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Angst - Gerald Kargl Print E-mail
User Rating: / 6
Written by Jake Wells   
Friday, 04 June 2010
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AKA: Fear, Schizophrenia

Directed by: Gerald Kargl
Written by: Gerald Kargl, Zbigniew Rybczynski
Produced by: Gerald Kargl, Josef Reitinger-Laska
Cinematography by: Zbigniew Rybczynski
Editing by: Zbigniew Rybczynski
Music by: Klaus Schulze
Cast: Erwin Leder
Year: 1983
Country: Austria
Language: German
Color: Color
Runtime: 94 min

There had been a lot of buzz surrounding this flick from underground film enthusiasts who talked it up to no end.  Enough positive reviews and recommendations had me completely seduced by the concept of Angst, so I finally tracked down a copy and was expectedly pleased.  This is one unruly, to-the-point, and highly unforgiving serial killer film that definitely exceeds other's of its kind in terms of maintaining a bleak, intense, razor-sharp edge throughout an engaging, non-afflicted premise combined with incredibly skilful camera work and gruesome violence.

The movie details a psychopath (Erwin Leder), freshly released from prison who carries out his desperate need to kill.  This compulsion is literally immediate.  Right out of prison the dude is in a taxi-cab, prepping his shoelace to "off" the driver who spots his suspicious behavior.  The attempt is ultimately botched and the dude flees in a panic into the woods where he soon comes across a seemingly empty house.  He breaks in and scours the residence for any possible inhabitants and actually finds a mentally retarded man in a wheelchair before noticing two women pulling up outside.  Soon after they enter the home, he clumsily attacks them -- murdering each of them uncontrollably.  Then, the only thing left for him to do is take them with him...

Angst is based on the true Austrian mass-murderer Werner Kniesek, who perpetrated much similar crimes back in, I believe, 1980.  I've got to say, the BIGGEST "crime" here is that this movie is so unknown!  I mean, like I said, this thing's got some stylish flair right from the start as well as one spectacular performance from the lead actor whose role contains very little speaking, as does the rest of the movie (other than a running voice-over of the killer explaining his schizophrenic tendencies and traumatic upbringing that undoubtedly lead to his inner torment.)  The apparent motive to his madness is simply for a sexual thrill.  The way all of this is done is exceptionally chilling and refreshingly different.  Not as much gore as I had expected, other than a grisly stabbing that contained the obligatory blood-spray. Not a big deal -- in fact, it works a little better and the way the death scenes are fast and FAR from methodical made the movie all-the-more realistic.

Definitely not for everyone, but if you want a more "hard" serial killer flick, than seek out this little known Austrian movie Angst.


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