This is difficult viewing. It’s a distance away from Buttgereit’s other films, and takes harshness to a new level, much of which I wish I’d never seen and hope I’ll be able to get these images out of my minds sometime soon.
The plot is a close inspection and detailed account of the mind of a deranged murderer. A crazy, disturbed bloke who performs bitter, twisted acts on people and himself and it’s probably these acts which are most offensive. Blow up dolls and nails in genitals are something which has no real place for me in cinema.
Once again though, Buttgereit manages to create a harsh nasty piece of cinema, but hold on to some true moments of humanity. I’ve no idea how this is possible, but it’s as though he can capture the human spirit at the brink of despair. A moment of emotion a lost memory of childhood and love and happiness which has been buried in a carnage of social disease and bitterness. Once more, Buttgereit shows he is a film maker working closer to the Art film than anything else, although the main substance and message is one of horror, it’s Art which carries this film. There are few films which I could sit through which depict a balding naked, hair fat man in moments of violence and loss, but this seems to work here.
The effects are outrageously good and nasty in a realistic way. Highlight effect scenes has an eyeball cut from the socket and a leg cut off at the thigh. Amazing effects although hideous to actually view.
Camera work this time has also stepped up a notch or two. There is a scene with our protagonist exercising in his room whist the camera rotates around him. Sounds simple, but very effecting and interesting shot.