It was exactly one hundred years ago, in March 1922, that Berlin cinemagoers went to see Friedrich Wilhelm Morenau's film "Nosferatu" and watched it. That Kenneth Erlock suddenly rises in the coffin. Those uninformed cinematographers were probably the first people in the history of horror cinema to jump out of their seats out of fear. They certainly saw the emergence of the first horror movie creature. This silent masterpiece, which is an unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula" (hence the name Kent instead of Dracula, Erlock), has taken the lead in terms of technical achievements and rules of horror films, even in today's horror films. Are also used. But the most important achievement of the film was the creation of a lasting image of Arlock with Max Shrek. In the words of Christina Massacchi (author of Nosferatu: Symphony of Horror), he was "the first vampire, the father of all immortal beings crawling in the dark corners of the screen."
He is also one of the few monsters. Which everyone recognizes quickly, even if they only see its shadow. Morenao shows that curved stature even in the form of a shadow. And as soon as you see his bald, dome-shaped head, pointed corners, hunched shoulders, slender body, and outstretched fingers, you know he's trapped. It is only then that his pale face appears. With thick eyebrows, sunken eyes, a beaked nose, and two large, sharp teeth in the middle of the mouth, Erlock looks more like an animal than a human. His appearance is very different from the vampires we saw later on the screen. In the words of writer and researcher Kevin Jackson, Erlok is probably "the strangest and ugliest male protagonist in the history of cinema." An alien science student, he claimed in an article that during World War I, a Serbian farmer told him he had already had a vampire. "Before this damn war, I was Romanian," the farmer said. You can say this is superstition and laugh. But I swear to God that I myself saw that horrible immortal, or Nosferatu. "They are called vampires there." In 1921, Grau started an independent film studio called Prana Film, but he also had a close relationship with Morenao and became the designer of Nosferatu. Seeing that there was no other bloodthirsty film to emulate, Grao thought of something completely new, so he started designing Erlock. "The original plot of Arlock was even scarier than what appears in the final version of the film," said Massachi. He picked up only a handful of elements from Stoker's novel, such as the pointed corners and the eagle's nose. In designing Nosferatu himself, he tried very hard to reach the immortals of the local literature of Eastern European countries. "Arlock is a creature like a vermin, enjoying being next to mice more than being close to humans." Jay Haberman, a film critic who specializes in representing the Jews in the art world, wrote in a 2020 article that "Arlock is an ancient and very powerful creature, a kind of human-like rodent that mysteriously lives with its subordinates." "It communicates, and this special method involves a few Jewish letters and the Star of David." Haberman also argues that Nosferatu may be a representation of societies' initial fears of "alien expansion," an issue that is not necessarily unique to Jews.
Have a war. Grao depicts this war and another major disaster called the Spanish flu epidemic in one scene of the film. Where a ship sails from Transylvania to Germany, plague-carrying mice are on board, and Erlock is by their side. Is. With that mysterious silence and slow, dry movements, he very well adds a Gothic strangeness to this character. He has a more subtle and restrained game than many of his teammates. The reason for this brilliant play is that polytheism remains in the role of vampire not only on stage, but also behind the scenes. This is not surprising, since Shrek had many brilliant performances in theater and cinema. "We're on the side of a silent film, so Shrek can't speak in a certain accent like Bella Logosi (a classic horror film actor)," said Kim Newman, a veteran horror filmmaker and author of the Ano Dracula vampire series. Nor can he use Bram Stoker's novel dialogues. He only has to show his horror by using his appearance. And Erlock is the most terrifying vampire in the world. " Heard in 1931, when he starred in the Hollywood movie "Dracula" directed by Todd Browning. Since then, whenever we think of vampires, we constantly see him before our eyes: with his Hungarian melody, his oily black hair, his bow tie, and his extraordinarily noisy cape. Logos's seductive polite Dracula influenced countless actors, from Christopher Lee and Hummer (a collection of horror films produced by Christopher Lee's studio) to Adam Sandler, who voiced Dracula in the animated film Hotel Transylvania. But although Logos's romantic interpretation