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The German Chainsaw Massacre

THE GERMAN CHAINSAW MASSACRE (Das deutsche Kettensägenmassaker) Christoph Schlingensief, D 1990, 60 min

Christoph Schlingensief's response to German reunification!

After the German reunification-syrup, here comes the film to wake you up! Loud and aggressive! 60 unscrupelous minutes on German reunification!
Since the opening of the borders on 9th November 1989, hundreds of thousands of East Germans have left their old homeland. Many of them live undetected among us. 4% never made it to the other side.

This is the account of the tragedy which befell a group of East Germans, in particular Clara and her lover Artur. It is all the more tragic in that they were young and hopeful. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day.
They came as friends and became sausage.

On 29th November 1990 THE GERMAN CHAINSAW MASSACRE hit the German cinema screens. Christoph Schlingensief had shot his radical comment to German reunification within two weeks, shortly after 3rd October 1990.

The second part of Schlingensief's German Trilogy (1st part: HUNDERT YEARS ADOLF HITLER, 3rd part: TERROR 2000).

The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of German history, in which a 6-headed West German family (played here by Alfred Edel, Volker Spengler, Udo Kier, Susanne Bredehöft, Dietrich Kuhlbrodt & Brigitte Kausch)  from the Ruhrpott butchered GDR emigrants one after the other. With a guest appearance by Irm Hermann as customs officer!

Schlingensief's breakthrough film propelled him into public consciousness as one of Germany's most unconventional, daring and refreshing filmmakers. Shot in gloriously grainy 16mm in a stunning industrial area in Mülheim an der Ruhr, it mixes trash horror aesthetics (production design by Uli Hanisch (THE INTERNATIONAL, THE PERFUME - THE STORY OF A MURDERER a. o.) with Schlingensief's experimental roots. A gory, shrieking and abrasively satirical horror movie full of black political humor, exposing the free market as the meat market that it is, THE GERMAN CHAINSAW MASSACRE rightfully deserves its status as an enduring cult film.

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Press Coverage

Like a Brechtian parable re-worked by Tobe Hooper! (Time Out Film Guide, Nigel Floyd)