Der Todesengel

[a.k.a. Angel of Death]
Dir: Andreas Bethmann
Star: Manila May, Marc Fehse, Timo Rose, Lady Kora

I try hard to find something good to say about every microbudget movie, because I know how much work and passion goes into them in lieu of resources, and can only admire the makers for this. That said, I had to try very hard to find any redeeming features here, given production values around the level of gonzo pornography, an attitude towards women mean-spirited enough to make even me (not exactly a feminist) feel uneasy, and an overall sense that those involved had no interest in anything, except coming up with ideas that their mediocre talents proved largely incapable of delivering. When it eventually shows up (and that takes far longer than you'd want) the "plot" - and quotes have rarely been used so deliberately - involves a model (May) who gets raped by a pair of pimps (Fehse and Rose). This sends over the edge into a rampage of mayhem against any man or woman who crosses her path, eventually ending up back in the abandoned factory where her attackers torture their unwilling employees.

Whoever said Germans have no sense of humour must have watched this, and on its evidence, were right. It's trying extremely hard to be offensive, but is so shoddily made, any impact is close to negligible. While I've got to give May some credit for bringing it, and the sexual content is undeniably NC-17 level, the only scene which has any real impact - the heroine decapitating a victim and using its severed head to pleasure her - was done previously, and much more effectively, by Jorg Buttgereit. That's the pattern: the gore is stolen from better movies, and the poorly-staged abuse of women could be bad takes from S&M porn, and strongly suggest the makers aren't getting laid very often. The rest of this feeble excuse for a movie is an excruciating ordeal of very bad acting in scenes that serve little or no purpose. Subsequent research revealed this apparently also exists in a 161-minute cut; dear god, I don't want to know, since I wouldn't wish even this sub-90 one on my worst enemy. Not-so wittily subtitled "Fuck or die", I humbly submit that, "Fuck off and die" would be much more appropriate advice for the film-makers.

[November 2013]

Deadly dull
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