By MICHAEL GINGOLD
While those New Jersey high-schoolers are being celebrated for their stage production of ALIEN, another group of teens find their own live reboot of a horror classic invaded by true terror in MIMESIS: NOSFERATU. We’ve got exclusive pics and words from director Douglas Schulze, along with the trailer and poster.
The sequel to Schulze’s previous MIMESIS, which trapped a group of horror fans within NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, MIMESIS: NOSFERATU screens at Monsterpalooza on Friday, April 12 at 9 p.m. at the Pasadena Convention Center. Scripted by Jeff Meyers from a story by Schulze, it centers on a group of Dramatic Arts students who put on a stage production of F.W. Murnau’s NOSFERATU, little knowing that a cult inspired by its titular fiend Count Orlok are planning to bring its terrors to life. Lance Henriksen plays the cult’s leader, and the cast also includes Allen Maldonado (returning from the first MIMESIS), Julie Kline, Connor Alexander, Joseph Scott Anthony, Jordan Campo and Crystal Lucas Perry.
“The MIMESIS films explore our endless appetite for horror,” Schulze tells RUE MORGUE. “We take the notion of the extreme fan to the outer limits, exploring a subculture of horror lovers who are no longer content with just watching their favorite cult classics; they want to live these movies. And when I say live, I mean recreate and inhabit them in the most sinister and twisted of ways. At their core, the MIMESIS films seek to homage classic-era horror; they aren’t sequels in the traditional sense. They exist in their own worlds, with only a modest narrative thread tying them together.”
In this case, Schulze aimed to pay tribute to the undying themes at the heart of vampire cinema. “At its core, Bram Stoker’s novel DRACULA—which most vampire films are based around—is a love story mixing themes of sexual obsession and spiritual faith with elements of horror. In approaching a film that sets out to homage and even mimic that genre, it was important to understand and respect this. MIMESIS: NOSFERATU is a homage to the vintage vampire film, borrowing storytelling style, mood and tone from this classic era. What’s most fascinating about Murnau’s take on Stoker’s book is the production design. His vision of Count Orlok as a ratlike being with bulbous eyes is forever burned into my memory, and so is the utterly surreal look of the sets and setting from the period of German Expressionism.”
The director reveals that he isn’t done with the concept just yet: “To properly explore the concept of MIMESIS, I feel it will take three films through which we place the extreme horror fan under a microscope.” He hasn’t divulged what favorite flick will form the basis of the trilogy-closer, but notes, “In telling a tale about fanaticism gone wrong, we need films for the characters to be fanatical about. When looking to cult horror classics, the first two that came to my mind were NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and NOSFERATU. These two films had the most impact on me, growing up.”