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Author Topic: German "Underground" horror flicks  (Read 6093 times)

Peter Neal

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German "Underground" horror flicks
« on: 31 Oct 2007 - 12:39 »

This seems to be the place to talk business, so I'd be very interested to read what you think about the works of German indie horror and exploitation directors such as Olaf Ittenbach ("Beyond the Limits", "The Burning Moon"), Andreas Schnaas ("Violent Shit" Trilogy, "Nikos, the Impaler"), Jörg Buttgereit ("Nekromantik"), Andreas Bethmann ("Rossa Venezia") and others. ::)

May be not surprisingly, some of these directors- Buttgereit in particular - seem to enjoy more unprejudiced audience reception outside of Germany.
Many of those directors' releases are fairly obscure and the average German cinemagoer/DVD buyer is pretty unaware that this "horror scene" actually exists! :-*

I've always seen this extreme form of horror that's preferred by the "underground" directors as a direct counter-reaction to the harsh censorship restrictions, which genre films have to face in Germany.
BUT since German law allows for movies to be released unrated, it's possible to sell this kind of product for as long as it takes the German "youth protection" instances to react in their usual reactionary fashion (bans and the dreaded "index of restricted movies"). 8)

If you learn SOMETHING as a German fan of extreme horror than it's to be quick with your purchases....you have to be there before the "nanny state" gets a clue...Some find that adding an exciting edge to the whole "hobby" of film collecting...I always thought it to be tiresome and depressing.... :o

But enough of the censors! What are your thoughts on those "underground"filmmakers and their output?
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Inspector Tanzi

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Re: German "Underground" horror flicks
« Reply #1 on: 31 Oct 2007 - 13:01 »

I think "VIOLENT SHIT 2" andn "NEKROMANTIK" put me off these sort of films.
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Re: German "Underground" horror flicks
« Reply #2 on: 31 Oct 2007 - 13:19 »

I think that Jörg Buttgereit has real talent but I've never had the slightest inclination to watch Violent Shit or films of that ilk.
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Inspector Tanzi

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Re: German "Underground" horror flicks
« Reply #3 on: 31 Oct 2007 - 13:42 »

I think that Jörg Buttgereit has real talent but I've never had the slightest inclination to watch Violent Shit or films of that ilk.
VIOLENT SHIT 2

It lives up to it's name, it is VIOLENT, but it is a big pile of SHIT too (2). ::)
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Peter Neal

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Re: German "Underground" horror flicks
« Reply #4 on: 31 Oct 2007 - 14:38 »

I'd strongly recommend you to take a stab at Olaf Ittenbach's films (not neccesarily the "polished" "Legion of the Dead" :-*).
While they're not great art, he certainly brings a certain level of syle into the mix.
Ittenbach's gore also shows a playfulness not seen since the heydays of Fulci ::)

The ABUK disc of "Beyond the Limits" is a good way to start.... :-\

I'm deeply ashamed to admit that I still have to check out Buttgereit myself. As I said, he's well more respected OUTSIDE Germany, even here in Helsinki more fans seem to have heard of him than I could expect  :D

Schnaas supposedly has moved on since his "Violent Shit" days.
A later film of his - "Demonium" - even got a UK DVD release via "Hardgore":

http://www.filmifriikki.fi/~rM1Nx0000001/?Y999=PIF&Y104=000001000005049

And Bethmann? Well,he gave the world numerous fine releases on his "X Rated"/"X Gabu" label....but I'll reserve further comments on his work until more impressions and opinions have joined this thread. ;D
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IL COMMISSARIO

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Re: German "Underground" horror flicks
« Reply #5 on: 17 Nov 2007 - 04:10 »

Hey, Peter. I've only seen the NECROMANTIK films although I didn't finish the second one. The first film is a rough ride indeed but it is quite well made though. Buttgereit took the necrophilic taboo and pushed it over boundaries never before seen turning it into an artistic exploitation classick.

Didn't Andrea Schnaas ( I guess I spelled it correctly) recently direct ANTHROPOPHAGUS 2000?
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Peter Neal

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Re: German "Underground" horror flicks
« Reply #6 on: 17 Nov 2007 - 09:26 »

Not that recently, actually. It followed back in '98/'99 on the heels of "Violent Shit III" and strangely enough hasn't been banned in Germany so far....considering that the original "Antropophagus" got banned in countless VHS versions and DVD rereleases over there. :-*

I missed my chance of picking it up cheap when I was the last time in Hamburg, but I'm intending keeping an eye out for it next time I'm in Germany.

