JONATHAN (1969) Reviews and overview

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Jonathan – aka Vampire stern nicht – is a 1969 West German horror feature film directed by Hans W. Geißendörfer. The Iduna Film production stars Jürgen Jung, Hans-Dieter Jendreyko and Paul Albert Krumm. The impressive cinematography was provided by Robby Muller who later worked extensively with Wim Wenders.

Linking the rise of fascism to vampirism, the film takes place in the 19th century where vampires who are immune to sunlight have taken over the world. Human rebels band together for a battle of life and the control of the civilization…

Jonathan has only recently received a legitimate DVD release on the German Kinowelt label, unfortunately without English subtitles. Its slow arty approach may not be to all tastes but to many it represents a “lost classic” being heavily featured in many 1970’s reference books.


“The performances are for the most part merely functional with Jung not a particularly compelling protagonist; he’s not a bad actor, he’s just not given much to do than lead the audience through vignettes. As the Count, Krumm has his moments but he is less effective when speaking at length. Only Jendreyko’s performance could be described as lively…”


“Essentially an art film, Jonathan is guilty of a few serious longueurs, together with some wilfully obtuse details. The vampires are attended by lilac-clad little girls whose synchronised movements are unintentionally comic, and scenes featuring a wheezing woodland hermit who decorates his shack with inverted crosses are trial to watch. Jonathan Rigby, Euro Gothic

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“The best part of this film is the look of it. This is one of those movies that amazes you with every shot. No matter what is going on, silly or serious, it all looks great. It sucks you in simply because you want to see the images that pass before your eyes. This film has tracking shots and haunting images that will stay with me forever”  D.B. Borroughs

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“It just had a bunch of people in bad vampire makeup mumbling some political propaganda. My audience took it seriously — at first.” Wayne Malin









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