Das Komabrutale Duell
I have an attraction to strange and extreme cinema that sometimes I find difficult to justify, even to myself. I will fork out sometimes sizeable amounts of money for something that more times than not is mind numbingly boring and shit. Even the one’s that look pretty good are invariably awful. This is the kind of destructive obsessive behaviour you’d expect from a drug addict but I can’t help myself. Occasionally however, I will discover a film that is actually worth watching.
Heiko Fipper’s Das Komabrutale Duell is a very nasty film. In fact, I think it is probably the most violent and mean spirited film I have ever seen and considering I’m something of an aficionado, that says a lot. There is a simple, if bewildering plot about two rival gangs whose preoccupation in life is to try and kill members of the opposite gang. Not sure why, but they do. The rest of the film is just a series of scenes of brutality occasionally broken with ridiculous dialogue. One scene following a gang member’s death includes the following exchange:
“One thing’s for sure, he needs a new brain.”
“Yeah but whose?”
“In the streets, we’ll just whack somebody, rip off his head and take his brain.”
“No, that’ll take too long... just use half of mine!”
After the amateur brain transplant, both characters recover immediately with no noticeable impairment to their ability (to repeatably slaughter others). Equally impossible slapdash surgery continues throughout. The film is beyond stupid, it is positively absurd. It is so ineffectually crafted, the nauseating acts performed cannot be taken too seriously and lose any potential impact. For me this is its saving grace - it is elevated from a secret guilty pleasure, to a film you could watch with some mates whilst having a few beers. At least I thought so. Perhaps my saturation diet of grim films has left me a tad jaded. I gave a copy of Das Komabrutale Duell to Rice Serbic as a Christmas gift expecting him to find it thoroughly enjoyable. Apparently I couldn’t have been more wrong. I think he actually found it mildly upsetting. Perhaps the vagina football and baby stomping amidst the other relentless atrocities just proved too much. I may be paraphrasing him slightly but his response to the film was something along the lines of “Who’d have thought the country that created the Holocaust could spawn someone like Heiko Fipper?” My test subject is thankfully still talking to me, perhaps others would not have been so forgiving!
Verdict: 3 stars out of 5. 15 years in the making(!), this should be some kind of masterpiece and I suppose in some ways it is. Although terrible on every technical level, the makers obviously had a lot of fun and this will hopefully rub off on some viewers. If like me, you were considering inviting your mates round to join in the fun - perhaps stick to the relatively safer ground of gore films such as Bad Taste or Braindead.
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