Angst (Fear) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ June 2, 2008
Considering this was made back in 1983, this film is still quite ahead of it's time in terms of style and content. Stylewise, this is a very well shot serial killer film, that brings an arthouse feel to the exploitive elements. In terms of content, even today most serial killers are portrayed as being in control; devious and powerful criminals who are always one step ahead of everyone else despite their sickness. Not so in this film, which I suspect is closer to a real serial killer than a lot of it's ilk. The killer here is a crazed lunatic with an insatiable bloodlust and has absolutely no control over his urges. The fact that the film follows him on his first day out of prison is a telling sign that this guy has no place in society. Also, since he is providing the voice over, we see how he can justify everything he is doing, even though near the beginning he knows he is nowhere near being anything close to logical. A great film in the serial killer genre that I am surprised isn't better known.
September 30, 2009
The film Angst by Director Gerald Kargl is a beautifully shot film and rightfully so. The camera work is flawless although somewhat unsettling. The cinematographer behind the camera was none other than Zbigniew Rybczynski a filmmaker who had won an Oscar two years prior for his short film, Tango. The beauty of the film aside, this is one of the most disturbing films ever put to celluloid.
The film starts with sweeping shots of a prison and then centers on the central character. As he is shaving he explains that he stabbed his own mother and killed a 70-year-old woman, which are the reasons he is in prison. Then the guards come to his door because he is being let out after 14 years.
The movie then follows ?the killer? as the character is called as he tries to live the life of a free man. It is something that he utterly fails at, because he is always analyzing who his next victim should be. The film reaches the breaking point when he forcibly enters a suburban home and waits for the family that lives there. When the family of 3 arrives at home he incapacitates the daughter who is the strongest family member and then the movie revolves around how he kills each family member in graphic detail. First he kills the mother by suffocating her, then he drowns the paraplegic son in a tub full of water, and finally he chases after the daughter stabs her with a knife multiple times and then ?has his way? with her still warm corpse. He then drives to town with the dead family in the trunk of his car and gets into an accident. The film ends with him showing the police what he has in his trunk. In 1983 the year that this film came out it received an X rating for violence even with film standards becoming more lax than they had been in previous years. After its initial showing in the theaters the film drifted into obscurity and disappeared. Then years later came the advent of the Internet and recently this masterpiece of shock cinema has finally become available again if only online for the time being.
January 18, 2015
A fantastic, near-flawless masterpiece delving into the mindset and manner of thinking of a serial killer.
½ December 8, 2014
The brilliant movie Angst, 1983

Shot from below, above, in extreme close-ups and other impossible angles, Angst tells the story of a frustrated killer, just out of jail, eager to meet his next victim. His voice-over tells a chilling story of lust, the history of his deprivations and past crimes.

After a botched attempt to strangle a cab-driver, he comes to a secluded, large house which he breaks into. "I thought, this is paradise to me", go his rambling thoughts. The house is occupied by a dog, a brother and sister and their mother. The killer overpowers them all and unleashes his (clumsy) reign of terror on them. His plan is to let them watch each others deaths and take pleasure out of their fear and misery. They are sacrifices for his joy.

He is a man hunted by his own fears of the past. With his twisted fantasies of murder, fear and control, in the end he shows himself to be a huge failure, leaving a trail of death and destruction.

The Klaus Schulze music-track is quite surreal at times and haunting.

The sound department fails. Sounds are too loud, there is sound when there should be silence. There are awful stock sounds: footsteps, breaking glass. While the musical score complements the film, the sound does it no good.
½ February 1, 2013
It's a shame nobody knows about this film. And even worst... that it's never been released.
½ December 27, 2012
A criminally unknown film about serial murder. Probably one of the best film on the subject. Disturbing violence, anxiety-inducing photography and very good acting by the main actor. A film to see if you liked HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER and C'EST ARRIV… PR»S DE CHEZ VOUS.
February 22, 2009
Angst (Gerald Kargl, 1983)

In many ways, Angst is a comedy, however black it may be; the film's unnamed killer (based, supposedly, on German psychopath Werner Kniesek) has to be one of filmdom's most incompetent. And this while fancying himself a fine specimen of moral decay, right up there with folks like Peter K√ 1/4rten (from whom some of his narration is cribbed). It's what a horror movie would be, were that horror movie written by Edward Murphy. Add to that the presence of the film's humorous foil, a lazy, if observant, dachshund, and this could have been a movie to rank with the great gross-out comedies of all time (Eating Raoul comes to mind). What keeps it from ever slipping over the line into that sort of silliness is Oscar-winner Zbigniew Rybczynski's consistently off-kilter camerawork. There is no point in this movie where the viewer doesn't realize that something is dramatically off.

It has long been theorized that Gerald Kargl is, in fact, Rybczynski under another name (along with cinematographer, Rybczynski, who won his Oscar for directing the short ‚Tango‚?, is credited as co-writer), and it's certainly the case that Angst resounds with Rybczynski's favorite themes; obsession, confession, repetition (this latter reinforced subtly and effectively thanks to a score by Tangerine Dream frontman Klaus Schulze). Here we have a killer (Taxidermia's Erwin Leder), just released from prison, who finds himself with the uncontrollable urge to kill again. He's spent the opening few minutes narrating to us the story of how he ended up in prison in the first place (for the second time). He finds himself with the perfect opportunity to kill again, bungles it, and flees to what he hopes is an abandoned house in the woods. It is not, however, which gives him the opportunity to take out his murderous impulses. Assuming, of course, he can work up the nerve to actually kill anyone.

To tell you exactly where this movie makes the leap from black comedy into the realm of the truly disturbing would be quite the spoiler, so I'll just say that the killer's first victim pushes the bounds of taste in a serial killer movie. This is where it could have crossed the line into hilarity, given a different treatment of the material, but the filmmakers allow the victim a sort of pathetic dignity that renders the scene painful to watch. From then on, the movie treads this line between the silly and the shocking admirably, always staying just far enough on the shocking side that it's obvious this was a conscious decision by the filmmakers. Kargl (if he exists) and Rybczynski have created a minor gem here, though probably not one that would be appreciated by those weak of stomach. Tough to find, but worth seeking out. ****
April 28, 2012
One of the most brutal, simple, german, graphic horror film I ever saw. Incredible cinematography; assessed by Gaspar No√ (C) as one of his key influence for Irr√ (C)versible.
June 14, 2008
VERY unknown Blegium horror movie from 1983 which is so unknown, that as of now the only ways of watching it are illegaly or watching it in some foreign country.

The camera work is the best I've ever seen, I love to watch new ad interesting ways of putting the camera or moveing it and in this movie the camera is continually moveing no matter what's happening. It's hard to explain, but it's very angled and very unusual. You've seen similar camera-work in many movies but none of them can top this.

Gaspar Noe, one of my all time favourite directors, has stated that Angst is a huge influence on his work. And if you watch any Noe film you can see Angst's stamp all over it in a good way.
January 22, 2011
sick and twisted, disturbing and disgusting. in other words... an incredible work of art. With some of the most engaging cinematography I've ever seen and some of the most spine-tingling(ly?) realistic performances, Angst is simply a masterful surrealist art film. If only I had a better touch with reality, it think i might have felt more emotions. I assume that I am the problem here, not the film, because it's so well done.
August 12, 2010
The psycho-sensitive camera work along with the vertigo crane shots make Angst a technical masterpiece and a terrifying character study.
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