TENDERNESS OF THE WOLVES (1973)
Over the snow-filled weekened we had last week as you may know the group was snowed in and had to be seperated for awhile. The films we watched some were good, others bad but there were those that were just plain out there and interesting. The film here "Tenderness of the Wolves" is an interesting mesh of drama, thriller and in a way dark comedy. It's really not the film that many would want to say they enjoyed but they could bring themselves to say that it was a film they stopped watching and went onto a different film.
The film itself is from the Rainer Werner Fassbinder film group which was directed by Fassbinder's protege Ulli Lommel. This updated version of the film was released by Arrow Video on Blu-Ray to bring it to the next generation of fans who haven't had the chance to see Lommel's work before. The film itself is based on an actual case of homosexual child molester and murderer who had a knack for cannibalizing his victims with friends afterwards, Fritz Harmann better known to history as The Werewolf of Hanover who was convicted of two dozen murders back in 1924 but he later admitted to having killed over thirty children maybe even upwards to forty.
Arrow's release of the film displays are fabulous from the previous releases of the film. The fact that I had to find a different copy of the film to see the differences is truly remarkable as the film looks much more cleaner as film grain is nicely rendered and only a brief second of it popping up is there but nothing too major to make you go "Ahhhhh". Colors in some scenes seem to be perfect despite the fact the film is a little dark and gloomy in most parts the finished product is beautiful.
Back to the film itself being based on a actual case and having been filmed by Lommel its easy to see how once can easily lump this into the exploitation genre. The film itself is loosely based on M. But the events of the film are just a bundled up thrown together mess that leaves alot of inconsistencies to be explained. Granted the films shows Germany in defeat after World War 2 and how people would barter for things to survive in Germany. Making the idea of the old woman who runs the restaurant to just simply buy the dead child's meat thinking its animal just to serve. Yes you read that right Harmann sold the mutilated bodies of the children he killed to restaurants just to make money. Guy was sick and Lommel's depiction of him in this film is that of a low life and how he truly came to be as a killer. Also have to remember the fact that homosexuality and child molestation were taboo back in the day for filmmakers so putting this to film is truly a tough pill to swallow.
reviewed by Bucky