Rohtenburg (Grimm Love) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 18, 2007
I have to say, I?ve watched many a Horror and Slasher type film, seen torturous plots and of course I?m a huge fan of Serial Killer films, but I think I finally found my boundary here, as it was a little too sick for my taste. Perhaps it?s the fact that it is based on a true story, that certainly added to the chill of the film, but there was also something very realistic about the last few scenes, that felt a little too voyeuristic.
Super Reviewer
February 19, 2008
This gets two stars for being made without any serious acting or editing flaws. And it has thoughtful cinematography. That is all it does well. The only people who will see this are probably those already familiar with the true story, which is SO ripe for some really ground-breaking rule-breaking film-making but this film just turns into a sort of made-for-TV version of the story. There are four treatments of the story, and I wanted to see at least one of those (Lommel's 'Cannibal') before reviewing this, but I'm not gonna. The story, if you don't know, is about cannibal serial killer Armin Meiwes who advertised for a victim online, and found a willing participant named Brandes whose fantasy was to watch his penis be bitten off and devoured. Meiwes videotaped the "slaughter" of his "victim", which is why authorities and the press know that Meiwes was unable to bite the penis off, so Brandes had to settle for a knife. They both wanted to eat the penis, but Meiwes overcooked it after Brandes commented that it was too chewy raw. The movie does a fair re-staging (I wonder if the director/creators were able to see the real tape) but all of the gore is left out. We don't see any filet of dicklet or any anxious biting.... which that's half the reason I watched this - guaranteed fucked up combo of two fucked up things - castration and cannibalism. I also wanted to feel the bond between these two characters and how this act was making them whole, but all I got was Keri Russell's preachy and transparent voice-over, which her character was attempting to show "a sane and empathetic look at madness" but all it does is interfere in the pacing and mislead the audience. The acting between the two leads hits stride at certain moments, but for the most part Kretschmann is walking blocks around his counterpart. I also dislike the flashbacks of the men's childhoods, which is actually the reason why Meiwes was able to have this film banned in Germany (he didn't like people talking about his mommy issues). And I didn't like the movie using his mommy issues to prop up a Norman Bates figure for us, as serial killing is FAR more complex than an overbearing mommy. And, I need to say it again. I wanted more gore. One thing I don't know about this case (and I'm the sort of sick fuck that REALLY wants to see the real tape) is when Meiwes sliced off the penis, did he leave Brandes' balls on him or cut the whole sort of penile bulb out all at once? There's no reason why a movie with this content couldn't have answered my question there. In "Pink Flamingos", Waters wasn't afraid to show that Divine had let the manservant keep his balls, so why is a foreign director afraid of frontal nudity (of which there is NONE in this film) in today's market where the audience applauds when Hostel 2's protagonist clearly and nonchalantly slices off a penis and tosses it to hungry dogs as the movie's climax? I guess the director wanted to make something more meaningful, but he didn't and I don't know if they were able to use real transcripts/emails from the case, but alot of the crucial lines could have been better written.

I reluctantly place this movie on my "That's Fucked Up" Movies list but only because of the premise; I don't think this can compare by a mile to most of my other picks on the list, and the premise is really the most "fucked up" part about it, so I'll just choose the most chilling scene to me as my

"So Fucked Up" highlight: the first young guy who volunteers and then freaks out when he realizes Meiwes is for real
Super Reviewer
½ April 1, 2007
I would've been a whole lot happier bunny had they spoken German, but I suppose because of Keri Russell they chose to speak English instead - with German accents. The German court banned this film because Meiwes (the real life cannibal this film is based on) thought it was a violation of his personal rights to feast upon only the goriest details of the story and to display his problematic relationship with his mother all out on the open like that. Hell, If I had a childhood or sexual interests like that, I wouldn't want the whole world to know about them either. (Though, honestly, I would have preferred to see more cannibalistic man-on-man action rather than Keri staring at herself in the mirror).
Super Reviewer
½ October 6, 2010
An extremely flawed telling of Armin Meiwes story. First of all the side story of a grad student researching this case was both unnecassary and distracting to the movie as a whole. Second of all too much time was spent on the early years of Armin Meiwes and his victim. The movie would have been much more effective not explaining (poorly) what drove Armin to cannibalism. The approach of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer would have been much more effective. Thirdly the act itself was also dissappointing because anytime anything happened it cuts away to Keri Russell's reaction, and I've already stated how I felt about her being in this movie in the first place. Fourthly the decision to make this movie in English rather than German was a bad one. That being said Kretschmann did deliver a very cold and detached performance befitting the subject matter and he had great on screen chemistry with the victim. The movie had a lot of potential and there is some worth to this, but in the end it feels like a made for TV movie rather than a real film. Apparently the film 'Cannibal' also deals with Meiwes story so maybe it will have been done right there. Time will tell.
