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Look what came out of Germany this time. Normally we get hold of those gory splatters or even their xxx gory ones. But i noticed in my Fangoria vault and on the web that there was more and better coming a few years ago. Antibodies. First of all, again like most German flicks they speak, you guessed it, German. Mostly without subs but this one does have them. So the language is never a problem. It's a slow movie that clocks in over more than 2 hours but don't worry, you will never be bored. The difference between the "Holy"wood movies and this one is that they dare to have a serial killer killing children and what he did with them is all told in an explicit way. For some it will be disturbing, and that's the main difference with the US movies. Se7en and Silence of the Lambs were never disturbing except for the killers. But here we have more, it tells a story about a serial killer who only wants to talk to a small cop meaning nothing in Berlin. What he has to do with killer will be explained further on in the movie. But the guys who are playing the killer and the cop are sublime. The way the cop becomes victim of the killer and how he translate that in his belief in Christ. A must see. I must admit that you will get the plot halfway into the movie but you want to be sure that it is correct that's the reason to watch it until the end. Strange for this kind of flicks but no gore is added, you will see some blood but I can tell it get you by the throat due the child abuse and killings done by him. For me as a horror geek I surely advise people to see this underrated movie, and yes, in 2010 or dearest American folks are making a remake. Do I need to say more?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Producers tried to promote this as the German answer to Silence of the
Lambs" and every second, the film tries so very hard at fulfilling this
premise but in the end it's just wishful thinking and trying
(unsuccessfully) to emulate the original.
So where did "Antikörper" go wrong? Well, "Silence of the Lambs" had many things going for it: a brilliant cast, an excellent director and was based on a very successful, poignant novel. Neither of this can be said about the crew and premise of "Antikörper".
The story itself is simple: a brutal yet brilliant serial killer is comprehended, jailed and (dying from Aids) interrogated by a troubled countryside cop. The naïve cop, intellectually no match for the killer, is soon absorbed by the twists of a psychopathic mind.
Nothing new or non-predictable in ways of the story. The film comes across like a overblown episode of German crime series "Tatort" (and I mean the recent, filmed with video "Tatort"), which is clearly the fault of a director more at home with TV than cinema. Indeed, director Christian Alvart would go on to direct "Tatort" and similar minded TV-products.
Secondarily, the acting is generally dreadful. Wotan Wilke Möhring, playing the investigating cop, is fondly remembered as Tourette syndrome-plagued stoner in the cult comedy "Lammbock" but has neither skill nor charisma to carry a film like "Antikörper". Flat is the best word to describe his performance. Same goes for Möhrings antagonist, André Hennicke, the semi-demonic Gabriel Engel (and, yes, naming your serial killer "Gabriel Angel" would have classified most other screenwriters as a hack): he tries his best to come across as Anthony Hopkins-like super-serial killer but remains throughout a pale caricature of the original Hannibal; good enough for the TV- but by no means good enough for the big-screen.
Since the film is relatively gore-free (the German word is "sauber"), it relies on a couple of explicit scenes, involving anal intercourse and teenage masturbation. Those scenes are awkward (saying it kindly) and, again, Möhring makes as good a passionate lover as he does an inspector.
There is an infinite number of "Silence of the Lambs" rip-offs and interpretations being produced internationally save yourself "Antikörper" because in this two hours you could watch a better one anytime.
3 out of 10 and that's called 'generous'.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Alright, I've just finished watching the DVD laughing my @ss off, I
just can't believe how ridiculous it was§
**SPOILERS** a herd of crappy CGI deer save the day as an act of God symbolising the innocence of one of the characters. They appear out of nowhere in the climax of the movie, causing a WTF?! moment in the audience. Pixar would laugh at them. But even if they used real deer, the scene would still be an awful way to end a thriller.**END SPOILERS**
I can't believe this has a 7.1 rating, and such good reviews. Come on, so much was borrowed from Silence of the Lambs that I thought I was watching an unofficial remake.
Other hilarious moments:
**SPOILERS** Our hero, the married Christian cop is "infected by evil" after chatting with the suspected killer for 5 minutes (evil works fast!), picks up a girl, cheats on his wife, and when the girl asks him to "stick it up my @ss", he obliges, with this loud ominous music on the soundtrack, it's hilarious - anal sex is EVIL!!!! And then there is another laughable scene where a cop suddenly realises what the viewer guessed 15 minutes ago and looks totally shocked by this revelation while driving, priceless. **END SPOILERS**
All in all it was ridiculous but I'm glad I watched it, only for the ending that is so bad you have to see to believe it!
