Movie Diary 9/13/2022

Nosferatu the Vampyre (Werner Herzog, 1979). Hadn’t seen this since a screening at the University of Washington in ’79, and my memory of the thing wasn’t especially stellar. It’s better than I thought, but mostly in ways that are interesting rather than exciting. Bruno Ganz looks uncertain about why he’s here, and Isabelle Adjani is even more at sea than that. Klaus Kinski is clearly trying to generate sympathy for the vampire, and the movie’s most intriguing addition is a dialogue scene between Kinski and Adjani that establishes a doomy bond between them (though I prefer Murnau’s hints about this in the 1922 version). It’s up for discussion this Saturday when we convene a Scarecrow Zeitgeist ’22! discussion online at 2 pm Pacific Time; register here for that.

Horror Express (Eugenio Martin, 1972). Good set-up, plus Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, and many exterior shots of a train rushing across a snowy route from Peking to Moscow. Too bad it disintegrates in the final half-hour (there is such a thing as too many killings in a mad-killer movie, it turns out). The explanation of what’s happening with a revived prehistoric creature running amok on the train is so daft it deserves a better film. Telly Savalas comes along toward the end, in a role tailor-made for Klaus Kinski.

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