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“A film that gleefully embraces an identity crisis of grand proportions, fusing two of the most incompatible genres imaginable, the venerable romantic comedy and the currently popular torture horror. It works!” — Donato Totaro, OFFSCREEN
Director: Andreas Schaap
Screenplay: Andreas Schaap
Cast: Sami Loris, Manon Kahle, Jeff Burrell, Peter Farkas, Enis Rotthoff
Producers: Anna Wendt, Fabian Winkelmann
Distributor: Pandastorm Pictures
This is it, people, the most surprising film we’ve come across all year—an astounding freak fusion of romantic comedy and extreme horror that plays as if the Coen Brothers collaborated with Takashi Miike and MANHATTAN-era Woody Allen to make something in the median between FLIRTING WITH DISASTER and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. It shouldn’t work, but it does. Brilliantly.
The less you know going in, the better, so here are some plot points completely out of sequence: Norman (Sami Loris) is a downtrodden session musician who’s fallen madly in love with sweet-hearted waitress Jennifer (Manon Kahle). She swept him off his feet the very night they met—when she accidentally smashed her car into him, the first of an insane procession of almost-fatal mishaps he will face throughout the film. Problem is, Jennifer is stuck in a terrible relationship with egotistical TV actor Foxx C. Bigelow (Philipp Rafferty)—who seems to have been modelled after William Shatner in his STAR TREK prime, to the extent that the character even stars in a sci-fi show and attempts to branch out into an awkward singing career! In a remote country house, a pack of strangers who’ve met through the Internet gather to hold a group suicide. But not all of those who hate life want to die. By the time the film ends, Norman will have suffered more physical trauma than practically any character in the history of cinema, true love will be found, near-death experiences will be had by many, actual-death experiences will be had by more, and you’ll never want to visit the USA again!
A crazed, hysterical portrait of America that must be seen to be believed, this is a film that frequently pulls the rug out from under its audience, employing tonal shifts so radical they would floor Sion Sono. It begins as a tender, almost screwball comedy before swerving straight into chaos. From that point on, it could become anything at any time. Good natured and mean-spirited in equal measure, the film is riotously funny, often downright adorable but rest assured, you will be shocked—many times over. If MUST LOVE DEATH’s vision of America seems a little off-kilter, that’s partially due to the film having been made by a group of Germans! Yes, director Andreas Schaap has created an ultimate outsider’s depiction of the USA, one that will leave you with a smile on your face and a scar across your brain.