Sex, Fascism and Genitalia
The horror anthology “German Angst” deals with possible alternate explanations of a shown reality. Each of the three segments is also very bloody.
“Final Girl” is directed by Jörg Buttgereit and follows a girl as she wakes up and takes care of her guinea pigs. All seems normal, until we get shown what she keeps in the next room.
The second segment “Make a Wish” is by director Michal Kosakowski and is about a deaf-mute couple that is captured and tortured by neo-Nazis. An old talisman owned by the couple may turn the tables, though…
The third segment is “Alraune” directed by Andreas Marschall, in which a fashion photographer seeks solace in Internet pornography and online chats. A date leads him to an exclusive club, where members get their sexual desires fulfilled after smoking a drug based on Mandrake root, also known as the “whispering nightmare”. Soon, he discovers there are a few nasty catches attached to the drug.
All three episodes take place in Berlin, and for consistency’s sake used the same crews whenever possible. Details from one story will amusingly pop up in the other parts as well. Still, each segment clearly carries its own director’s signature. Buttgereit’s episode is an art-house piece while the other two segments feel like edgier versions of “Twilight Zone” episodes. The first two episodes are interesting but uncomfortably punishing as well, and frankly take their time in telling what are pretty simple stories. In contrast, “Alraune” is a thrilling relief, and has been cleverly placed at the end as such. “German Angst” works well, both as a set of individual episodes and as a whole film. A tough stomach, patience, and thick skin help to watch it.
“Final Girl” is the story of a woman who has been damaged and we see shots of unwashed pots in the sink, piled everywhere, and the sheer filth of weeks, probably months have ruined both her and the apartment. As she eats, her eyes are as soulless as a goats. Deep inside, she is in torment. She has been abused as a youngster.
Lola Gave, is ideal as this female time bomb. She is emotionless, young, and, it turns out, plotting revenge. In the bedroom, a blindfolded, gagged man is tied and sleeping. She wanders in. Sitting across his legs she stares down. Her voice narrates that she compares humanity to guinea pigs, probably domestic pets in general. Guinea pigs also get neutered. Oh-oh, here comes an off-camera penis violence sequence..
In “Make A Wish”, the couple is Polish and both are deaf and mute. They decide to wander around endless ruins of factories and warehouses in the centre of nowhere. Director Michal Kosakowski makes a wonderful tool out of the vacated corridors and huge empty spaces. The loving couple only speak in sign language and this adds to the sense of stillness. He shows her a very old talisman he carries and explains the history behind it. Thus begins a flashback to 1943 and the arrival of nasty Nazis in a Polish village. As a little girl hides and cries, the villagers have their heads chopped, babies are battered, women raped, all in detail. Making her escape, she is caught by the whole platoon who grin and leer at her. She raises the talisman just as a surviving villager approaches. Then they are chanced upon by a bunch of Neo-Nazis who want a lot of trouble. Jacek’s girl has her head kicked in by the leader and covered in blood she reaches into her pocket and produces the talisman. After the spirit transference, there is a lengthy torture.
In “Alarune”, Eden is a photographer who wakes from a dream or memory of weird things. Mya who is with him asks what happened to him and we learn that he meets a girl online who invites him to the Mabuse Club, a loud night seedy nightclub filled with leather and dancers. He approaches Kira, a Ukrainian girl on the pole. She’s his ‘date’, who takes him into the toilets where they sniff lines off her thigh and play and suddenly she leaves in a hurry. Eden follows through the streets seeing her with a group of men. They enter a building. It turns out this is a members only club, and Eden asks what he has to do to become a member. The club is an elite place for the rich and adventurous. It ends here.
The film is adventurous an quite wild something we do not see very much of.