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GERMAN ANGST (2015)
Directed by Jorg Buttgereit, Michal Kosakowski and Andreas Marschall
Written by Jörg Buttgereit (FINAL GIRL), Goran Mimica & Michal Kosakowski (MAKE A WISH), & Andreas Marschall (ALRAUNE)
Starring Lola Gave, Axel Holst, Michael Zenner, & Mucki the Guinea Pig in FINAL GIRL, Andreas Pape, Matthan Harris, Annika Strauss, Denis Lyons, Martina Schöne-Radunski, Daniel Faust, Lucy Lane, Grzegorz Sala in MAKE A WISH, & Milton Welsh, Kristina Kostiv, Désirée Giorgetti, Rüdiger Kuhlbrodt, Daniel Gärtner, Katja Bienert, Magdalena Ritter, Moon Suk, Ludo Vici, Daniel Westrick in ALRAUNE!
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The draw here with this anthology is definitely NECROMANTIK director Jorg Buttfereit. I remember dropping my jaw in awe at the grisly and gory lengths the director went to tell his story of man and woman on corpse love in the Nineties. Returning to the screen after a long hiatus, my interest was piqued to the Nth degree knowing this new anthology had him in it. That said, this trilogy of short films, all roughly a half hour in length, turned out to be one of the most shocking and gut-churningly disturbing films I’ve seen in a long time. So while Buttgereit may be the big name here the rest of the guys, Michal Kosakowski and Andreas Marschall, prove to be not too shabby as well.
The film starts out with Jorg Buttgereit’s FINAL GIRL. Those used to Buttgereit’s more harshly filmed NECROMANTIK I & II will be surprised at how soft and sometimes beautiful this half hour short turned out to be. Following a young girl waking up and petting her guinea pig, she proceeds to give us some fun facts about the common household pet that I wasn’t aware of. But apart from learning something about hamsters, this short has a darker and much more perverse undertone that comes to light pretty surprisingly. I was expecting something extreme and horrifying, given the films this director has doled out in the past, but what I got was shocking to say the least. Again, as with the NECROMANTIK films, Buttgereit’s effects are so authentic looking that it causes a real sense of unease. Still, what impressed me the most was the way Buttgereit starts out so delicately before he pummels us with the gore. While there is an ever-present undertone to the words the young girl narrates throughout, there’s a poeticism to it all that I hadn’t seen from this filmmaker before. This was a fantastic way to begin the film, as it lures you in gently before it drives its teeth in.
MAKE A WISH is the second installment, from Michal Kosakowski. This is a brutal tale of racism and violence about a magic totem which enables two souls to switch with one another. The totem is given from one deaf/mute man to his deaf/mute girlfriend, and a tale is told about how a Polish girl attempted to change the tide of WWII with the totem; instead the girl was shown how infectious evil can be. This is a twisted tale of the human condition once granted power. It’s a story of oppressors and oppression and how the fine line between the two happens to be the slightest circumstance. Full of violence that will shake your soul, Kosakowski tells a complex story that has no easy answers. Look for a standout performance by actor Andreas Pape as a skinhead transformed into something worse.
The final installment from Andreas Marschall, who delivered upon us the soul-searingly haunting MASKS, brings forth ALRAUNE, a Barker-esque escapade through pleasure and pain. A man named Eden (Milton Welsh) tempts a woman from an online chatroom to meet him at a club, but he finds himself bargaining his soul for the love of a woman he doesn’t even know. Shades of EYES WIDE SHUT also come to mind, as Eden is thrown into an underground club where every pleasure and pain is possible. Things get trippy by the end, but before it goes completely bonkers there are some really intimate and grueling scenes of gore that you won’t forget. I’d love to see what Marschall could do with a Barker story, as this film captures the seediness and the dichotomy of the pleasure and pain centers to the extreme degree. You’ll most likely want a shower after this segment, but it’ll definitely stick in your brain.
This trilogy of terror is definitely something fans of intense horror should not miss. It’s not for the squeamish or the easily offended, but if you like gore and don’t mind situations that will make you squirm, GERMAN ANGST is the type of anthology you’ll die for. It serves as a testament to the talented directors involved, and here’s hoping that this ushers in a new renaissance in extreme horror from these talented and twisted filmmakers.
Bevvare mein fruend, zere are tittens in ze trailer below! NSFW!
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