'Nosferatu' w/ live music by The Invisible Czars
xBk Live, Des Moines -- Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
For those itching to marathon horror movies during the upcoming Halloween season, xBk Live is offering a stop on your itinerary not to be missed. On Oct. 25, Austin, Texas-based instrumental rock collective Invincible Czars will perform a live score to F.W. Murnau’s landmark vampire film, Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror (1922) in celebration of its centennial.
Known as “Austin’s Emperors of Eclecticism,” Invincible Czars was formed 20 years ago by its sole constant member, Josh Robins. The group has spent the past two decades touring the country performing original scores for classic silent films and ballets, among them, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Phantom of the Opera (1925) and The Nutcracker (1892).
Their quirky sound, drawing upon the premier oddballs of the rock and roll world, such as Frank Zappa, Primus, Mr. Bungle and Danny Elfman, has won them a considerable following of, as their website puts it, “music nerds, horror fans, film lovers,” as well as “anyone with a complicated relationship with heavy metal and classical music.”
Invincible Czars begin a heavy tour schedule this fall revisiting Nosferatu, a film they originally scored and toured in 2015. The film, a classic of German expressionist cinema, was released during the Weimar period and served as an unofficial, and unauthorized, adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with its release prompting legal action from the author’s heirs, including a court order stipulating that all copies be burned. Luckily, several copies of the film survived.
With its eerie and ethereal set design, performances and atmospherics, Nosferatu has gradually attained masterpiece status, and continues to both mesmerize and terrify viewers 100 years later, from casual horror fans to veritable cinéastes. Invincible Czars’ return to Des Moines on Oct. 25 will pay artistic tribute to the film and provide viewers a chilling, yet entertaining primer for this year’s Halloweekend.
This article was originally published in Little Village Central Iowa issue 006.