The Film (0/5)
Or maybe it’s 5/5? Who knows? Shit like this is pretty much critic-proof, because it’s not an actual film at all, and it exists to fill what I must assume is an insanely small niche.
Back in the ‘70s, as adult cinema flirted with Hollywood production values and mainstream success, the slebs and the press went gaga over the arty oddity of the Mitchell brothers and the sophistication of Radley Metzger – but no one was willing to go to war to defend peepshow fetish loops, you know? It’s not like those things were being done with an eye toward superlative production design or anti-war commentary – they existed to play as long as it took for you to coat the inside of your rain slicker with man milk.
I think that’s what the Curse of Doctor Wolffenstein is. If your fetish is to see a certain kind of pasty wannabe “alt-model” (which has basically become code for a girl with an unflattering haircut and a couple of unfortunate tattoos) get naked (maybe she gets to leave her stockings on because of course) under some really harsh lighting, get strapped to a gurney/bed/slab/other horizontal surface, half-heartedly groped, then repeatedly stabbed/hacked at while she gurgles some poorly-tinted vintage of Dick Smith’s Classic Recipe, then you’ve hit the jackpot.
The film is ostensibly about some All-American German kids who wander into a hick town and run afoul of a crazed, immortal mad scientist – the titular Doctor Videogamereference – who has to replace his failing limbs by crudely hacking off the appendages of the director’s friends with one of Tom Savini’s old-fashioned machetes with a half-moon shape cut out of the blade. He does this a whole lot over the production’s nearly two hour runtime, and it’s never once shocking or scary. He does do it a few times to women while the camera is perched precariously close to their mossy clefts, which did serve to disturb me a bit – as it cemented my idea that this was actually a film made for people (the kind of guys who would be really into ethics in gaming journalism in another life) who want to see naked woman gutted/butchered with as little pretense as possible. Mission Accomplished, Herr Doktor!
Cult Epics sister label ReelGore Releasing has done a fine job of mastering what looks to be crummy high-definition video that was lit way too hot almost the entire time.
I rated the extras as highly as I did because ReelGore has actually delivered a very robust, collector’s edition presentation/package for a film no one outside of the director’s family and friends should give a runny shit about. The centerpiece of the extras in this combo Blu/DVD package is a behind the scenes documentary, wherein we discover that director Marc Rohnstock is basically what it would be like to see Laurence Harvey’s Human Centipede 2 character come to life as a filmmaker.
We also get a blooper reel, a stills gallery, a trailer for this mess, and a short film that felt every bit as long as the two-hour feature presentation (which is to say that it felt six hours long) in which a pasty wannabe “alt-model” is stipped naked, strapped to a chair and repeatedly stabbed/hacked with a machete. WUNDERBAR!
Marc Rohnstock makes Andreas Schnaas look like F.W. Murnau, and The Curse of Doctor Wolffenstein is a poorly acted, shittily written thing devoid of ingenuity or subtext. If you’re someone who has certain urges that need to be fulfilled with regard to “alt-models” and bloodshed, you could probably do a better job of scratching that itch by downloading some of that half-assed Burning Angel shit.
At least Jorg Buttgereit’s films have a bit of style and try to say a little about the human condition – instead of making me mourn for it.