Blu-ray Review: Nosferatu in Venice (1988)

March 21, 2021

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Some duck hunters shoot down a bat which a dog then eats like a complete mother fucker. Thus begins 1988’s Nosferatu in Venice in the only way it possibly could.
Next up we have the arrival of the that most Van Helsing of Van Helsings; Professor Paris mother fucking Catalano… yeah I have no clue either, but he’s played by Christopher Plummer (Starcrash) so bonus… and the way he glides into Venice standing straight as an arrow on a fast moving gondola is some big dick energy for sure (and there’s a mirror image of it utilized later in the film that is jaw-droppingly beautiful).
Anyway; Catalano is down Venice way to research the last recorded appearance of that dread vampire Nosferatu (Klaus Kinski, who you can bet we’ll be talking more about soon) in the plague-ridden late 1700’s… and yes, the vampire’s name is Nosferatu… not Count Orlok… not Dracula… mother fucking Nosferatu… which just means vampire. Yes indeed…
Anyway, as he wanders about town and lodges in the house where Nosferatu once stalked the shadows, Catalano has a series of… I don’t know… flashbacks… seizures? Long story short, he sees the events of 1786 unfold around him and gives long-winded speeches on morality to the Canins family; the very fucking people that are putting him up… the nerve; I mean they do have Nosferatu in a coffin in their basement, but still…
Soon the Drac attack is back Jack, and ol’ Nosferatu is up and about, doing what he does best; wandering around slowly and fondling naked chicks. Will Catalano have the stones to put this fang banger six feet under, or will he himself succumb to the unholy creature?
I don’t even know where to begin…
Nosferatu in Venice is absurd… absurd in ways you can scarcely imagine… and I love every minute of it!
Sure the Venice locations are great, and with Plummer, Kinski, and Donald Pleasence in the cast you can bet your ass you get some solid (if odd) performances… but for every logical, quality decision made by this production, you get head scratchers such as:

  • Why does Nosferatu have extensions giving him a mega mullet (and yes, given the film’s title you’d probably expect him to be bald, the producers of the film sure as shit did as the special features will reveal… he does have the rat teeth however)?
  • Why does he wear those little platform shoes?
  • Why does he get shot with a shotgun and have a perfect circle of a hole in his chest the size of a dinner plate like a mother fucking Looney Tunes character…

You know what, for that last scene alone I absolutely beg you to go out and purchase this; I promise you’ll doubtless nearly go unconscious from the laughter… I know I did.
I also know this film contains some fantastic imagery as well, especially with that aforementioned gondola ride with Kinski, as well as Nosferatu carrying his nude love through the foggy streets… and speaking of Double K, he absolutely owns every scene he is in… as usual!
To make the madness above even more alluring; the fine fiends at Severin have also included a feature-length documentary concerning the final years of that absolute lunatic Kinski… and let me tell ya, this was a fascinating watch and is full to bursting with the absolutely batshit anecdotes you’d anticipate when Kinski is involved… as well as glimmers of true heart.
Also included are a duo of outtakes, and a trailer for Nosferatu in Venice.
While it’s a sequel in name (and star) only to Werner Herzog’s 1979 masterpiece Nosferatu the Vampyre, Nosferatu in Venice is undeniably a unique, often surreal work of Italian-made knock-offery done to a turn and served up in a sinister sauce for you crazy horror hounds to lap up!



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