I think I first saw it on Mexican vampire movies from the 50s and 60s...but what is the first use of the trope(?) of the vampire rising from the coffin stiff as a board like in rigor mortis?

Leslie Nielson mocked it in this clip from "Dracula: Dead and Loving it.


1 Answer 1


It would seem this is most likely traced back to Nosferatu (1922). Count Orlok rises from the coffin like this when aboard the ship. You can watch the scene below:

  • 1
    I think you nailed it, but will wait to check off to abide with site policy. Funnily, I did this movie in Film Studies in 1972, but did not remember the scene. Mar 17, 2020 at 18:57
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    @Rattler I found a suggestion that the stiff-limbed monster depiction originated in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari 2 years before this, but I didn't post it as an answer, since Cesare wasn't a vampire.
    – DavidW
    Mar 17, 2020 at 19:33
  • Even still @DavidW, that was an astute observation. Thank you. Mar 17, 2020 at 19:41
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    @DavidW CC Rattler: The Golem (1920) has the stiff rising thing in it but it’s not a vampire so again why I didn’t post it.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Mar 17, 2020 at 19:46
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    What's with those captions? Mar 19, 2020 at 0:45

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