In the near future where "the combine" controls television and news, a bomb threat brings super cop Jansen to the combine's headquarters. Nothing happens, but his boss gives him four days to solve the hoax. Odd things occur: on day one there's a murder at the combine; vague references to the combine's enemy, Krysmopompas, appear; the nephew of the combine's boss confesses to the bomb threat, although he didn't do it. Jansen stays focused, interviewing employees who received special awards (printed on the paper used for the bomb threat). Is he onto something big or was the bomb threat just a prank? And what is this 31st floor rumored hidden in the 30-story combine headquarters? Written by
The movie claims 27 September 1989 to be a Monday, but that day was a Wednesday. (The movie plays in 1989, as the title and a spoken intro make clear. The supposed explosion in the beginning of the movie was planned to take place on September 23, as Jansen points out. The chief of the police then urges Jansen to solve the case within for days, saying "until Monday afternoon", which would be September 27.) See more »
Kamikaze 1989 is an ambivalent film that manages to be both anti-corporate and anti-statist at the same time. It was perfect for 1982 when I was an anarcho-rightist skateboard punk. Today, it couldn't be appreciated by 1 in 100,000. This is the last of the great pre-Microsoft/ pre-End-of-USSR films that sought to reflect the hunger of the dawning information age. A bad phosphorescent TV look to the film makes it look fresh in our day. Fassbinder is Lt. Jansen and his investigations are predominately self-defeating - and that could be the point.
Disguised as a predator, Lt.Jansen is an amoral and voyeuristic, yet totally flaccid being. Tired and sluggish this detective only incriminates himself - but the Inquisitor he faces - is us.
I liked this odd movie - it is neither all low nor all high-brow art. It will probably put many to sleep - the violence is gratuitous and minimal, the main character is a walking dead man (interesting fact is that Fassbinder after dying in real life was BURIED in the costume of Lt.Jansen) - it has a charm that remains intact despite its pedigree as art-house junk.
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