The DVD I know of - sadly - features only German audio, but I guess with the film in question it's not so much a matter of whether or not you'll be able to follow the dialogues... ::)

Schnaas by the way played the titular Goeorge Eastman role.
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Delirium

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Re: German "Underground" horror flicks
« Reply #7 on: 12 Dec 2007 - 22:00 »

I love Buttgereit. Nekromantik is one of my favourite low budget horrors. Further more, he's consistent - and Nekro 2, Schramm and Der Todesking are terrific films also (I bought the latter last time I was in Amsterdam). Art House horror at its absolute finest IMO.

Regards Olaf Ittenbach, I watched Premutos on a recommendation. It's fun, but a little too silly for my tastes. I prefer the arthouse sensibilites of someone like Buttgereit, than the hammy acted gore-fests of Ittenbach - although both have their place. It was quite a splat-a-thon, but again, with no substance I tend to find these a watch once, and then throw to the side type of thing. What's Nikos The Impaler like?

Andreas Schnaas, I regard the same. OTT, and rather cheesy splatter - but with a mean, nihilistic edge. It's like he has the same budget and gore capabilities - but throws as many taboos into the mix for reaction. Doesn't make the effects any better though, and offence for offence sake can be tedious. Problem is, i'm always curious enough to seek stuff like this out - then I kick myself for my disappointment afterwards.

I've not heard of Andreas Bethmann, so may check him out.. (recommended?), indeed my knowledge of German underground directors is next to none. I'd be glad to get some more recommendations.

 
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Paul

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Re: German "Underground" horror flicks
« Reply #8 on: 12 Dec 2007 - 22:59 »

There's no denying Jörg Buttgereit's talent. I've only seen NEKROMANTIK and SCHRAMM, but I certainly wouldn't put him in the same bracket as some of the other "gore for gore's sake" merchants. The two films I've seen a re more art house than splatter.
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Peter Neal

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Re: German "Underground" horror flicks
« Reply #9 on: 14 Dec 2007 - 17:52 »

I've not heard of Andreas Bethmann, so may check him out.. (recommended?)


His probably best known movie to date is the nearly unwatchable and lengthy "giallo"/"Women in Prison"/sleaze crossover "Rossa Venezia", featuring explicit hardcore scenes and endless variations on torturing its female cast....

"Recommendation"?
Let's put it this way: While I'd still defend the likes of "Murder Set Pieces" - a film I have very mixed feelings about - against attacks from the overly pc camp, I couldn't care less what anybody says about Bethmann's output. He makes Schnaas' "Violent Shit" movies look like the harmless pranks of a naughty schoolboy. Bethmann....is a director not prompting me to check out his whole catalogue...but he actually has fans...and his very own board, dedicated to his sleazy flicks, in German only....

http://www.xfilmberichte.de/

Serious Recommendations?

The German independent horror flick "Tears of Kali" is supposed to be quite good.
I still have to check it out for myself though...

http://www.ofdb.de/view.php?page=film&fid=50021
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Delirium

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Re: German "Underground" horror flicks
« Reply #10 on: 14 Dec 2007 - 22:31 »

Thanks for the recommendations!

"Rossa Venezia" seems to be OOP, but from reading up it appears many share the same opinion as you. Nasty! 2 and a half hours of it too! (and with old Jesus Franco making an appearance of all things!). Course i'm going to try to search it out regardless now, just to see one of the guys flicks! : )

Tears of Kali, after a quick BBFC search, appears to have been released uncut in the UK. I thought I had heard of it - it's one of the frightfest releases. I've added it to my rental list.

Also, i'm with you on Murder Set Pieces - I'd defend it, but admittedly I was not a fan of the movie. Simply due to it being quite dull - and that lead actor was god-awful. Shame really, as it had some very effective gore.
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Peter Neal

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Re: German "Underground" horror flicks
« Reply #11 on: 15 Dec 2007 - 10:44 »

There's also a Special Edition release (including the soundtrack) of "Tears of Kali" from Anolis/ems in Germany...but since I'm not too sure about the subtitle options I'd say the UK DVD is certainly the safest way to go. ::)
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