Day 7 (Alex): Nosferatu (with The Invincible Czars)

Day 7 of my 31 Days of Halloween brings a special version of Nosferatu.

When I sat down to choose my list this year, I selected a few older, original classics from the early 1900s.  Nosferatu, the first vampire movie, was on my list, and when I learned a live band was coming to Huntsville to perform an original score during a screening of Nosferatu, I knew I had to see it in person!

Let's get on with the review, shall we?  I've got to start off with the fantastic score by The Invincible Czars.  Wow.  Their live performance during the screening simply enthralled me. Why can't we have more live performances during films? I understand it requires LOTS of dedication, practice, and time and there simply aren't enough talented artists to provide such live scores. But this is a lost art, I think.  This band performed such a beautiful, haunting score, one that I wish I could see time and time again. 

I'm writing this half a week later, and I'm happy to say this film and the live performance is still sticking with me. I have to confess I've yet to see the film in its original version (I'll do that soon along with another review), but I have a hard time imagining it could do any better than the haunting melodies provided by The Invincible Czars.  If you've not done so yet, watch the short trailer with their score in the video above.  Better yet, if they are traveling to a city near you, drop what you're doing and go see them live!  Check out their tour schedule at this link: 

As for the film itself, it's interesting to note that Prana Films, the German production company behind Nosferatu, only released the one film.  Due to copyright infringements, Bram Stoker's widow sued the company, leading it to bankruptcy.  So, one would be right to say Nosferatu follows a lot of Bram Stoker's Dracula, but it deviates a good bit in places. 

Max Schreck, the actor playing the part of Count Orlok, quite possibly fits the part better than any actor even to this day.  Tall and gangling, he sported some incredibly long fangs and carried himself like a hungry animal in search of meeting his base needs.  It's the art of avoiding overacting and theatrical platitudes that set Schreck apart from other performers, especially for the times. 

The lighting and shadows featured prominently on Nosferatu, particularly in those moments when Count Orlok graces the screen. Couple that with the live score, this film delivered suspense and horror at its finest.  If you've not taken time to see this classic film, what better time than this month?  I just hope you can see it with The Invincible Czars lined up in front of you.  

My overall score including The Invincible Czars, a whopping 7 out of 8!