Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

aka - Phantom Der Nacht
Germany 1979
Directed by
Werner Herzog
107 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

Nosferatu The Vampire

Alhough well-made and Klaus Kinski is excellent in the lead in what is probably his most credible effort as an actor (although the original Nosferatu, played by Max Schreck in Murnau's 1921 film, Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror, still outdoes him) one must ask why anyone thought there was need to redo Murnau's classic virtually scene for scene.

Herzog claimed to have gone back to the Bram Stoker novel for his inspiration although the Murnau original is clearly his main point of reference. Whilst the film benefits from modern production values, nothing is gained dramatically and whereas the stilted movements and exaggerated expressions of the original make sense historically, here they just look incongruously contrived and like Gus Van Sant's 1998 Psycho remake this one goes straight into the we-didn't-really-need-it drawer.

FYI: The film had a kind of sequel in Nosferatu in Venice (d. Augusto Caminito 1988), a cult film whose sole connection with the Herzog film is that Kinski returned to the title role, albeit without the Schreck make-up.

DVD Extras: A informative commentary by Herzog with interviewer/prompter Norman Hill; a Making Of featurette; Biographies and the theatrical trailer. The DVD is issued by Umbrella Entertainment as part of their Herzog/Kinski Collection that includes the 5 films the pair made together as well as the documentary Herzog made about their collaboration, the wittily entitled My Best Fiend.

Available from: Umbrella Entertainment




Want something different?

random vintage best worst