The Film (5/5)
Angst follows a psychopathic killer played by Erwin Leder. The film opens with his release from prison, where he makes it immediately apparent that prison was the precise correct place for him to be, as right away upon his release he begins narrating his back story about the psychological trauma that led him down his dark path, and about his desire to begin murdering again. After a quick stop at a roadside coffee shop where he awkwardly devours a sausage, he begins to look for a place to commit his next murderous act, and finds the location at an obscure house out in the woods. He then waits for the family that occupies the residence to come home, before rendering them helpless, and killing them one by one.
Angst is shot in a hand-held style that allows the film to unfold in real time. I would like to interject for a moment to just say that the hand held style present here is not of the shaky cam variety some viewers might be used to from modern documentary style horror, and is still quite viewable to viewers like myself who might find themselves prone to motion sickness. The film occurs at a leisurely pace, that builds a certain amount of tension, and shows off the ineptness of the killer. Watching the killer from this light, initially makes the piece feel a tad humorous in a dark comic fashion, however, this quickly wears off when he begins to enact his kills, and his determination to murder exceeds his limited abilities. This leaves viewer with a slow motion detailed look at murder and necrophilia, that is both haunting and fascinating.
The film features a near constant voice over from Leder’s killer that puts the viewer into his emotional state of mind. In most films this would be rather annoying, but in the case of Angst it seemed like a constant, stream of consciousness reminder of the extent of this mans derangement. The direction from Kargl in conjunction with the cinematography of Zbigniew Rybczynski creates a truly bleak and tense experience. This atmosphere is contributed to with a soundtrack by legendary Krautrocker Klaus Schulze (former Tangerine Dream) who brings a score full of synths and percussion that helps push the experience to the absolute limit.
Just like their recent Corpse Fucking Art series of Blu-ray's Cult Epics have done quite a tremendous job bringing a very lo-fi film to a quality Blu-ray release. The film has a very solid natural looking transfer. There is some damage from the source, but overall Cult Epics has presented a film with nice detail, and solid grain, and a natural color scheme, which I assume reflects the original look of the film.
Cult Epics offers a DTS-HD 5.1 and 2.0 tracks, I assume the 2.0 track is closer to the originally intended version, but then we have a Klaus Schulze score here, so the 5.1 it is, and it sounds gorgeous coming through this set up. The voice over from the psychopath sounds quite good as well, and I did not notice any issues.
Seriously, Cult Epics went all the way for their Blu-ray release of Angst. This edition has a slipcover, a thick booklet of liner notes, introduction by noted filmmaker and fan of the film Gaspar Noe (Love, Enter the Void). There is also a commentary and interview with director Kargl, interviews with the cinematographer, and also the star of the film. There is also the option to watch the film with an 8 minute prologue added by the distributor. The disc is rounded off by the trailer.
Angst is one of, if not my favorite unseen finds this year. The Blu-ray from Cult Epics looks and sound phenomenal, and is loaded up with extras. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.