This past Halloween I attended a screening of F.W. Murnau's horror masterpiece, Nosferatu, at the First Unitarian Church with live organ accompaniment. I have seen a bevy of bands play at the church's R5 concert series, which along with the film screenings, takes place against a gorgeous Gothic backdrop of wooden arches and church pews. Two words about the screening: A-Mazing! There were some serious mystical forces at work that evening as I sat cuddled against my date, completely captivated by the shadowy image of Max Schreck lurking across the big screen. I could swear there was a time or two that I was falling into a trance-like state and the hiss and vibrato of the organ playing above us gave me chills. This is how I want to remember the film forever.
November Fire Productions wants you to remember the film their way -- with a new metal/experimental soundtrack by the group Hobgoblin (big points for the name) and with actual dialogue. The band consists of members from some well known metal and experimental groups like Skinlab, Neurosis and Sacrilege B.C. They use Bram Stoker's novel to guide their story which was actually written 24 years prior to Murnau's film. The German film studio, Prana Film, released the classic vampire tale and was sued by Bram Stoker's widow shortly after but they dodged her by declaring bankruptcy and vanished from sight.
Strephon Taylor is the founder of November Fire and has grown a t-shirt and merch business into a music label and production company. He's also a horror fan and recently spoke with Twitch about the Nosferatu project:
"The most surprising thing is, when we went to record the voice overs, we realized while reading the title cards over the actors, there was not nearly enough dialog. They talk much much more than the title cards read. So, to flesh it out, I went and adapted it more closely to the novel Nosferatu was "inspired" by, Bram Stoker's Dracula, which gave me the word count I needed. It was fun, I just hope people enjoy it and I don't get lynched for tweaking such an important piece of cinema history. I promise, it was all in good fun, and that I love this film with all my black little heart. There's no way I could have spent two years on this if I wasn't somewhat obsessed with the material to begin with. Long live F.W. Murnau and Max Schreck!"
The team at November Fire are aiming to screen Nosferatu at a few upcoming festivals and plan to announce a DVD and soundtrack release date soon. Word has it that the group will be adding their voices and muzak to other silent classics. You can check out the trailer for NF's Nosferatu after the jump and let me know if you can dig the metaltastic irony that abounds.