it if I got the chance.

    Didn’t finish Shadow of the Vampire, should see to that I suppose.

    Haven’t seen Curse of the Undead in close to 20 years, really, really want to see it again.

    So what have I seen recently? Well, a while back I saw Paul Morrissey’s Dracula (the one credited to Andy Warhol), and needed a shower as soon as it was over. Yuck! Can’t call myself a fan of movies where the Designated Hero is a commie rapist, I don’t care how many naked chicks are prancing around!

  • TongoRad

    I’m just wondering, but on the subject of Vampire legend and folklore where did the ‘wooden stake through the heart’ bit come from? Has that always been associated with vampires, even before the books and movies? At least in ‘Vampyr’ it is explained that the stake must be long enough to anchor the vampire to the earth so that they can’t roam free and infect others; that part makes a certain amount of sense to me, but am I correct in assuming that it has been stylized to the point that all you need is a plain old short stake these days?

  • John Nowak

    I don’t know how to say this, but this film really made the best use of an actor’s unusual body type that I’ve ever seen. That bit where Shrek walks through a narrow door… ick.

    I remember I used to think that there were scenes where Orlock was actually a sort of puppet worn on the shoulders of another (possibly armless) actor, but nope — you can see his eyes move in his head.

  • BeckoningChasm

    Herzog’s remake isn’t a bad movie, in fact it has some nifty aspects. But it doesn’t compare well with the original, and to remake such an iconic movie seemed like an idea that should have been thought over a couple more times.