of Dracula was more influential than that of his counterparts, Erlock's ominous shadow is always seen over this cinematic subgenre. "There are two streams in cinematic vampires," says Stacey Abbott, a university professor and author of The Apocalypse of the Immortals: Vampires and Zombies in the 21st Century. On the one hand, you have an attractive and seductive vampire without logos, but on the other hand, Erlock is always present in the form of a scary and plagued vampire and announces death and illness. "If you really want to understand the vampire monster, you have to go to Erlock." "Blade 2". There are many other examples: the vampires of the "Metamorphosis" series, the pale monster of the movie "The Labyrinth of Pen" by Deltoro, the smiling grandchildren of "Hess", which is the scariest part of the series "Weaving the Vampire Slayer". Interestingly, Doug Jones, who played one of Hess' grandchildren, the pale monster of the Penn Labyrinth, and one of the Transfiguration monsters, later played the role of Erlock in the 2016 remake of Nosferatu. It is a pity that this reconstruction has not yet reached the screening stage and has been sealed in the basement of the Transylvania Palace. But we can go to Werner Herzog's 1979 version of Nosferatu. Although he renamed Kent Dracula, Erlock's appearance remained completely faithful. Recently, Robert Eggers, best known for films such as "The Wizard" and "Lighthouse", has expressed interest in making a remake of "Nosferatu" starring Anya Taylor-Joy.
Whether or not the film will reach the production stage, but the amazing thing is that despite all these remakes, the original version of Morenao is still a major Dracula film. And if you're looking for a remake, why do you call your film "Nosferatu"? Why not name it Dracula? The answer is that Erlock's image is so powerful that even though he is essentially a Dracula, he has managed to separate himself from the nature of Dracula. Newman says: "I do not recall any other collection which, in the very beginning of its emergence, was thus divided into two parts. "It's strange, but this particular version has reached a separate identity and has itself been the source of inspiration for other reconstructions." Arlock was not the only source of inspiration for vampire films. In the spring collection of 2022, the Victor and Rolf brand, which is active in the fashion industry, the German designers of this brand, imitating Erlok, presented designs with long shoulders, buttons up to the top and long claws. There is even speculation that although the demonic characters that emerged after Logosy became one of the main characters in horror films, the bald and lonely Erlok also led to the creation of supervillains such as Lex Luther (one of the villains in the DC Comics) and Ernst Stavro Bluefeld ( Has become one of the villains of the "James Bond" movies. In fact, Dracula has now become a superstar who has been ridiculed by many audiences. But Arlock is still a colder, drier alternative, a shadow anti-hero who has not yet sold his soul. "Browning's" Dracula "was based on a Broadway show starring Logos himself, Dracula roaming the living room and polite chatter with others, all inspired by the show," Newman said. But you will never let a creature like Arlock enter your living room. You will never have fun with him. If it 's in the back of your house, you're just screaming and running away. " It is a supernatural demon, yet it has a compassionate element in it. In Masachi's words, "he is both terribly scary and at the same time very sad." The first time we see him alone in his dying palace, there is no mention of the vampire women next to the original Dracula. Early in the film, Erlock tends to talk to Hotter (the protagonist) as much as he likes to bite her neck. "My dear friend, It's not better to sit together," he tells Hotter. "It 's too late until sunrise and I have to sleep then." Then, later, when Erlok goes to Hotter's hometown in Germany, we see him alone and in a box, from Behind the window railings, he stares at his new homeland, again alone for as long as he lives in the palace. "It can be said that he was captured by nature," Abbott said. In the world of cinema, vampireism has two states. In one case, the vampire always stays young and attractive. In another case, the fear of immortality has left him exhausted and helpless.
In honor of Kenneth Erlock's 100th birthday, let's drink a red drink in his memory. True, he is a bloodthirsty and plague-ridden man, but he is also sad. In the words of Newman: "Ano Dracula's novels are all about a society full of vampires. But I would also like to consider a vampire that has a nature beyond a pale face. I used Kenneth Erlock because he sat very well on the character. "Even in the vampire community, no one likes to be talked to."
Source: BBC Culture