German Angst is an anthology that contains three tales of love, sex, and death in Berlin. The only real connection that I could see between the stories is that they take place in Berlin. Each is different from the others and disturbing in its own way. So, to reiterate, it’s a disturbing foreign anthology. In short, it was perfect viewing for a gloomy Wednesday morning. I think the only way to really do this film justice is to talk about each story in turn.
The story of a young girl who lives alone in her dirty apartment with her pet guinea pig and the man who is bound and gagged in her bed. She, predictably, does some pretty foul shit to that guy later in the story. What got me was how dispassionate she was about everything. When inflicting torture or ending his life she did so like she was walking down the street; just as calm and collected as you please. Some of it is done with her giving a kind of monotone lecture about proper guinea pig care. The practical effects are spot on, the atmosphere is heavy, the cinematography is superb, the pacing is perfect, and you get to learn a ton of stuff about guinea pigs. What’s not to like? Final Girl was my favorite of the three but I don’t feel like I could really tell you more about it without spoiling the hell out of it and I don’t want to do that.
Make a Wish
Is a story about a deaf mute couple who want to have a whimsical afternoon in an abandoned building and end up being accosted by a group of neo-Nazi cunts. It got worse when they found out that the deaf mute guy was Polish. It was all Nazi fun and games, beating and terrorizing the couple until some old Polish magic pulled a Freaky Friday on the head Nazi and the Polish fella. The ensuing revenge is beautiful but it doesn’t end the way it makes you think it will. It’s gritty and violent with some limited but solid practical effects and features a neo-Nazi getting fucked up. Combine all that goodness with a little bit of folklore type magic and you’ve got me on board.
This story is sexy, dark, mysterious, and absolutely batshit insane; it was the obvious choice to cap off this film. Alarune is the German word for mandrake and also the name of these little plant siren babes that live in forests and lure dudes in with their good smells and such. The short is about a guy who finds a secret sex club that promises the ultimate experience. While to those of us outside the country the phrase “secret German sex club”, is probably a big fucking red flag, our protagonist pushes his way inside. They give him a couple big steamroller rips of mandrake shavings and he gets high as senator’s socks and gets his rocks off with something he can’t see. The side effect of this drug is a real motherfucker, though. This short features an interesting story, great pacing, some bad ass creature design, and a top notch ending.
All of these stories are really solid. The writing and cinematography are on point and the performances are incredible across the board. I love films that are both well-crafted and truly disturbing and German Angst delivers on both counts.
All in all, would I recommend this movie? Absolutely! It doesn’t quite cross the line into extreme but it is a little darker and more graphic than your average American horror film. I have to say, Artsploitation is becoming one of my favorite distributors; they’re bringing so many great foreign films to American audiences and giving uncultured swine such as myself a new appreciation for foreign cinema. You can get German Angst on Blu-Ray and DVD or on digital. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Don’t let the subtitles stop you from enjoying this German gem of a film.