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We Love Nosferatu

Updated on November 15, 2014

Images of Nosferatu

Count Orlok
Count Orlok

Nosferatu: The Great Grand-Daddy of Vampire Movies

Nosferatu is a fantastic movie that was from the old era of black and white silent films. This movie was sued by the widow of Bram Stoker for plagiarism, who won the case. It may seem strange to have a plagiarism involving Bram Stoker's widow but remember the new age of horror including Dracula (written 1897) wasn't that far before the early silent film age! As a result of the case being won, the movie should have died.

All copies of the movie were supposed to be destroyed, but copies survived. This is often, along with Incubus, one of the films with the most legends about the cast being "cursed" for taking part with a crazy amount of insanely bad (Luck? Misfortune? Curse?) fortune to fall upon all who participated.

Why I Love Nosferatu - and Why You Will Too!

Nosferatu (The Ultimate Two-Disc Edition)
Nosferatu (The Ultimate Two-Disc Edition)

This is the grand-daddy of all vampire movies, from the black and white silent movie age. It wasn't supposed to survive because it was an obvious rip off of Dracula and yet this cult classic somehow survived, and continues to endure. A fantastic buy that even 80 years later is still worth the watch!


Classic Nosferatu Picture

One of the more iconic images from the movie.
One of the more iconic images from the movie. | Source

Nosferatu Was Based on the Original Dracula by Bram Stoker

Directed by:

F.W. Murnau

Max Schreck
Gustav von Wangenheim
Alexander Granach

There's no question that this is the great-great-grandfather of all vampire movies, one that we're extremely fortunate even survives today. In fact, the movie probably should never have been made. This film is an old tinted film from black and white silent picture era that stars Max Schrek as the creepy Count Orlok, a character very obviously based. This film was a German expressionist film that remains extremely popular today. Although most copies of the original film were ordered destroyed, some have survived, keeping this treasure alive for us. Some people find this old film campy and hilarious, but many others still continue to find Max Schreck and his character incredibly creepy and off-putting.

Nosferatu is recognized at the very first vampire films, and after it's release, Bram Stoker's widow sued the director, claiming this was a blatant rip-off of her late husband's novel: Dracula. The court found in her favor, as there was little question that Dracula was the inspiration for this film, and every negative of this film was supposed to have been destroyed, but pirate copies kept cropping up all over the place.

Once the copyright to Dracula wore off (copyrights last 70 years after the author's death), the movie was re-released in DVD format and is now available on DVD. Whether this movie hits you as very creepy or hilarious, it's worth seeing.

Why Nosferatu Still Holds Up!

I am a very big fan of Nosferatu. Not only does Max Schreck put on an amazing performance as Count Orlok, but the music, the atmosphere, everything makes the movie still creepy even after all these years, even without sound. It's a very different type of movie watching experience, but one that I enjoyed immensely.

Sometimes people rave over a historical movie because of it's place in history. No question this is the first major vampire movie, and was an amazing display of early German expressionism in film, but I found the film itself was still enjoyable. The experience, the writing, watching how actors had to get their parts across, the combination made for a great experience and one I recommend to any horror movie, vampire movie, or just even general movie buff!

Great Review of Nosferatu Blu-Ray

The Legend of Nosferatu Lives, as Well

Nosferatu exists in a wide variety of pop culture references. While it might not get the attention of some of the most popular Twilight Zone episodes, Nosferatu still appears in pop culture like:

  • The Simpsons
  • Spongebob Squarepants
  • NOS4A2 (a novel) by Joe Hill
  • Song "Nosferatu" by Blue Oyster Cult (1977)
  • Multiple references in vampire films and books referring to "nosferatu" as general vampires or vampirism

Take a Look at Shadow of the Vampire

Shadow of the Vampire - A Great Homage

While far more modern, the 2000 movie Shadow of the Vampire is a great homage movie. In this film Williem Dafoe plays Max Schreck, under the premise that the reason he was so creepy and into the character in the movie is that Schreck in fact, is a real vampire. Great performances, bizarre and strange dialogue scenes, and a great overall movie. I do highly recommend this. Not as good as the original Nosferatu, but definitely and interesting companion piece!

Shadow of the Vampire Clip

Movie Draculas Face-Off Today!

Who would win in a free-for-all vampire fight?

See results

No, old is too old - black and white is long gone!

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