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Nosferatu the Vampire & Aguirre, Wrath of God on Blu-ray SteelBook in May

14 April 2014

The BFI have announced the UK release of two of director Werner Herzog's most fascinating works on Blu-ray as Limited Edition SteelBooks on 19th May 2014: Nosferatu the Vampire and Agruirre, Wrath of God. The discs will be priced at £22.99 each.

Werner Herzog’s masterful contribution to the vampire canon, Nosferatu the Vampire, is both a discerning tribute to FW Murnau's 1922 silent classic, and a singularly atmospheric and thoughtful horror film in its own right. It comes to Blu-ray for the first time in May, released in a Limited Edition SteelBook ahead of its inclusion in mammoth Herzog Blu-ray and DVD box-sets in July. The SteelBook edition contains both English and German versions of the film, a full-length audio commentary with Werner Herzog, an on-set documentary and more.

Jonathan Harker (Bruno Ganz, Downfall, The American Friend) lives with his young wife Lucy (Isabelle Adjani, Possession) in the idyllic town of Wismar, where he works as an estate agent. In spite of grim omens, Harker ventures deep into the Carpathian Mountains to close a property deal with Count Dracula (Klaus Kinski, Aguirre, Wrath of God), a sickly, wraith-like creature with sunken eyes and pallid skin. While dining that night at the Count’s ghostly castle, Harker cuts his finger, provoking a disturbing reaction in his host...

Kinski’s exquisite central performance, Herzog's painterly images and Popul Vuh's ethereal music combine to create one of horror cinema's most hypnotic and seductive experiences.

Featuring newly remastered presentations of the English and German versions, original mono audio (German and English) and alternative 5.1 Surround audio (German), the disc will have the following special features:

  • Feature-length audio commentary with Werner Herzog

  • On-set documentary (1979, 13 mins): promotional film featuring candid interviews with Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski

  • Original theatrical trailer

  • Stills gallery

  • Illustrated booklet with a new essay by Laurie Johnson, full film credits and on-set photographs

A visceral, ambitious exploration of megalomania and savage beauty, Aguirre, Wrath of God remains one of Herzog's most brilliant achievements and one of German cinema’s totemic masterpieces. Coming to Blu-ray for the first time on 19 May 2014 in a Limited Edition SteelBook, it will also be included in mammoth Herzog Blu-ray and DVD box sets released in July. The SteelBook contains both English and German versions of Aguirre, four other Herzog films, including Last Words and Fata Morgana, and feature-length audio commentaries with the director for both Aguirre and Fata Morgana.

Shot entirely on location in the wild Amazonian jungle near Machu Picchu, Aguirre, Wrath of God stars the legendarily volatile Klaus Kinski as Don Lope de Aguirre, a power-crazed sixteenth-century explorer who leads a troupe of conquistadors on a doomed expedition in search of El Dorado, the fabled 'City of Gold'.

This was Herzog’s first of five tempestuous collaborations with Kinski who gave what is arguably his greatest ever performance as Aguirre. With his sinister, tilting walk and demonic gaze, Kinski endows Aguirre with an eerie restraint, a threatening unpredictability.

Integral to the film is the hypnotic score by Florian Fricke of Krautrock band Popol Vuh.

The special features are:

  • The Unprecedented Defence of the Fortress Deutschkreuz (Werner Herzog, 1967, 16 mins): symbolic drama about four young men hiding from an imagined enemy

  • Last Words (Werner Herzog, 1968, 13 mins): short film about the last man to leave a former leper colony

  • Precautions Against Fanatics (Werner Herzog, 1969, 11 mins): short satire about horse-racing enthusiasts

  • Fata Morgana (Werner Herzog, 1971, 77 mins): hallucinatory film exploring mirages and the Mayan creation myth

  • Feature-length audio commentaries with Werner Herzog for both Aguirre, Wrath of God and Fata Morgana

  • Original theatrical trailer

  • Stills gallery

  • Illustrated booklet with a new essay by Laurie Johnson, full film credits and on-set photographs