A century ago, NosferatuThe vile villain Count Orlok has become an icon as he stepped over a threshold, frenzied eyes and menacing claws, to suck all the blood of his victims. But just 20 years ago, the same character was revealed to be the little scarab beetle that scared SpongeBob SquarePants and Squidward by turning Krusty Krab’s lights on and off.
That is a wonderful thing SpongeBob joke, but not the sequel, which removed the vampire from his original film and any duplication of the setting, also illustrated By Nosferatu serves as a reference to popular culture. SpongeBob helped keep the 1922 film alive (or undead) in the public eye. Equal SpongeBob Screenwriter and scene director Jay Lender told Polygon that the random gag in episode 2 “Graveyard Shift” is probably the first time most viewers encounter the silent classic.
“Graveyard Shift”, regularly in the top 5 in ranking list belong to SpongeBob‘S the best episode, which first aired on September 6, 2002. The 11-minute segment shows SpongeBob and Squidward working the night shift at Krusty Krab, to the delight of the former and the chagrin of the latter. Squidward entertains himself by scaring SpongeBob with a scary story about a “meat killer”, but then the mysterious foreshadowings he makes about the killer start to really happen, scared both of them. Luckily, it turns out that all of his impending signs have a mundane explanation – except for the flashing lights. In the final seconds of the episode, it is revealed that the main vampire from Nosferatu – depicted using a slightly altered and crude animation from FW Murnau’s 1922 live-action horror film, which had the lights turned off as a joke. “Is not!” SpongeBob and Squidward spoke affectionately as if they were hanging out with him all the time. “Nosferatu” smiled. The episode ends. No further explanation.
Earl Orlok was not initially believed to be the culprit. Lender said that in an earlier draft of the episode, after SpongeBob excitedly listed the chores he could do at night (flip patties, squirt in the bathroom, and burn his fingers), there would be a joke Wednesday, where he delivers a letter to Floorboard Harry – a never-before-seen, previously mentioned creature that seems to live just beneath the Krusty Krab. Then, at the end of the episode, Harry will flip the light switch on the Floor Plank. (The lender shared a few Post-It Note sketches of Floorboard Harry with Polygon.) But the “nighttime” joke met the three-man rule of humor, so the fourth bit with the Floorboard Harry was cut. This means that his appearance will not end up being a callback, just a completely random image. It’s not good enough. Fortunately, another better idea popped into Lender’s mind.
Lender said that when he was a kid, he was a big fan of the magazine Filmland’s famous monster. This was before there were hundreds of TV channels, before the internet, and before there were so many horror movie libraries that could be streamed. Kids like Lender don’t really get much of a chance to see old horror movies, but magazines, with their cute, fun tones, can show them these movies with articles and pictures. .
“The content will appear in this magazine that I cannot follow, but I can know about it,” Lender said. “So I can see that [old genre films like] This Island Earth exist, but I can’t really see them unless it’s on TV.
“They will show a still photo from Nosferatu. And it was always him standing in the doorway,” Lender recalls. “So my first experience with Orlok and with that image was like this is not in discrete order. When the time came that I needed to come up with an alternative horror movie, that image was already in my mind. It’s interesting because SpongeBobIn 20 years, other people’s first experience with Orlok was also an oddly disjointed, out-of-order horror image. “
That’s the thing about Nosferatu. It’s a powerful, inventive film, but over the past century, it has become as much a piece of pop culture as it is a work of art. Those who haven’t seen it yet Nosferatu may still be aware of its existence, or at least vaguely know that the gruff-looking vampire from that silent movie isn’t vampire. 1979 Salem’s Lottery miniseries look to Nosferatu for its vampire design. Blue Öyster Cult wrote a song about him. Queen and David Bowie used footage from the movie in the video for “Under Pressure.” Dungeons & Dragons there’s a whole type of vampire called “Nosferatu” in Monster User Manual. And Vampire’s Shadow fiction creates the movie. Nosferatu is a reference as much as a movie itself.
But even though the film has an 80-year advantage over SpongeBobit’s entirely possible that many people have seen Earl Orlok in that episode of SpongeBob than seen Nosferatu. That’s how these things happen. Nosferatu was a landmark film with impressive visuals, but the power of those images (and the decades during which it was difficult or even impossible to watch the film) ensured that the underlying visual concept The version of “Nosferatu” has become more culturally dominant than the full set film is today.
“If it didn’t have the unbelievable reach of SpongeBob as a background, no one under the age of 30 wants to see this movie,” said Lender. He explained that it wasn’t until recently that he felt comfortable admitting his part in the reference Nosferatu in SpongeBobbut 20 years later, he can’t deny that gagging has had an impact.
“I know that this show has a bigger reach than any silent movie,” said Lender. In case that sounds arrogant, he emphasizes it’s a feeling SpongeBob SquarePants when it was released. About 15 million viewers are watching weekly, a number that’s hard to fathom in today’s media landscape, with small audiences engaging in so many niche options. “Is not [today] could have had the cultural impact that SpongeBob had when it first came out,” said Lender.
He also felt that the size of that audience meant he could culminate with just this one brief reference. “I have to accept that this is it, this is my legacy. It’s almost impossible to imagine anything I could do that would be more noticeable later on,” said Lender. “I could go out and kill the president right now, and the title would say ‘Nosferatu Gag Man and presidential assassin Jay Lender are dead’.”
Now streaming and YouTube have made it easy to watch a lot of movies – especially public domain movies, like Nosferatu – no wonder it’s seen and appreciated more as a movie. On its 100th anniversary, Nosferatu is said to be more appreciated in its original context than ever before. Technology and a newfound love for old movies, perhaps inspired in part by those who wanted to keep track of the references they grew up with, have made Count Orlok more than just an image worthy of attention. remember, memorable.
However, interestingly, Orlok is no longer the one who did not continue in SpongeBob SquarePants. Vampires appear a few more times in later episodes and in the prequel series Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years, Kidferatu is a camp counselor. The random ending of “Graveyard Shift” forward is a constant joke, which Lender thinks is neat, although he feels that the later, the ending “amplifies the leg” slightly from the original.
And for those wondering: SpongeBobVampire flashing the switch of called “Nosferatu” and Not Count Orlok because Lender thought the title was more recognizable, and more importantly, it sounded better at the solo melody we hear at the end of the episode. Probably the correct way to call the joke, and NosferatuPR is ongoing, but it has its downsides.
“I have to deal with scammers who come to me and say, ‘Real, name is Orlok. ‘” said the lender, laughing. “Like, OK. I know. I knew it 20 years before you were born. But thank you for thinking. ”
“Graveyard Teleport” and more SpongeBob Squarepants library is streaming on Peacock and Amazon Prime Video. Nosferatu streaming now free (with ads) on Tubiand for those registered on Creepy, Hooplaand Kanopy. It is widely available for rent on digital platforms such as Amazon and Vudu.