04 June 2015

DER SAMURAI

DER SAMURAI

Alternate International Title:
The Samurai

Germany, 2014
Director: Till Kleinert

9/10








Yes, I've already seen "Der Samurai" at last year's /Slash 1/2 Mini-Festival [Review here] and yes, it also made it already into my Best of 2014 [List here], but now that it finally gets released outside of Europe via Artsploitation (who provided me with a screener, woohoo!), I thought why not support this awesome movie with a second review? Here we go!

The debut feature of young German filmmaker Till Kleinert's is an extremely impressive little horror thriller, following Jakob, a repressed policeman who tries to protect his home village from a hungry wolf that strives through the forests, not knowing that something much more dangerous is lurking in the shadows:
a mysterious cross-dressing man with wild eyes and wild hair, wearing a gorgeous white dress, carrying a Katana sword, luring Jakob into a merciless cat-and-mouse game...


With an ultra-low budget and a couple of no-name actors, Kleinert created a fantastic gem that pushes the genre-boundaries and rises like a Phoenix out of the dusty ashes of German horror cinema. The story is a tad foreseeable and not that original, but it's told and developed in such an unconventional, powerful and gripping way, it's about as mesmerising as the movie's stunning visual style that bewitches you with haunting images, creepy locations, glorious lighting and terrific cinematography, all accompanied by heavy piano chords, Chris-Isaak-esque guitars, ethereal song and classy 80s synths.

The film is tense and thrilling, at times entertaining, at times shocking, at times strongly emotional, but never boring, even the few rather slow scenes in the middle manege to keep you on the edge of your seat. Pit Bukowski delivers an amazing performance as the Katana-wielding Samurai-transvestite (I love his Jack-Nicholson-like grin!). Michel Diercks is at first quite difficult to assess, but the deeper you, the viewer, dive into his complex character, the more you realize what a great actor Diercks is, what an awesome performance he delivers. Highlights: the badasss mass-beheading, the suepenseful sequence on the railroad track and the super-insane finale incl. fireworks, blood fountains & an erect penis. No wonder the movie got the award for the "Best Erect Penis To Redress The Balance Of All The T&A Displayed In So Many Film"
at the Total Film FrightFest 2014.


Forget about "German Angst" - THIS is the one new German horror film that every horror buff has to check out ASAP.


Thanks to Eric Bresler (Artsploitation) for the screener!

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