Count Orlock in 3D, –wow. I can’t say that’s something I ever thought I’d see, even during the big 3D craze that seems to pop up once every couple of decades. The old fashioned blue and red format of 3D really adds to the vintage feel of the film, –it’s an all around fun, crazy way to spend a Saturday night with a friend or two. It definitely brings back memories of sitting in a smelly old theater with friends, covered in popcorn grease, watching monsters pop off the screen.
The director and producer of the 3D restoration of one of the first horror films in the world, added some extra punch to the film: an introduction by Lloyd Kaufman, –the man behind Troma films, and the closest the Toxic Avenger has to a daddy. We’ve brought Keith Carter in for questioning, –and he satisfies everyone’s curiosity about this awesome rendering. After all, ” Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens”, Nosferatu, or Orlok – The Vampire, is called the first “genuine” vampire film, by the experts over at AMC, who discount the two earlier films. Count Orlock is our earliest movie monster, and Max Shreck might not make it onto the VILF list, but he was still one hell of an actor.
Interview with Producer & Director Keith Carter
The first question is always “what’s your favorite vampire movie?”
The vampire production that comes to mind, isn’t a movie at all…but a television show. The 1966 gothic soap opera…Dark
Shadows. As a kid, Barnabas Collins was a very scary character to me. I also like Francis Coppola’s Dracula. Great visuals.
So, wow, 3D Orlok. Where did that idea come from?
The producer I was working with at the time, had bought a very bad print of Nosferatu and wanted to do something special with it. I made a few suggestions concerning a musical score and sound track, maybe even re-editing the film for a more modern pace. But I also suggested since there were so many bad versions of this film in the marketplace, why not do something that’s never been done with Nosferatu before, and that was to make it into a 3D film. And to use the classic red/blue 3D like the William Castle Productions of the 1960’s. This seemed like a fun idea at the time.
Nosferatu inspired a lot of controversy in its own day, but has become largely forgotten by the vampire crazed fans of the modern era. Were you hoping to bring people back to the classics?
At first this was just a job I was hired to do. But the more I worked on the film, the more I was hit by a revelation: vampire movies today are more sexy than scary. And for me…I’m drawn to the scary. Orlok was scary. Bela Lugosi was scary. The Hammer productions of Dracula were scary. Perhaps this film would remind movie watchers of today that being bite by a vampire at one point in time was not such a desirable thing.
Max Shreck is deliriously creepy in 3D. I think I lost a couple years of life when he first popped off my screen, –what was yours, and Heuer’s initial reaction to seeing him in 3D the first time?
We were like kids. When the first few 3D scenes were starting to come together … we were like … WOW! We can actually do this. And every time we saw new footage, our reaction was always the same. The work was long, but the results were with it.
What was it like getting a chance to work with lunatic/genius Lloyd Kaufman?
Lloyd Kaufman is a fun and inspiring guy to work with. I had seen Lloyd from time-to-time at different film festivals and had spoken with him about this project. We finally agreed upon a date and time, and like the pro he is…I gave Lloyd a very loose script and told him to do what he does best. He was hilarious. We couldn’t stop laughing.
Restoring a film is hard work, and restoring a horror film can be fun hard work. Were there any production horrors during the 3D restoration of the film?
Once we figured out what we were doing…the biggest production horror was simply time. And what I mean by that…is…the time it would take to complete this project and to be ready for Halloween 2009 and all upcoming horror film festivals. We had to cover so much footage every month to make our deadline, while still maintaining our day jobs. So that meant a lot of late nights during the week and weekends. At one point in this production, I thought to myself, what in the F##K am I doing with my life?
So what do you think F.W. Murnau would say if he saw Orlok in 3D?
That’s a great question. Murnau would probably say: HOW DARE YOU! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?