Sunday, September 7, 2014

Prince of the Night (One 7 Movies DVD) - Less Than Herzog

For my first experience with Prince of the Night aka Vampire in Venice aka Nosferatu in Venice, I was pretty satisfied. Mind you that it was pretty much what I expected it might be after reading the plot summary and having it recommended by "the right people". You know how certain people will recommend you watch something and you're like, "I'm in for it, aren't I"?  You kind of are with this one.

Prince of the Night has some star power behind it. Klaus Kinski reprising his role as Nosferatu (though this isn't a sequel really... not anymore anyway). Donald Pleasance is a natural in this picture playing to its strong Gothic sensibilities quite well (as if it was a poorly produced Hammer picture). Then of course there's Christopher Plummer who steals the show. He is fantastic as the professor trying to dispel rumors of the evil of our supposedly years dead count. If there's a heel here it's Kinski who appears to have put on his finest 80's mullet, metal hair wig and dyed it gray. He's barely Kinski at this point.

The whole production looks like someone tried to imitate Herzog, realized that that was absolutely futile and then decided to focus on New Orleans vamp culture (which nearly seems to have set the stage for the look in Interview with a Vampire). When the down time in a vamp flick is more exciting than the up time (the horror time) aka Chris Plummer giving an impressive performance and doing miraculous things with very little, you know you've been led astray. The only impressive scene of horror comes toward the end of the picture involving a naked victim. That's it. Maybe the poorly constucted lip-bite effect. Maybe.

The music is pure strange, but that brings up the audio quality. Before writing this review and watching the movie I noticed a close friend posting that the audio quality was tinny and sounded like it had a compression issue. I verify that statement. The audio is not great at all. The video, not much better actually, but it will do. The film is completely watchable for both audio and video flaws. This isn't one of those great restoration jobs; we simply have this in a region 0 release and we should be grateful for that given the caliber of film and sorted production history.

If you like Kinski, this isn't his finest hour. If you like Plummer. This is really a neat thing to behold. Pleasance fans... he's good.

You can order Prince of the Night now.Available September 9th.

From One 7 Movies:
Helietta Canins (Barbara De Rossi) requests the help and knowledge of professor Paris Catalano (Christopher Plummer) to help her to get rid of all the rumors still surrounding her luxurious venetian mansion. According to the legend, Helietta's grandmother has been abducted by the mighty Nosferatu himself (Klaus Kinski). But when Professor Catalano discovers in the basement of Helietta's palazzo thevampire's crypt, he realizes that there could be some terrible truth to all rumors about the existence of an unholy undead in Venice.

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