Nosferatu's Werewolf -- Act I
Some years ago, like many aspiring writers, I made several attempts at screenwriting. The following is one example from a three-act treatment I wrote for a sequel to the silent horror classic Nosferatu. Maybe someday it will make a good novel.
Nosferatu’s Werewolf -- Act I
Nosferatu (COUNT ORLOK), feeds on ELLEN, while her husband THOMAS HUTTER and PROFESSOR BULWER beat down the door to her bed chamber. The only weapon they have to fight the ancient vampire with is the rising sun. Hutter pulls back the drapes and lunges himself at Orlok to hold him transfixed, caught in the violent streams of the sun’s radiance. After a terrible struggle in which Hutter himself is caught by the burning incineration of the vampire’s living corpse, Orlok’s ashes are caught in a draft and blown out the window. With the aid of the Professor, Hutter survives, but the poor man’s wife, who made it possible to delay the vampire, is dead.
SUPERIMPOSE: Wisborg, Germany. 1838. On a cold evening, as the sun sets and the moon rises high, ASHES gather outside the ESTATE of Count Orlok (sometimes called “Lebenshaus” by locals). Blown by a cold wind, they make their way into the home and toward the CRATES OF EARTH left there and undisturbed, where they mingle with the dirt. After the funeral of his wife, Thomas is comforted by his good friends HARDING and Harding's sister ANNIE, whom he entrusted Ellen with before he left Wisborg on assignment. Annie is most concerned about Thomas.
Back in the CARPATHIAN MOUNTAINS, Count Orlok’s ward JAGER arrives to find his master’s castle in ruins. Jäger travels to the nearby VILLAGE to find out what happened. When all the villagers avoid him (who know he is a werewolf!), Jäger finds GYPSIES who inform him that Orlok left for Germany and Jäger sets out.
SUPERIMPOSE: One year later…
THE INQUISITOR arrives to inspect the town, questioning Professor Bulwer about reports of THE PLAGUE.
Hutter and Annie have become romantically involved, both comforting one another over the loss of Ellen.
The Inquisitor is forced to accept Professor Bulwer’s fascinating account as the reason there is, in fact, no plague. But he decides to remain in Wisborg on authority of the Church to determine the story’s validity.
Jäger, now in Wisborg, must become the WEREWOLF. The transformation is quick and brutal. As his claws take form he tears at his own rotting flesh, revealing the creature beneath. And by the light of the full moon the werewolf hunts, attacking and killing several victims.
The next day the bodies are found. The KOMMISSAR consults with the Inquisitor and proclaims Martial Law, effectively barring anyone from entering or leaving the town.
Professor Bulwer and Hutter tell the Kammissar it is Orlok’s estate they should be searching, which he ordered seized and quarantined a year ago. Now, a troupe of guards keep watch. “It’s an empty building with nothing more than a collection of dirt” Hutter insists they need to burn it to the ground, something he has been trying to accomplish for the past year. The Inquisitor tells him to do so would be sacrilegious. The town’s original church first stood on that property. It was rebuilt elsewhere due to superstition, but to desecrate it further would incur God’s judgement. Hutter tells him the estate continues to be desecrated since it became Orlok’s property. The evil they are seeking is there!
The werewolf hunts again, this time killing Professor Bulwer and Annie.
It goes to Orlok’s estate, avoids detection, and enters, carrying the dying body of Annie. It sniffs out rats going to and fro, all about the crates of earth. It digs and unearths the newly reconstituted CORPSE of Count Orlok. The werewolf nuzzles at the corpse, whining for the life of its master, and a ghoulish hand reaches out to grab a rat, and brings it up to the thing’s mouth to feed. The dying Annie sees this and tries to call out for help, but the werewolf grabs her and takes her to Orlok, whose eyes open weakly. Desperate, the vampire sinks its serpent-like fangs into the neck of this feast. Seemingly dead, Annie falls away, then both master and werewolf rest.
NEXT: Act II