Horror Releases: German Angst (2015) - Reviewed

Somehow we missed out on this one. Luckily, our depraved addiction to all things horror brought it back into focus and we had the pleasure of experiencing one of the most disturbing anthologies of the past decade. 

German Angst is an anthological trifecta of painful terror brought to the screen by three of the world's most transgressive foreign directors. This three part release is now available on Amazon instant streaming services. It will have viewers cowering at grotesque moments of unrelenting skull mashings, sexual debauchery, self mutilation, suicidal slicings, and brutal beatings of the highest order. If you can't handle unleashed violent realism intermingled with fantastical moments of devilish eroticism, this may not be the film for you. But for those that are looking for something different that blends three absolutely different stories into a great piece of brooding dark art, this is the one you want to see. 

Kicking off with a merciless short by Jorg Buttgereit (Nekromantik), the stage is set for nearly two hours of nastiness. Never one to shy away from calculated shock value, his Final Girl will cause men to wince in fear as reproductive organs are viciously sliced as the dirty realm of a vengeful teenage girl's mind commits vicious acts of mutilation on herself and her chained victim. As the shortest bit of the feature, Buttgereit uses the few moments he has to deliver a visceral chapter of pain and misery that blows his Nekromantik features out of the water. Although it's still exploitive, Final Girl has a purpose. 

Second up is the magical but absolutely violent tale of Make A Wish by Michael Kosakowski. His entry splits the time frame between a village in WWII and modern day Germany. When a deaf couple is confronted with their own mortality, a mysterious heirloom assists in their possible survival. Flashing back to a village that's being overrun by Nazis, heads are crushed, rape is committed, and human lives are snuffed out with little thought. Back in present day, beatings are rendered on handicapped people as legs are broken, faces are bloodied, and the female lead is helpless against a gang of crazed thugs. As uncomfortable as it is to watch, Kosakowski's grasp on horrific realism is replete with natural performances and brain numbing situational dramatics. 

Last but not least is the erotically charged Alraune by Andreas Marschall. His bit is the longest and most well planned. Crossing the line between reality and a fantasy world of demonic sensuality, this final puzzle piece uses excellent lighting and cinematography to great effect. Like a cross between Gaspar Noe and William Friedkin, Alraune delves into the underworld of neon lit sex clubs with a demonic undercurrent. Armed to the teeth with stunning portrayals of obsession and bodily pain, this is the best of the anthology.

German Angst will be far too heavy even for the most devout worshipper at the altar of horror fandom. This film pushes the limits to severe extremes that are gut wrenching at times. If you've been able to sit through A Serbian Film, Dead Girl, or Martyrs, you'll be able to handle this. This is not similar to those movies by any means, but the hyper violence that is featured in some of the scenes here is beyond the scope of what qualifies as simple horror. These three directors had an effective plan in mind. And they follow through in each instance.