Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Nosferatu in Love – review

Director: Peter Straughan

First aired: 2014

Contains spoilers

Nosferatu in Love is a short that was part of the Playhouse Presents series (actually season 3 episode 2). Shot in Black and White and filmed in Czech it doesn’t actually feature a vampire.

Rather it features an actor, Mark Strong (himself), playing a vampire – indeed playing Count Dracula in a remake of Herzog’s Nosferatu – the Vampyre. The film sees him in makeup through its length.

Klára Issová as Luna
It begins with the fictional director (Zdenek Maryska, Bathory) suggesting that they were waiting on set for Strong to come out of his trailer. In the trailer his wife, Luna (Klára Issová), faces a closed door and tells him through it that she wants a normal life again. She has rented an apartment for her and their son and discards her wedding ring as she leaves (and as a runner tells him he is wanted on set). Strong leaves the trailer and starts to run, whether after her or simply away is not clear. As he runs he steals a moped off someone.

Fonso and Mark
We see him in town being refused entry into a restaurant – he has money, just not on him, he says. He turns to see a petty thief, Fonso (Petr Vanek), trying to steal the moped. Fonso makes an excuse about thinking it was his but Strong suggests that he might buy it. Fonso has no money but does know a man who might. Having sold the moped Strong wants a drink and Fonso agrees to be his guide. This leads them into a series of misadventures (mostly surrounding Strong’s desire to release a truck load of rats – for the film – into the town).

dancing Nosferatu
The film watches two disparate characters, who have more in common than they might think. The fact that Strong is in makeup throughout (which is rarely commented on, except that it leads Fonso to believe that Strong is the lead singer of death metal band Anus) leads to some of the comedy. The sight of Count Dracula dancing really tickled me. At one point Strong tells a barman that he is Sean Penn. The film leads them both to their individual catharsis, in a way, and leads Strong to give a stunning performance in his next scene (we are told).

on set
I rather liked this. The odd couple aspect of the two men worked well and there was a genuine comedic vein underpinned with a sadness. It is not a short that will change the world, but for its 24 minutes it entertained. 6 out of 10.

Thanks to Raven and Everlost for their assistance with this TMtV entry.

The imdb page is here.

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