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Phil
Melanie Sigl ...
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Gerhard Jilka ...
Nob
Dunja Bengsch ...
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Thomas Reitmair ...
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Olaf Ittenbach ...
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8 October 2001 (Germany)  »

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Performed by The Buster Keaton Explosion
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Good idea, passable result
6 April 2002 | by (Zürich, Switzerland) – See all my reviews

Olaf Ittenbach has made himself a name among splatter freaks in the German language area, and aside from Andreas Schnaas ("Violent S***" trilogy) and Andreas Bethmann ("Der Todesengel") he was the most active so called "amateur" splatter director in the 1990s. His first three movies "Black Past", "The Burning Moon" and "Premutos" are entertaining gratuitous gorefests with excellent gore effects and technically quite good (except for the dialogue that was always poorly dubbed during post production). But without a doubt, his three gorefests are superior to the work of the to Andreases mentioned above.

So when "Riverplay" came out, the German Splatter scene was quite irritated and often disappointed, because this film is anything but a gory rampage, although there are a couple of extreme gory sequences that remind the viewer of his previous films.

Concerning the plot and the dubbing, "Riverplay" undoubtedly is superior to Ittenbach's earlier films, and the film itself is a homage to John Boorman's "Deliverance" and similar films, although it's not a revenge movie as such. There are some cool twists and psychologically highly interesting characters, and the story keeps on going during the entire running time: it never gets stuck or becomes tedious (frequently a problem in "amateur" productions when they try to tell a story). The only problem is that the actors are not very good (which is also a recurring problem with "amateur" productions), and because the script offers such psychologically interesting dialogues and riveting story development, the lack of convincing acting only becomes more obvious.

All in all, "Riverplay" is a highly entertaining and mind catching little movie that could have been a sleeper if it had got better production value and more professional actors. Rating: 6 out of 10.


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