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In 1925, in Germany, Fritz Haarmann is a homosexual, thief and sneak, having a special license from the police. He sells meat in the black market. He also kills boys and young men, drinking their blood, quarter-sewing their bodies and throwing away the parts in a river. Certainly what he sells in the black market is human meat. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Based on the true story of Fritz Haarman who was a serial killer who preyed on young men and boys between the wars, this is a repositioning of the time line to be just after World War II in a devastated Germany. He was a man who had come under the watch of the Police but they chose to keep him as informant rather than look into his more nefarious habits.
He sells 'meat' on the black market and his visits are eagerly awaited by his customers. At night he patrols the local train station and helps out waifs and strays some of them he takes under his wing and brings them back to his attic room. There the neighbours start to complain about the ungodly noises that emanate from the loft long into the wee hours of the German night.
Now this is deeply chilling and has scenes that will stay with you. The nasty bits are far from gratuitous but they have more of an impact because of that. Openly gay he lusts after Hans who is the German equivalent of a 'Spiv' and equally as loathsome. The lighting is just brilliant too, adding to the eerie atmosphere and the squalid detritus of post war life. Rainer Werner Fassbinder puts in an on screen appearance too which is just cinematic gravy as far as I am concerned. The actual transfer by Arrow Video is really high quality too and it feels as if this could have been made a few years ago and not in 1973 as indeed it was. A great and worthy film to have some new life breathed into it.
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