The reason is because I felt that this film, which is more political allegory than narrative story perhaps missed the mark more than it hit, slipping into pretentiousness when it could have been telling a strong story. However I have often read of what a beautiful film this is cinematographically. The film is rare, however. There is a non-subtitled German DVD that I am aware of but when I finally saw this, subtitled, it was such a washed out, from VHS print that it looked virtually black and white. I cannot give a judgement call on the aspect of the film that is meant to be strongest when it looked so blooming awful – so an honourable mention it is.
We are in a totalitarian regime run by the Count as supreme leader. The similes with fascism are obvious. Why is it that the vampires have taken control? Some have suggested it is because they can go around in daylight in this film but it is based on Dracula and thus that means little. I think vampirism is just a convenient metaphor. When is it set? That we do not know, it all looks very 18th century probably, maybe early 19th. However, at one point we see the hood of a car in a village – a mistake or deliberate? I don’t know.
|Jürgen Jung as Jonathan|
|drink of me|
Jonathan is asleep in his coach when two men jump on the back. One kills the driver and the other opens the door and takes his bag. They leave the coach trundling and one man takes the bag to a hovel, where he is given food and clothes in return for it. The girl who makes the exchange is in the hovel with a twisted man. He takes everything out of the bag (which amounts to all of Jonathan’s things bar the dagger, which Jonathan had placed in his belt) and is amused by the rosary – the room is filled with inverted crosses. The girl sings as she pours something (boiling or steaming) on her leg.
|driven into the sea|
Honestly, I’d been waiting to see this for ages but it left me completely cold. That said, I cannot really make a comment on the photography, though some of the more portrait shots seemed oddly framed. A full review if I ever see a decent print of this with subtitles. The imdb page is here.