The Samu­rai

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated / Dvd & Blu-Ray -

Com­ing- out car­nage

Re­lease Date: 13 April 2014 | 15 | DVD Direc­tor: Till Klein­ert Cast: Michel Diercks, Pit Bukowski, Uwe Preuss, Kaja Blach­nik

This Ger­man

film is equally likely to im­press, be­wil­der, or – depend­ing on your in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the sub­text – af­front. It cen­tres on Jakob ( Michel Diercks), a ru­ral cop who gets no re­spect from the lo­cals, spends his evenings play­ing cards with grandma and, it’s sub­tly im­plied, is sex­u­ally un­ful­filled. A wolf is prowl­ing the area… and so is a Samu­rai sword- wield­ing bloke in a white dress, carv­ing a swathe of crim­i­nal dam­age through the neigh­bour­hood. The ex­tended pur­suit that fol­lows trans­forms into both a dance and a se­duc­tion, as it be­comes in­creas­ingly ap­par­ent that Jakob’s re­pressed urges have some­how been phys­i­cally man­i­fested.

It’s the sort of film whose am­bi­gu­ity at­tracts some vi­o­lently op­pos­ing read­ings. The in­ten­tion seems clear: a cel­e­bra­tion of ig­nor­ing the con­ser­va­tive so­ci­etal forces hold­ing you back and lib­er­at­ing the real you. But you could take away the “mes­sage” that men should erad­i­cate their fem­i­nine side and em­brace vi­o­lence.

Ei­ther way, there’s some at­trac­tive use of red and blue gi­allo light­ing, Dario Ar­gento- style. And Pit Bukowski burns brightly as Jakob’s trans­ves­tite anima/ an­i­mus, flash­ing a ra­zor- slash Alex- the­droog smile that’s as pow­er­ful a weapon as the char­ac­ter’s katana.

Ex­tras: Com­men­tary by direc­tor Till Klein­ert, an in­ter­view with Klein­ert, Diercks and Bukowski ( 20 min­utes), and a be­hind- the- scenes look ( 10 min­utes). Ian Ber­ri­man Dur­ing cast­ing, Michel Diercks ( Jakob) had to dance to “Into The Night” from Twin Peaks; his per­for­mance was the clincher.

Vin­cent Price must be around some­where.

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