Die Zärtlichkeit der Wölfe (The Tenderness of Wolves) (1973)

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This dark horror film from director Ulli Lommel was based on the real-life crimes of Fritz Haarman (Kurt Raab), the so-called "Vampire of Dusseldorf" who murdered over 25 young boys, drank their blood, and sold their flesh as black-market meat. Several German films had depicted Haarman's murderous exploits, most notably Fritz Lang's classic M (1931), but Lommel's version is far more graphic and horrifying. Produced by filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who also appears, the film revels in pseudo-Expressionistic imagery which sears itself into the viewer's mind. Raab's performance is reminiscent of both Peter Lorre in M and Max Schreck in the vampire classic Nosferatu (1922), but is unforgettable in its own right. A deeply disturbing cinematic poem about the face of true evil, this overlooked classic has developed a cult following, but is not recommended for sensitive viewers. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Die Zärtlichkeit der Wölfe (The Tenderness of Wolves)

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (2)

A nasty little melodrama, lurid and creepy and sometimes bordering on demented humor. It's the kind of movie we may not exactly enjoy, but we don't walk out on.

Nov 13, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

It is beautifully and enthusiastically performed and it doesn't contain a single superfluous or redundant camera movement.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

A black comedy of manners, but the crimes are so ghastly that they drown out the comedy.

Jan 23, 2006 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Lommel's film remains as disturbing a look at a serial killer as you're likely to see.

Aug 12, 2003 | Full Review…

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