November 14, 2011
Very well done, (mostly) non-sensationalist, fictionalized account of the true story of two men - one who want to eat somebody and one who wants to be eaten. Nice exploration/speculation on their back stories and motivations, wrapped w/ the fictional account of a graduate student obsessed with their story.
½ December 2, 2010
I am not sure that this was the best way to present this story. Russell's character never seems to actually reach a conclusion in her study into the mental state of these two men. And this leaves a very disturbed watcher at the end of the movie without answers.
½ July 25, 2007
I'm a sucker for films based on real (and disturbing) circumstances, so when I read about Rohtenburg, I found it as soon as I could. I'm not a Keri Russell fan, so this film had to be somewhat exceptional since I mostly overlooked her whiny character. Thomas Kretschmann and Thomas Huber, on the other hand, deserve ridiculous amounts of recognition for their superb work on this film. I thought that while parts of Katie's story were very unrealistic (giving your address to someone you met two seconds ago on a cannibal forum?), they handled the back stories of Oliver and Simon wonderfully. It takes a lot for a film to disturb me, but this one's up there. In my opinion, inducing sympathy towards so-called "criminals" is the mark of a true work of art.
October 20, 2013
This is a very disturbing depiction of a very disturbing true event.
January 27, 2013
This is without a doubt one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen. It is not horrifying in the supernatural sense, but horrifying in that it reveals some of the dark forces behind the human psyche. The last 30 minutes were extremely difficult to watch. Other than perhaps Salo, I can't remember as many cringeworthy moments. Certainly not a movie for everybody.
½ December 9, 2012
When a Rammstein song is more accurate to the Armin Miewes story than a movie, that's never a good sign.
August 16, 2012
I found it to be disturbingly fascinating.
½ July 6, 2012
The outline of it is appealing - that's why a lot of people watched it. The trailer captured a lot of the eerie pieces and the flickering film. It made it look like it captured a lot of raw emotion, but it really didn't. The acting was poor (especially from the graduate student), the climax and the important scenes were unorganized and choppy, and the script was kind of unrealistic and didn't stick to the real story. They tried too hard to make it eerie, disturbing, and disgusting, but they veered off from the film's structure and along with it, I couldn't find anything "eerie" or "disturbing" or even "disgusting" in this movie. Also, at the end, they made it look like there would be more to it, but they just ended it right at a scene they thought was powerful, when viewers were hoping for more intensity.
June 6, 2012 It's amazing except for Kerri Russell's character who was pointless.
½ March 15, 2012
Had an insanely mind blowing emotion after watching a devastatingly mournful movie. It was drastic.I need air.
½ April 18, 2011
I like most have mixed feelings about the film. There are many uncomfortable scenes but for me it do not bother me. That is my only complaint with the film the rest well made. Emotionally it work and I liked the telling of both their lives up to the climax of the movie. You can somewhat understand why they did what they did. The ending reminds me of dead ringers just by the way it was shot. I would like to give this film an 85% but the way the rating system i have to give it a 90% or an 80%
½ April 26, 2011
Most uncomfortable movie ever. It is well done as far as I could tell having fast-forwarded through the last about 10 minutes. I'm not sure what kept me going to the end as I kept thinking I should stop watching. The movie depicts more misery than any film I have watched - maybe holocaust films top this level of real horror. It is hard to imagine someone writing this, getting it financed and then finding actors/distributors. All this said, I did stay to the end and do have a level of regret about that. Do I really need this in the memory banks?
April 23, 2011
After hearing about the real life story involving a man posting that he wanted someone to slaughter and eat, I knew that if a film was ever made, i'd have to see it. While the subject matter is quite fascinating, the film Grim Love is simply average. The cinematography and acting are surprisingly good, but only the US could believe Germans speak amongst each other in English. Also, I found Keri Russel's part in the film particularly annoying and really quite unnecessary. The story plays out interestingly enough without her constant commentary. 5.5/10
January 15, 2011
I was hoping it to be more explicit but it is still good to me
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