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Ghost Canyon

Nosferatu In Venice [Blu-ray]
(Klaus Kinski, Christopher Plummer, Donald Pleasence, Barbara De Rossi, Yorgo Voyagis, Elvire Audray, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1988) 2021 / Severin Films)

Overview: What was intended to be an unofficial sequel to Werner Herzog’s NOSFERATU instead became one of the most notoriously fascinating productions in EuroCult history: Klaus Kinski – “now fully in the grip of the ‘batsh*t crazy’ phase of his career” (Rock! Shock! Pop!) – gives his penultimate performance as the legendary vampire resurrected in modern-day Venice with an insatiable hunger for warm blood and rough sex.

Donald Pleasence and Academy Award® winner Christopher Plummer co-star in this sumptuously insane shocker that features music by Oscar® winner Vangelis (CHARIOTS OF FIRE), employed five different directors – including Mario Caiano (NIGHTMARE CASTLE), Luigi Cozzi (PAGANINI HORROR), writer/producer Augusto Caminito and reportedly Kinski himself – and still delivers “one eye-popping scene after another” (Cinema Retro), now scanned in 2k from the original negative.

Blu-ray Verdict: Having previously been created as a direct follow-up to the original, after various production issues (including two director’s being fired), the film ended up pretty much being 100% on its own with the only connection to the earlier film being Kinski.

In the film, vampire hunter Paris Catalano (Christopher Plummer) travels to Venice, the last known location of the vampire Nosferatu (Kinski).

Catalano tries to locate the whereabouts of the vampire who he believes has a desire to finally die. This is a rather interesting failure that has a lot going for it, but it’s obvious the production issues caused a lot of problems especially during the first part of the movie.

The film starts off very ambitious as it centers on the Plummer character in current times, but we then have several flashbacks to the earlier days of Nosferatu and how he became who he is.

This was an interesting idea, but it never really works for several reasons and one of them is a bizarre rock score (courtesy of Luigi Ceccerelli) that doesn’t fit anything we see.

Another reason these flashbacks never work is because at times it’s hard to follow what exactly is going on and why certain flashbacks might be happening.

Then, around the fifty-minute mark, something strange happens and the film actually turns extremely entertaining as Nosferatu finds himself in current times and falling in love with a young black lady who might just hold the key to his eventual death.

Yes, Kinski drove several directors away from the film and this is partly to blame of the uneven film, but you also have to give him credit because he turns in a rather great performance.

He has his long blonde hair flowing and there’s no chalk make-up so we get to see this Nosferatu in a very human-like state and the actor makes us feel sorry for this person who simply won’t die!

Personally, I found Kinski really intense throughout the film and this certainly spills over for several entertaining scenes, but I think the romantic side works the best.

Plummer is also pretty good in his rather thankless role and we even get Donald Pleasence in a role, but he’s pretty much wasted and Barbara De Rossi and Anne Knecht are both good as the ladies in the pack.

Augusto Caminito, Mario Caiano, Luigi Cozzi and Maurizio Lucidi all did some work on the film, but it was Caminito who ended up shooting the majority of the film.

Even Kinski was apparently in charge of directing his scenes so who knows what was really going on with this production. It’s certainly a very troubled movie, but at the same time there’s just so much here that actually does work in the end.

We also get some rather strong atmosphere and being 1988 and from Italy, there’s much more sex, nudity and blood than normal, which is a plus.

In closing, I doubt today’s art house fans are going to enjoy this thing, but if you’re a horror fan and like Kinski then it would definitely be worth your time to check this out. It’s certainly not going to replace the Herzog film, but it’s an interesting little movie, of that you can take my word. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Creation is Violent – Anecdotes From Kinski’s Final Years
Additional Cast & Crew Interviews
Webstore Exclusive Slipcover

Official Purchase Link

Nosferatu in Venice [Official Nudity-Free Trailer]