Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Rare Flix/Forgotten Sequel?: Vampire in Venice

At long last, the rare Sequel to a fairly-forgotten Remake of a Film that shouldn't legally exist.  Confused?  I'm not, so let me help you out.  In 1929, the Film Nosferatu was made to get around the Stoker Family not giving them the Copyright.  Universal would obviously get it, but that would be 2 years later.  The Stoker's sued and actually won the case, meaning that the Copyright-defying Film should be destroyed.  It wasn't, obviously.  Fifty years later, Werner Herzog did a Remake of the Film- now with Sound, Color and Klaus Kinski.  It's good, but also quite Arty.  In 1988, we got a Sequel...kind of.  Basically, everyone was on board with making it a full-fledged Sequel, save for one guy: Klaus Kinski.  He didn't want to shave his head or wear the make-up- deal with it!  On top of that, the Film went through a number of Directors before the Producer took over.  Given his reputation, would it shock you to find out that Klaus was the source of most of the problems?  I didn't think so.  After so many issues, how did the final product turn out?  To find out, read on...
A Professor (Christopher Plummer) comes into town after strange reports from a family in Venice.
Their house was the site of a Vampire attack 200 years earlier during a time when the Plague was effecting the City.
Looking into some artifacts, Plummer discovers the name of the Vampire...
Speaking of the Vampire, he shows up...eventually and doesn't look much like the guy you saw last time.

In Kinski's defense, I've never gone through the make-up process.  Of course, I've also never been *paid* to do so either...
Unfortunately, the Seance they do appears to bring back the Vampire (don't ask me!).  Are they prepared for this?  In a word, no.
This Vampire goes on the attack, but takes a different approach.  He kills the family matriarch, but only after he bites her...and makes her swallow a silver necklace- so she'll die again once she transforms into a Vampire.

Sure- why not?
The father of the Virgin (sure!) that Nosferatu seeks out tries to kill him with a Shotgun.  It...gets and odd result.
They even try to the old 'draw the cross on him' bit, but that doesn't work either.  I'm not sure why.
In the End, Nosferatu does get to be with the virgin.  However, his wish was to be with her so he could truly die so...victory for us?  Dunno.  The End.
I won't lie- the end result is weird.  Do consider the circumstances, of course.  The Film lost 3 Directors during production.  Its Producer took over- to avoid paying any more Directors- but he wasn't experienced.  As such, he allegedly had his Assistant- Luigi Cozzi- and his Star help him make the final product!  So yeah, this all sorts of a mess.  Is Nosferatu alive?  Is he a spirit?  Cozzi actually talks about the Film in an interview I found, which does shed some light on this.  He talks about shooting some Second Unit Footage- crowd shots, exteriors, etc- with Kinski in broad daylight...since the Star felt like it.  Mind you, we only have Cozzi's word on this (since Kinski is long dead), but...I buy it.  In the Film's best moments, its strange, dream-like quality works to create atmosphere.  In the Films worst moments, weird things just kind of happen.  For example, the dad unloads a bunch shots at Nosferatu, which blows a hole in chest...until it doesn't.  I don't know what happened there.  Any guesses?  Regardless, this is a neat is just a shame that it is so damn confusing.  I don't hate it, but I don't love it.  Cross my heart...
Next up, I finally check out the Remake of a British Film that is far more famous than the original.  Will this lady be back in Black for good?  Stay tuned...

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