Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Shadow Of The Vampire

What I like about this film is that it isn't a vampire movie, it's a film about a film.
And it's a film for film fans.

Here is the movie poster.

And here is the movie trailer

The film centres around the production of the 1922 silent horror film Nosferatu-Eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu-a Symphony of Horror).

Playing the director F. Murnau is John Malkovich.
I've never really been a fan of Malkovich, until I watched this film. Only then did I finally understand the point he is trying to make as an actor himself.
Malkovich seems to be one of those actors who attempts a role or genre at least once.
In this film he attempts to bring Murnau back to life, and I think he does so very well.
He is also giving homage to the silent film era.

What certainly helps the film along is the interaction between Murnau and character actor Max Shrek.
Played so very very well by Willem Dafoe.
Clearly this is a career highlight for Dafoe who is almost unrecognisable as Max Shrek.

The story of the production goes that Marnau discovered Max Shrek, who agreed to star as lead actor/villain Count Orlok. The rumour stands he only agreed to appear if he could actually kill someone on screen, during filming.
That's what makes watching this film all that more intriguing.
If you want to read more about the inner workings of the production please venture over to

Here we have Greta (Catherine McCormack) and Fritz (the shamefully underused actor Cary Elwes).

For those of you interested, yes there is a nude scene by McCormack, but if you're watching the film just for that reason you're doing yourself a disservice.

Another superb actor appearing here (as Gustav von Wanganhein) is Eddie Izzard.
Izzard is interesting as an actor in the same way Malkovich interests me. Izzard seems to want to make his mark on each genre offered to him.
He does this in this film, very well too I might add.

Of course it wouldn't be a vampire movie without Udo Kier, playing the role of Albin Grau.
Kier's role is somewhat small, but he does a lot with it.

And of course there is Max Shrek (Willem Dafoe). The main reason everyone wants to see this film.
As soon as he steps foot into his first scene you are spellbound by Dafoe's performance. In fact a few scenes in and I'd forgotten it was Willem Dafoe at all.
Dafoe literally becomes Max Shrek/Count Orlok so convincenly. It's a pleasure to watch.

Just to give you an example of how well the make-up department worked on Dafoe, here is how Max Shrek looked as Count Orlok in the original film.

So to cap it off, this is the best vampire movie I've ever watched.
Each actor is brilliant in their role.
It gets, easily, 10 out of 10 stars.

And two thumbs up.

Ain't that right Dafoe?


Monday, June 20, 2011

Interview with... Rhonda Shear

I have admit I only know my next interviewee from the movie, Spaceballs.

When I found the opportunity to interview Rhonda Shear I did some homework, and quickly discovered there was so much more to Rhonda that I didn't know.

I hope you enjoy my interview with Rhonda Shear.

1. What was it like on the set of Spaceballs?

Great energy, the set was really a lot of fun to work on-so many comedic greats! Mel Brooks was such a hands-on director/producer, and was constantly throwing lines to actors and making adjustments in a fun way. The diner scene that I was in had some special effects which actually kind of grossed me out even though they were so cheezy. All in all it was a really fun production to be a part of.

2. How did you get involved in the Spaceballs production?

I auditioned actually to be the waitress in the diner, but Mel was looking for a blonde (and I was a brunette at the time) but he wanted me in the film so I showed up, he threw me the line and that was it.

3. How does film differ from TV?

As far as filming for edit they are very similar. Live and/or unscripted TV is a little different . For example, while selling my line, Rhonda Shear Intimates on live shopping channels around the world I will have a producer talking in my ear, models and hosts to interact with and call-in customers. You really have to know what you are talking about, and be able to change directions quickly. I really enjoy both live and scripted programming!

4. Is comedy a favourite genre for you?

I have always loved comedy! I toured as a stand-up comedian with an amazing group of women comedians for several years and really enjoyed bringing comedy into my skits and bumpers for “USA: Up All Night”.

5. What is it like to film in front of an audience, on a set such as Cheers?

It’s a lot like theatre, but with cameras. They would do the whole show twice in front of two audiences and they would tape both and edit them together for TV if there was a mistake in one.

6. Describe your time working on The A-Team.

The A-Team was not filmed live so we just showed up in the sound studio to shoot lines. That was another really cool set to be working on ,although I was a little depressed that Mr. T had more jewelry than I did…

7. What would be an ideal role for you?

I love comedic roles, and was recently cast for a TV pilot with George Hamilton as a “Cougar” which was really a lot of fun. I have also had offers from some B-movie slasher type movies, and have been in some theatre productions over the last couple of years in a variety of roles everything from being tragic romantic in “Love Letters” to reading for the “Vagina Monologues”. So, really I’m up for anything! I love to preform and while I have not been able to devote the time to every opportunity I hope to continue acting and preforming forever!

8. What's coming up next for you?

So much is in the works right now! This is a really exciting time for me. Shear Enterprises, LLC just bought and moved into a beautiful new space that will allow us to continue growing. My line of shapewear, sleep wear, and foundations-Rhonda Shear Intimates- is now sold in 27 countries and on websites and live shopping networks around the world. We recently produced a wildly successful infomercial for one of my most popular products, the AhhBra which is also airing around the world. I am also working to bring “USA: Up All Night” back on the web, with all new episodes. We are starting to pitch a sexy reality show about the chaos of the lingerie business. Check out to hear about all our latest exciting ventures!

9. Is there an event or charity you would like to bring to my readers' attention?

Yes! I am the event chair for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides: Put on Your Pink Bra event this year. Proceeds go to research and support for those suffering from all kinds of cancer. We all know someone affected by this terrible disease, and this is a great opportunity to raise awareness and help those who so desperately need the support. For more information, to participate or to donate (anything helps!) please visit

I want to thank Rhonda for her time, and especially thank Marie Crane who made this interview possible.
If you want to check out more about Rhonda please do so at
As per above you can also visit

Feel free to leave a comment below.

Until next time.