For a guy like me who doesn’t really like it when people tell me what to do and doesn’t really care what the media has to say about things, I usually have to experience something first hand to know whether or not I like something. I suppose this comes from being an only child sitting around by myself forever watching Doctor Who, Star Trek (original series, thank you) and horror movies all the time but it is what it is and here we are. My point of saying that is that I have to look at something and try and make a good decision so society doesn’t come unhinged (hahaha) so I take my time and infuriate people but hopefully everything works out in the end. My second point (I guess) is that I have passed up on this VERY GOOD German movie for years because this poster art actually repelled me away from it:
It’s not that it’s a naked dude with blood all over his face and knees and feet, it’s just that that didn’t really do anything to entice me to watch this, which is a shame because this movie is excellent. Acouple of years later I came across Antibodies again with this bad boy:
and again I decided to pass. A week or so ago, or whenever, I fired up Outcast (which was pretty good btw) and there was a trailer for this and it looked pretty exciting so I had it mailed to me and I was very impressed. I don’t know what the marketing department had in mind when they thought those two posters properly reflected what this movie was all about but I would give them a giant FAIL and encourage you to watch this. If you’re into a German language movie about a captured serial killer who is the epitome of evil and an angelic rural sheriff’s quest to find the answer to the brutal murder of a child in his quiet county, that is.
I don’t think that’s synopsis-izing it correctly. So let’s do a little bit of this:
This movie opens up to this very naked man doing something strange in his apartment, and as we get going two cops have arrived to investigate some screaming. For some reason one of these cops is played by Norman Reedus (??), who has no lines, but these two don’t get a warm welcome from this person named Gabriel Engel (André Hennicke) and some stronger armed troops are called in. Up next is a very naked escape attempt and finally he’s captured – apparently he’s been brutally torturing and killing children in grisly ways for some time now. The last part of that sentence there – about the kids – this is probably going to turn a lot of people off of this movie. He does a lot of graphic describing about his “passion” for little boys and it was definitely difficult to listen to / read, but if you can get over that – you’ll find a very tense, excellently acted, very well put together film about good versus inherent evil. Make no mistake, there’s graphic dialogue, a very, um, strong sex scene, lots of bloody imagery involving his victims and a couple of animals – so it might not be the movie for you, but I thought this was really good and I want to watch it again sometime.
I guess I only did half of the job when I made the warning poster above so I guess I need to get that highly skilled art department back to work but:
MARY, STRONG IMAGERY WARNING = OFF
So, Engel is captured and, after an initial perverted monologue, he shuts up and won’t talk to the cops any longer. In the meantime, news has spread across the country the he’s been caught. Word reaches some sort of farming hamlet whose lone policeman, Michael Martens (Wotan Wilke Möhring) wants to interview Engel to see if he brutally killed one of their local girls and dumped her body on the dock. I really loved the job done by the actress who played his wife Rosa (Ulrike Krumbiegel) who encourages him to just leave it alone and mend his family, of which, since the death of the little girl, his son Christan (Hauke Diekamp) has been exhibiting some very destructive characteristics, such as wetting the bed, hurting animals, showing his weenie off to some girl at school and setting his sister’s doll house on fire.
Well, Michael wants closure so he heads to the big city, meets his big city cop friend, whose German name escapes me, but they head out to the local penitentiary, go back to Engel’s cell and WHAT – the killer seems to know Michael?! And his son?? WHAAAAATT? How intriguing! But seriously, the rest of this is very intense as Engel keeps giving cryptic information to Michael about the death of the girl and who might be involved, getting in his head and turning him away from his path of righteousness. I can’t tell you who Engel’s accomplice might be, because it’s a pretty awesome story.
The two actors who play Engel and Michael do fantastic work and whoever was the DP did wonderful. This really was a very good movie, despite the artwork, but you have to be prepared for some disturbing parts. I looked on IMDb to get the actors’ names for this and did a little reading about what people thought, even though I know better. Of course there’s always the mandatory “WORST PIECE OF SHIT MOVIE EVER FUCK YOU!!” commenters and then there’s the “10 out of 10 – this movie is a masterpiece”ers but this one came with posts like “THIS IS NOTHING BUT A SILENCE OF THE LAMBS RIP OFF YOU FUCKING HACKS!!!”. I guess I don’t get that because when Michael first meets Engel, in that cell, he appears startled and Engel says “What did you expect, Hannibal Lecter?? SNIFF SNIFF SNIFF” (get it?). Obviously the filmmakers knew this was similar to SOTL so they gave it a nod and went about their business.
One last thing – also out there are a few “THIS WAS GREAT UNTIL THE STUPID FUCKING ENDING WORST MOVIE EVER!!!” I mean, sure I can see that, but the ending was OK for me. I can live with it. I would have preferred it went another way but, oh well.