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Nosferatu II: No Sferatus Today

by Saturn V Productions

A gentleman thief stumbles his way into a spooky situation, and oh my do things spiral out of control


I feel like I've seen this exact warehouse location in at least a few other 48hours films at this point, so I got off to a bad start with Nosferatu II. The setup - a thief sneaking into a Raiders-esque warehouse full of strange objects to steal an item - offers promise, but the film doesn't really kick off until the supernatural shit arrives. And boy does it kick off!

The scuffle that follows is repetitive in places and roughly-hewn in others, but mostly it's a hell of a lot of fun, drawing heavily (and I mean HEAVILY) from the Sam Raimi school of spook-a-blast horror setpieces. The dolly shots of the quite-silly vampire are hilarious, and the sequence features one of my favourite "something invisible" moments of the Christchurch comp this year. And though the climax comes somewhat predictably, it's got a nice little ironic sting for the protagonist.

Genre-wise, the crime element is merely a jumping-off point, but the film is so much fun that I don't think it matters. This is a super-fun film whose kinetic energy transcends any roughness in production, and I can't wait to see it again with a bigger audience. Lives up to its absolutely stupendous title, even if there's nothing sequelly about it.

A small metal case in a warehouse is the target for our would be thief in this delirious vampire vs crook romp, where gonzo camerawork was the order of the day and Max Shreck is nowhere to be found, sequel title be damned.

Things got off to a relatively sedated start as our hero bumbled his way out of a bin he had hid himself in. Certainly a head scratching way to start the heist and then frantically scrambled around until his best Harrison Ford impression presents the box he is after and from there things get. WILD.

Played deadpan with wonderfully suited music to proceedings, the everyman versus Dracula fight was indeed just a catalyst for insanely inventive camerawork. Super low angles giving our bloodsucker a menacing presence. The protagonist sent flying in a way that would have made Sam Raimi jealous. Just really fun edits that fans of low budget horror films will thoroughly enjoy.

Story a bit basic? Who cares! Play this on the big screen please Christchurch judges!

Story: 2/5
Technical: 4.5/5 (simply for that fucking amazing camerawork <3)
Elements: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5

I can't explain what it was that caused this but something inside me just felt like it was my first time ever watching a 48hours film, I felt like I was 17 again (lol) and that joy and admiration of what was possible in this competition overwhelmed me.

I don't know what it is about this film that caused that experience but I'm grateful for it, so that's all I'm going to say :) Thank you guys!

Truly this year's dark horse, a film which, while noticeably amateur compared to the other finalists, used this amateurness to create a super fun and engaging little film.

I'd describe this movie as "scrappy" - using everything available to create some genuinely great moments of filmmaking - from the hero being dollied away from the vampire using what I assume was a forklift, to the beating of the invisible heart against the plastic base it sat in - there's so much backyard filmmaking here and its so charming and reminded me of why this competition is so great.

Also, best title of the year.

Great job team!

Things you got right: Creating a finalist quality film out of some cheap by extremely endearing practical effects

Things to work on for next time: Just hone those skills! Get even better at these practical effects. I'd love to see you make the finals again with something similar.

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