Satansbraten (Satan's Brew) (1977)
as Walter Kranz
as Luise Kranz
as Ernst Kranz
as Young Man
Critic Reviews for Satansbraten (Satan's Brew)
If you have any doubt that there's such a thing as being too prolific, by all means go see Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Satan's Brew.
A 1976 comedy by the well-known German humorist, Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
If you're new to Fassbinder, this one may catch you off-guard, but if you love the guy, here's another to scratch your head over and chuckle mischievously along with.
[It] may be the least interesting film made by the great Rainer Werner Fassbinder, a shrill and tiresome attempt at a screwball black comedy.
Audience Reviews for Satansbraten (Satan's Brew)
This might bother some of Fassbinder's more 'serious' fans, but this is probably my favorite of all his films (that I've seen, anyway). Kurt Raab, usually Fassbinder's production designer, takes the lead role, giving a very Peter Lorre-ish performance as down-and-out leftist poet Walter Krantz. Unable get an advance from his publisher due to a lack of productivity, and under pressure from his unpleasant wife (Helen Vita), he struggles to make money, interviewing a prostitute for an upcoming book project which never materializes, blackmailing and murdering a variety of women, and even taking in a sycophantic female admirer (Margit Carstensen, almost unrecognizable) to get enough money to stay afloat. His murder of a masochistic mistress is under investigation by a slightly unhinged cop (Ulli Lommel, later to become a director himself), but Walter is more concerned with making money, and then later, his new obsession with the idea that he is in fact the reincarnation of homosexual German poet Stefan George. Bookended by a quote from Antonin Artaud, the film wears its Theatre of Cruelty influences on its tattered sleeve, with frenetic performances, outrageous dialogue, and bizarre, often offensive situations. I don't want to spoil too much, but if you like weird stuff, this is most definitely for you.
Amusing in parts, but the absolute mania of the film got tired fast.
One of Fassbinder's only times (maybe his only time, I'm not sure) at doing a "straight" comedy results in the craziest, most anarchic comedy imaginable from the director... or actually, what is just about right for his sensibility. Kurt Raab is brilliant, as is the guy who play his fly-fucking brother (no, I mean he likes to fuck flies, when he thinks he can), and the ending is a twist that actually works because... shit, might as well be as absurd as the rest of the picture. It's like a long episode of German South Park if Cartman was an adult, a crazy writer, and pretended to be a 19th century homosexual poet... yeah...
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