This film lasts just over two hours, and the first hour and fifty five minutes are fine. A German serial killer, whose hobby is raping boys and using their blood to paint pictures, is apprehended but refuses to give much away under interrogation. A policeman travels to the city hoping to question the killer about the murder of a young girl in the village where he lives. The prisoner responds to him but demands to be told about the cop's family and his sex life before he'll answer questions. All good gritty stuff, but it's all ruined by an incredibly tame ending. Christian Alvart (Pandorum) wrote and directed, and I have to believe he was pressured to alter his original script. After multiple pedophile homosexual rapes and murders, the god-fearing village cop's introduction to anal sex with a friendly lady, and inflicting sodomy on his wife when he gets home, drawing blood in the process, Herr Alvart must have known that 'happily ever after' wasn't the way to go.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Antikörper" or "Antibodies" is a German 2-hour film from over 10 years
ago written and directed by Christian Alvart. This movie about a serial
killer and the detective who tries to get him to confess is a film that
is fairly famous, also in non-German-speaking countries. And that is
why I believe the film gives a bad name to German cinema. The story is
realistic only in terms of the very basic action. Everything else is
pompous garbage that does not make any sense and has nothing to do with
reality. One example would be the way police work is depicted during
the entire film. It has nothing to do with police work in reality. And
apart from that, of course, the main character is also part of the
killer's history, or I should maybe say his son. Have you ever heard
about the term bias or prejudice? He should not even be allowed to work
on the case. Oh wait, he is of course the one who finds out during the
interrogations that there is a link between the killer and the son.
Other than that, Möhring's character never looks like he would be a police detective at all. People may say that he was just playing a role that he is weak and so on but I don't believe that. Apart from that, the film includes pointless depiction of violence against animals, apparently only to show us how cold-blooded the characters are. Oh yes, driving over a hedgehog makes you a really bad-ass guy, doesn't it? And then there is the topic of religion. The film is packed with quotes from the bible from start to finish, so Alvart obviously also wanted to make this a really controversial film. It is no such thing. None of it feels authentic, all of it feels included for the sake of it. As if somebody was randomly opening pages from the Bible and picking quotes to use in this film. Really pathetic. I find it funny how people criticize the films of Lommel or Boll, but consider this one here a good film, maybe even a masterpiece. Awards bodies and other reviewers here on IMDb could not have been more wrong. The story is a complete joke and the dialogue writing in here (especially for the killer) is something that justifies for the makers to go back to film school. It is a bit of a pity as most of the actors in here are way better than what they can show us here. A dreadful film. The final scene involves a man about to shoot his own son with a police helicopter approaching in order to tell him that he shouldn't as the son is innocent. Do I need to say more? Worst possibly case of empty bait and style over substance. Highly not recommended.
This dark, dark thriller grabs you and won't let go.
The film begins when two beat cops are called to an apartment house where screams have been heard. When they go to investigate, an all out firefight takes place between the criminal and the police. The criminal, Gabriel Engel, is caught and it is discovered that he is a serial killer for whom the police have been searching for a number of years. It is believed that he had raped, mutilated, and murdered thirteen boys and one girl. Engel readily admits to killing the boys, but claims that he did not murder the girl.
The scene then shifts to the small, country hamlet where the girl was murdered. Michael Martens is a farmer and the part-time constable of the village, and he has raised the ire of the villagers by thinking that the murder had been committed by one of them. Martens' greatest detractor is his father-in-law - a man who would make Adolph Hitler shiver.
Martens is a deeply religious and pious man with strong convictions. These personality traits do not endear him to his fellow citizens. His stance on the murder is causing a strain within his own family in addition to his problems with the villagers. His wife is cold, and his son - a friend of the murdered girl - is detached and having social and psychological problems. Even Martens' priest is disapproving shown by an emotion charged scene in church in which he withholds the Eucharist from Martens at communion while he gives a thinly veiled lecture to the congregation on the topic of trust and suspicion. All of Martens problems are enhanced when Engel is arrested and it is reported inaccurately in the press that he is responsible for the death of the girl.
Engel is a highly intelligent and evil man and expresses desire to speak with Martens. Thus begins a battle of wills between good and evil. Engel professes not to have murdered the girl but claims to know the identity of the real murderer. It is clearly Engel's motive to destroy a very good man. During the ensuing confrontations and investigations, much is revealed about Martens and his will is severely challenged.
Needless-to-say, the entire film is a religious allegory - after all, the two main characters are named Michael and Gabriel and they engage in an intense battle of wills.
