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Thursday, December 20, 2018

SNOWFLAKE -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle

While some of the blurbs describe the 2017 German film SNOWFLAKE (aka "Schneeflöckchen") as being Tarantino-esque, a modern Grimm's fairytale, and other such colorful phrases, don't let that put you off (if it does) or mislead you. 

This is really an enjoyably offbeat tale that manages to deconstruct the usual narrative and throw the viewer a few wicked curves, but it isn't a mind trip of LSD proportions that will leave you strung out in the middle of a surrealistic wasteland.

The Tarantino comparison is mainly due to the fact that two of the protagonists, Javid (Reza Brojerdi) and Tan (Erkan Acar), trade some quirky "Royale with cheese"-type dialogue while casually killing people during their nocturnal prowl through the streets and fast food joints of a violently dystopian near-future Germany. 

There's also the somewhat fractured storyline, due mainly to the fact that they find, in the backseat of their stolen car, a screenplay in progress which features them as the main characters and has the exact dialogue that they've just spoken moments before. The screenplay, it seems, has recorded their exact words and deeds in the past, present, and, to their greatest shock, the future.

Meanwhile, an emotionally-damaged young woman named Eliana (Xenia Assenza) and her devoted bodyguard Carson (David Masterson) are seeking hired killers to avenge the deaths of Eliana's parents at the hands of none other than Javid and Tan.  Carson's father Caleb (David Gant), who thinks he's God, gives them a list of killers to approach with their proposal.

Eliana wants to hire them all, setting off a series of encounters that include a deadly clash with two insane brothers (one thinks he's a pig, both are bloodthirsty cannibals), another pair of assassins who keep a human robot as their slave and engage in playful roleplaying games with their prey, and, finally, a fascist paramilitary leader with an underground army who, as we discover, may have touched off the entire convoluted storyline himself years before.

Director Adolfo J. Kolmerer brings all this to life without trying to overly dazzle us with style, while the script by Arend Remmers (who named the film's writer character after himself) avoids unnecessary pretensions or profundities while still keeping us mentally on our toes. 

Javid and Tan are constantly trying to stay one step ahead of their written destinies, even seeking out scriptwriter Arend--a dentist with dreams of breaking into movies--and torturing him into writing a happy ending for them. 

This gives their scenes a pleasant brain-teaser aspect often found in time-travel stories, tossing in an interesting paradox or two along the way.  We also ponder the signficance of their meeting with the angelic Snowflake (Judith Hoersch), whose beatific innocence borders on the simpleminded. 

Fans of horror and violence won't be disappointed when the story swings into "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" territory a time or two (especially when the cannibal brothers are busy processing their victims for future consumption) and the frequent gunplay leaves plenty of bullet-riddled bodies in its wake.  Even superhero fans will thrill to the exploits of Hydro Electric Man, a vigilante zapping the bad guys on the mean streets.

The Artsploitation Films Blu-ray is in 5.1 Dolby stero with German and English soundtrack and English subtitles.  Bonus features consist of a making-of featurette and a trailer.

As all the various story threads come to a head, SNOWFLAKE finds Arend furiously bent over his laptop with fingers flying, writing and rewriting until the killers he's imagined into existence are satisfied with the outcome.  The result isn't enough to blow you away or leave your mind frazzled with phantasmagoria, but it's a delightfully disorienting and mentally stimulating tale nonetheless. 

Official website


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