Back in the silent era, films were accompanied by a live orchestra. It was like a two-for-one show—live music and visual effects.
As a throwback, and at the request of fans, Austin-based band Invincible Czars will be performing their original score alongside the 1922 German silent film “Nosferatu” at Treehouse Cinema for a one-night-only show.
Invincible Czars has scored six other silent films and has garnered attention around the country for their arrangements.
For their score to “Nosferatu” the four-piece band incorporates violin, glockenspiel, organ, flute, bass clarinet, vocals, music box, loops, electric guitar, bass, singing bowl, tambourine and other hand-percussion instruments that will not just add sound to a silent movie, but creates another visual aspect to the experience.
Just in time for Halloween, “Nosferatu,” which is heralded as the first vampire movie, tells the story of Hutter and Ellen, a couple traveling from the village of Wisborg to Transylvania to sell a piece of property to a Count Orlok. Hutter stays in Orlok’s castle, only to learn that he is a vampire.
According to a press release from Invincible Czars, the movie is regarded as one of the most important horror films. It was almost erased from history books when the estate of Bram Stocker sued the filmmakers for copyright infringement. Most of the prints of the movie were destroyed.
The band takes cues from film and classical composers, such as Bernard Hermann, Danny Elfman and Ennio Morricone as well as modern rock bands, such as Mr. Bungle, Ween, Sonic Youth and the Dead Kennedys.
For their “Nosferatu” show, the band also incorporated classical music from Bela Bartok’s “Romanian Folk Dances.”
The Invincible Czars’ score of “Nosferatu” is a unique and high-brow excuse to celebrate Halloween, no matter how old you are.
INVINCIBLE CZARS: NOSFERATU
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20
WHERE: Treehouse Cinema, 1175 Gulf Breeze Pkwy.