Brian De Palma still make a film like Dressed
to Kill today? Maybe in Germany. You will find more than wolves terrorizing
this quaint little German village. There is also a cross-dressing, samurai
sword-wielding psychopath running amok in the woods. Have no fear, plenty of
homophobes will get their bloody comeuppance during his violent spree, so that
ought to make it okay to enjoy Till Kleinert’s Der Samurai (trailer
which releases today on DVD and BluRay.
Wolski represents the Barney Fife tradition of nebbish provincial lawmen. None
of his contemporaries respect his authority and his commander is not exactly
encouraging. The crusty copper is particularly skeptical of Wolski’s plan for
dealing with the wolf that has been preying on the town’s animals. Rather than
killing it, Wolski wants to lead it away with butcher-fresh meat. However, he
will have to back-burner the wolf when a mysterious squatter calls him out to
an abandoned farm house. Somehow, the violent man bearing the vintage sword
seems to know quite a bit about Wolski. He may or may not have some sort of
connection to the wolf as well. Regardless, when the Samurai unleashes his fury
on the town, Wolski will be hard pressed to stop him.
it is hard to say in today’s hyper-sensitive world whether Der Samurai is politically incorrect or a sly consciousness-raiser—and
why should we even care? What’s important here is the generous helpings of gore
and the eerie moodiness Kleinert offers up. While it is not as deliberate an
homage as It Follows, the unsettling
electronic score and stifling small town setting feel like a postmodern
synthesis of old school John Carpenter.
Der Samurai is an indie production
bordering on outright DIY, it is surprisingly polished looking. Kleinert builds
a strong atmosphere of mystery (albeit through devices that are never fully
explained), while steadily cranking up the tension. Michel Diercks also sells
the madness quite credibly, while looking so obviously repressed, his head
might explode. Likewise, Pit Bukowski pretty much goes unrestrainedly nuts as
the feral Samurai.
Despite getting a tad heavy handed with the
sexual identity games down the stretch, Kleinert has crafted a distinctive genre
picture with a strong sense of place. Even with its excesses, it is tightly
paced and generally grabby. Recommended for cult cinema connoisseurs, Der Samurai is now available for home
viewing on DVD and BluRay.
Labels: DVD, German Cinema, Horror Movies