A young man, Kid (Marquard Bohm - "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul", "The American Soldier", "Karl May" a.o.) stumbles through the Mexican Sierra, shot and half bled to death, carrying a suitcase containing the loot from a bank robbery.
Passing out from heat and blood loss, he is found by Charles Dump (Mario Adorf, "The Tin Drum", "Manhunt", ), a former gold miner living on the outskirts of ghost town "Deadlock" with his daughter (Klick discovery Mascha Elm-Rabben, later to appear in Schroeter's "Bomberpilot" and "Salome" or Fassbinder's "World on a Wire").
As Dump realizes what's in the suitcase, he tries to come up with a plan to get rid of its owner.
As they are joined by Kid's partner in crime, the sadistic killer Sunshine (Anthony Dawson - "Dial M for Murder", "Dr. No" a.o.), the conflict triangle is perfect. Soon it's everyone for himself in a violent endgame under the glistening sun where only one can walk away with the suitcase.
Filmed literally days after the Six-Day War in a valley cornered by the Israeli and Jordanian armies still bristling with weapons, the intensity of the shoot translated directly onto the film; a tour de force in no man's land, Deadlock is a dark, nihilistic tale of greed, corruption and codes of honor. A chamber play of Beckettian proportions, it is also a psychedelic Western as gritty as they come.
The film's outspoken admirors ranging from Alejandro Jodorowsky to Steven Spielberg to Quentin Tarantino, "Deadlock" never loses pace and moves along with an intensity not to be found again in German film.
With a soundtrack by legendary Krautrock band THE CAN
Awards and Festivals
- Bundesfilmpreis in Gold 1971 - Bester Regisseur