New To Blu: Der Bunker (2015) - Reviewed

Der Bunker hits blu-ray on August 23rd. Here's our early review. 

Artsploitation Films newest release on Blu-ray and VOD is the German production Der Bunker, and it is an absolute home run for the distribution company. 

What they have on their hands is by far one of their best releases and a sure fire modern cult classic and hit amongst cult cinema fans. It is a hard one to completely peg down, but it is probably the closest thing to being what director Wes Anderson would create if he were to make a truly dark comedy that crosses into the horror and sci-fi genres. The story involves a student renting a room in a bunker, in the hopes of having some isolation to work on a scientific writing project. His solitude is dashed when he asked to take over the tutoring of the landlord’s supposedly eight year old man-child, who they are grooming to become the President of the United States.

Do you like my hat?

This quirky gem isn’t going to be for everyone. It is one of those peculiar family stories, which is reminiscent of pictures such as The Baby, Spider Baby, and Sheitan but with higher production values. The direction and cinematography are superb, with nice camera placement and tight shots. The opening sequence instantly draws you into this with the combination of imagery, score and editing. There are a few scenes in which the use of lighting is similar to some of the neon sequences that director Nicholas Winding Refn has become known for. First time director Nikias Chryssos also wrote the screenplay, and he did a fine job of keeping the story suspenseful while not completely revealing much through the first act. From there, he pushes the limits of weird and breaks into the realms of more sci-fi and horror, evoking memories of David Lynch and David Cronenberg. This is someone to keep an eye on.

The editing and beautiful score help add to the overall tension, while also providing many memorable sequences. The score is a nice mixture of classical music and some new compositions from Leonard Peterson. I could definitely see myself listening to the soundtrack from this motion picture if it were available. The unique locations, set design, costumes, and make up are part of the reason that this draws comparisons to a Wes Anderson feature, as they are all eccentric and further add to the overall bizarreness. There are only four actors in this and they are all perfectly cast, each having the right look and delivering in their respective roles. Daniel Fripan stands out in his performance as the man-child Klaus, doing an amazing job of appearing way younger than his actual age of 31.

My leg is infected. Can someone put some butter on it?
While not for everyone, if you like the works of any of the offbeat directors or movies that have been listed, then chances are that you will absolutely love this wonderful little oddity.

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-Raul Vantassle