Shadow of the Vampire

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -2 1/2

In the early days of cinema, when feature length black-and-white silent movies are still in their infancy, innovative director F. W. Murnau (John Malkovich) wants to bring Bram Stokers Dracula legend to the screen. But the Stoker estate refuses to cooperate. Undaunted, the director takes his actors and crew to a remote city where filming begins on the story renamed Nosferatu. Murnau has hired an unknown method character actor Max Schrek (Willem Dafoe) to play Count Orlof, the vampire. But crew members begin disappearing or dying as rumors imply Schrek may be a real vampire. And leading lady, Greta (Catherine McCormack), may be Schreks payment for the film. Limited audiences may enjoy this humorous but less than accurate look at film history.

Set in the early 1920s, the R-rated film avoids using frequent obscenities although the f-word gets used a few times. But use of Jesus as an expletive, along with other profanity, gets numerous airings. Decadent nightclubs feature sex acts and private rooms for patrons to indulge in quiet, drug injections. The dialogue references drug use several times and in one scene, Murnau seems to be sleeping off the effects. Drugs are also injected into Greta before her final scene. An earlier scene shows a giggling Greta, apparently under the influence, taking off her blouse. Although limited, violent scenes show bloody necks, shootings, and struggles. One gross scene even shows Orlock plucking a bat out of the air to eat. SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE is not on the recommended list.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Lions Gate Films, 2 Bloor Str. W., Ste. 1901, Toronto, ON M4W 3E2, Canada

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times - Mild 3, moderate 1

Obscene Language: Several (5) times - F-word 2, s-word, 2, other 1

Profanity: Several (9) times - Regular 7 (J 5, for G sake, G knows); exclamatory 2 (MG)

Violence: Several times - Moderate and severe (finger cut, men struggle, man talks about eating crew, man grabs bat and bites it, pushing, choking, shooting, bloody neck, neck broken, sunlight burns body)

Sex: None

Nudity: Few times (breast nudity)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times club features sex acts seen in background, mans hand on womans breast

Drugs: Several times Cigarette smoking, use implied by needle, alcohol drinking, reference to being loaded (with drugs)/ womans use of morphine/ laudanum use, drug injected in woman

Other: People complain when cross removed from home (protection from vampire), man goes to any length to get film made (actors and crew expendable), no reflection seen of vampire

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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