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Askew Review 15

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(Anchor Bay) 1976. DVD. Drama. 107 minutes. Not rated. In German with optional English subtitles. Directed by Werner Herzog. Fresh out of a German prison, Bruno walks into a bar for a beer and leaves with his new girlfriend Eva, a prostitute. After hanging around Germany for a while and not making much of a life for themselves, Bruno and Eva decide to join their friend Scheitz (makes Yoda look like a spring chicken) and embark for America. Overflowing with hopes and dreams, the German trio root themselves in Railroad Flats, Wisconsin with Scheitz’s extended family. Although things start off well enough and everyone has a smile on their face, things turn ugly and Bruno and Eva soon find themselves right back in the same rut they occupied before leaving Germany.
Yet another wacky movie by Werner Herzog loaded with even wackier characters. Bruno (played by Bruno S. This guy is supposedly a pain in the can to work with and why anyone would is beyond me.) borders on retardation. Nobody has a more clueless look going than this guy. Make no mistakes, this man can not act, he’s just being himself. I’ve seen this guy in another movie (Enigma of Kaspar Hauser) and he “acts” exactly the same. Bruno is also a disturbing looking fellow. So disturbing in fact that Anchor Bay didn’t even put him on the DVD cover. Instead, pictured is another character, Eli, who’s not even in the movie much. Weird. Then there’s old Scheitz and his handy dandy electrical charge tester thing. God, where did that storyline come from? The characters not only behave and look oddly, they each tend to run off on weird tangents that really make no sense at all. To me anyway.  Stroszek does have a point, but I’ll let you figure it out on your own when/if you watch this movie. The DVD includes commentary by Herzog and some guy named Norman Hill. The commentary does explain a lot about the movie. Other extras include; production notes, trailer, and a Herzog bio. Hey, great job working the subtitles around the opening credits! Typical odd and enjoyable Herzog fare. Hey, what’s the deal with the dancing chicken (so weird it’s almost frightening)?- Denis Sheehan



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