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Shadow of the Vampire



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: R

This vampire tale asks what might have happened if original Dracula (titled Nosferatu) director F.W. Murnau had cast a real vampire (instead of actor Max Schreck) without telling anyone involved in the production. With Willem Dafoe, Cary Elwes, Eddie Izzard, John Malkovich and Udo Kier. [1:31]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - Sexual innuendo, including several homosexual references and a double entendre with the word "pussy" referring to a cat and an actress. We see people in a club dancing erotically and kissing; the couples are man/woman, man/man and woman/woman. A female couple kiss and dance and one caresses the other's barely covered breasts. A man lifts up a woman's skirt to see her nylon-covered buttocks (only half of her buttocks is visible). We see a woman stand on a table while another stands between her legs and lifts her skirt to simulate sex (both are clothed and nothing further is seen). A woman writhes on a bed in a morphine-induced haze and we see both her breasts as her nightclothes gape open a number of times. A woman wears a very transparent nightgown (we can almost see through it and she's naked underneath). A man tries to touch a woman's clothed breast but she stops him. A man fondles a woman's clothed breasts while eating her neck.

VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - Several "jump" scenes where people are startled by sudden appearances. We see a man eating a woman's neck again and again, with blood on the man's chin and mouth. A man attacks another man and bites his neck and then throws him overboard the film set's ship. A man fires a gun into a crowd and scares them. A man tries to strangle another man. A man begins eating a woman's neck and we hear sucking sounds and he fondles her clothed breast; there is blood on his chin, lips and teeth. A man is shot a few times. A man is found sucking on a man's neck and we hear the sucking sounds; later the man is shown ill and shaking (as with the flu). A man breaks another's neck and strangles a second man to death. A man pushes another in the chest, grabs a bat from midair and eats it (with lots of sucking sounds); we see blood on the man's lips. We see the close-up of a needle right before it goes into an arm. A man breaks down another's door. A man is shaking in a drug-induced fog. A woman sees no reflection in a mirror and becomes hysterical, screaming and flailing. We see a woman's bloody neck with puncture wounds and dripping blood. A man is severely burned by the sun. We see some blood on a woman's neck. We see a beaker of blood. A man cuts his finger and a bead of blood wells up.

PROFANITY 5 - Two F-words, a couple of anatomical and scatological references, some mild obscenities. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Film making, acting, sacrifice, betrayal, vampires.

MESSAGE - Nothing counts unless it's captured on film.

Special Keywords: S6 - V6 - P5 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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