Thursday, 13 August 2015

POP! Movies -- Nosferatu

Year: 2015
Company: Funko
RRP: $17.95AUD

Dracula was a huge hit when it was first released, and over the following decades all manner of tie in products were released to capitalise on the novel’s success. But as I’ve mentioned before, not all of them were authorised. Yes, Nosferatu here started life as nothing more than an unauthorised cash-in – Bram Stoker’s estate didn’t care to give the filmmakers the cinematic rights to the novel, but they just went ahead and changed a few details, hoping no-one would notice the similarities. That didn’t work out so well for them.

But unlike modern equivalents such as Transmorphers, Nosferatu stands on its own as a substantial work. The make-up effects are impressively executed and the mood is always creepy. It’s been a few years since I watched it, but the sight of Count Orlok’s shadow moving up the stairs still unnerves to this day. 

Actually, it’s something of a miracle that we actually still have copies of Nosferatu to view. After Stoker’s estate sued F.W. Murnau and won, all copies of the film were meant to be destroyed. But some survived, made their way back into circulation and now you can watch the whole thing for free on the internet – legitimately.  

So, how does this borderline-bootleg POP stack up? He’s got a sharp sculpt, which captures the main details and renders them in sufficiently cutesy style. Initially I thought that his forehead wasn’t quite bulky enough, but it is actually correct to the 1922 version. I was mixed up with the 1979 remake, which featured Klaus Kinski as the titular monster – a man whose brow made Frankenstein’s Monster’s look small by comparison.

His claws are sculpted in the famous shadow lurker pose from the film – so given the right lighting conditions, I daresay you could replicate the famous pose reasonably well.  

Paint is surprisingly cleanly executed. You'll want to check the hands and eyes carefully (the hands seems to be cast  in grey or black and painted in the corpse-y skintone), but it's impressive work from the House of Funko. 

The only real letdown (and I hesitate to use that word) is the box. It’s not bad, but it feels like a bit of a missed opportunity. The copy on the back of the box is vague, not really giving any indication of the Nosferatu backstory, perhaps due to its contentious origins. The original film has long been in the public domain, as has Dracula, but I suppose it’s best to avoid any potential legal hot water where one can.

More surprisingly/disappointingly, the box doesn’t use the shot from the film that everyone knows – the aforementioned shadow lurker pose! Fortunately, I am a chucker when it comes to 90% of my POP boxes so it’s not a major drama. EDIT: Whoops, my mistake! They did use it, but via a questionable Photoshop rather than the still from the movie. 

Nosferatu is a great addition to my POP horror collection, sitting nicely with the Universal Monsters. At the moment, I believe this is the only version of him available – but as with pretty much every horror POP that comes up, I hold out hope for a glow in the dark version. Though a B & W one would be good too! 

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