To disclose any more would certainly spoil the viewing enjoyment for anyone interested in this hypnotic film. If you are a fan of dark, chilling thrillers, I guarantee that, you too, will be glued to your seat while watching this extraordinary motion picture.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A strong hero is mandatory in this kind of movie; after all, no self-respecting serial killer would bother to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent... "Just believing in our innocence isn't enough," the put-upon, part-time policeman observes at one point. The killer, warming to his favorite subject (the rape and murder of little boys), says, of one young victim: "The boy was beautiful. A little angel of darkness." His contention that even kids can be criminally cruel (he recounts his own torture at the hands of others) is a deeply disturbing but profound observation. "Man was never a beast," a priest states matter-of-factly. Uh-huh. Check out ANTIBODIES and see for yourself.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(very slight plot spoilers--though less spoilers than the Netflix
After serial killer Gabriel Engel (André Hennicke) is finally captured (in a police raid that is one of the more memorable opening scenes in recent years), a sleepy village rejoices, assuming that the murder of a local girl has been solved. Martens (Wotan Wilke Möhring), the village's head police officer who has been dedicated to solving her murder, doesn't believe Engel was her killer. After all, his victims were all young boys. He goes to the city to try to learn from the institutionalized Engel. The twisted (yet strangely charismatic) killer takes a liking and opens up to him, despite having been mute towards the big-city cops and doctors. After several meetings with the sly killer, Martens finds his mind-frame and behaviors changing. As his personality unintentionally morphs, he also starts experiencing stress on the home-front with his family and the other villagers. Will he be able to solve this case before the killer completely infiltrates his brain?
This fantastic film is like the pervy German nephew of "Silence of the Lambs." I have to admit, even though this movie doesn't have the benefit of the iconic Lecter, I enjoyed it more than the popular American film. And while comparisons to other films are easy to make, "Antikörper" does have a unique and peculiar air about it. It manages to be sleazy and nasty yet incredibly thought-provoking and challenging at the same time, which I think is a hard feat. Stellar performances all around, especially by the two male leads. Excellent and ballsy movie.
Many of the reviews for the film draws a comparison between this film
and Silence of the Lambs. I'll start there as well. The similarity in
plot is glaring--an inexperienced law enforcement officer uses a serial
killer's fascination with their vulnerability to solve a crime.
However, the two films have very different flavors--I guess that's the best way I can describe it. Both have their strengths--Silence of the Lambs has a better structure, pacing, arguably the better cinematography, set design...it is also a more traditional thriller. Because the killer is yet to be caught, there's an imminent threat and constraint on time throughout the movie.
Antibodies is more of a psychological drama than Silence of the Lambs. In its core, the film is about a man's struggle with his competence: competence as a father, a husband, a Catholic, a cop, and as a town leader of sorts. It is more subtle, and uses a man's transformation and his growing fear as a means to progress the story, rather than successive uncovering of clues or what-not.
The film questions morality, human nature, Catholicism, divinity, etc. in a pretty interesting way--almost reminds me of The Exorcist in its thematic expression of sin, evil, and guilt. By the way, it comes off very clear to me that the film maker is a Catholic, even just in his exploration of guilt and sin. The ending makes it obvious. Don't let that put you off (if you're the type that would get put off by it), however, as it's not overwhelming--it's done in a very tasteful and subtle way that builds up the character than really anything else.
Film structure is not as good as SOTL (but that's a really high bar to be compared to)--the opening is pretty awesome, but the movie lets its pacing loosen for a little while after that. The construction and editing does get tighter as the movie progresses--the lead-up to the ending is suffocating as the tension reaches its peak.
Acting is very competent from the two leads. I generally like the job that the rest of the cast has done as well. Cinematography is very good.
The only thing that I still haven't made up my mind about is the ending--whether I like it or not. I guess what happens to the main character makes sense to me thematically, but I just didn't like the execution. The CGI was distracting and the helicopter was a bit overly-dramatic for me.
Overall, I do recommend it. It's a very good, solid film--highly above average both in its genre and in overall film industry.
"Antibodies" tips it hand far too early and closes with an inexplicable
third act, but succeeds in creating an unsettling atmosphere with a
palpable sense of terror throughout. Slick and sadistic, this German
serial killer thriller delivers some chills respectively, but it's not
nearly as clever or as compelling as it thinks it is.
Serial killer Gabriel Engels (Andre Hennicke) is captured while fleeing from his apartment, because he is the prime suspect in the killing a young girl several years earlier. Small-town cop Michael Martens (Wotan Wilke Möhring) has been investigating the 18-month-old unsolved murder, and may now have his big break in the case. Michael must go to the big city to interrogate the suspect, in the hopes that he'll get a confession. His decision unexpectedly pays dividends, and details slowly begin to surface. Möhring's deeply conflicted performance anchors the movie, as the confession from Engels and his mind games slowly push Michael back towards his own hometown. But soon, as Martens comes under the influence of Engels, he finds himself in a dark place and questions his own faith, as well as his entire existence.
The plot twists and mind games that should shock and surprise are transparent and obvious, while director Christian Alvart tips his hand too early in a film where the run time clocks in at two plus hours. The third act of "Antibodies" shifts its primary focus to Michael and his son, and it creates one of the strangest biblical allusions I've ever seen. The story shifts from the profile of a serial killer to that of a man's existential identity crisis, and then to his redemption, when he didn't seem to deserve it in the first place. Desperately attempting to create the illusion of something profound, it backfires and comes across as absolutely absurd. In comparison to other films in the serial killer genre, this one hovers somewhere just above middle of the pack at best.
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