E. Elias Mehrige’s SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE explores the fictional premise that the star of director F.W. Murnau’s 1922 German expressionist horror film, NOSFERATU, was an actual vampire. When the dictatorial Murnau (John Malkovich) sets about filming his monster masterpiece, he makes a Faustian deal and enlists the grotesque, reclusive Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe) to play the rodentlike Count Orlok. Schreck proceeds to both horrify and fascinate the unwitting cast and crew—including producer Albin Grau (Udo Kier), actor Gustav von Wangenheim (Eddie Izzard), and actress Greta Schroeder (Catherine McCormack)–who, at first, believe Schreck is merely an eccentric actor. As the production continues, however, mysterious accidents and deaths begin to reveal why Schreck never gets any makeup.