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Sophie von Kessel
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Alexandra Maria Lara,
Christoph Maria Herbst
The movie is "Krass" (and since the word has no real meaning, feel free to insert the worst swear-word you can imagine instead)
There was a time when I was working in a video-store or, as we call them in Germany, videothek. Good times and the pay wasn't bad either. It was a shared duty of all involved to sporadically check the DVDs for errors. It happened now and again that customers would wander in, complaining that the film didn't work and of course that they didn't want to pay for a defect film. So, those films were taken home by the employees and watched with German diligence. (Just on the side: 90 percent of the times the disc and film was in perfect order and of course the customers merely tried to get off free; but that's another story). As you might imagine, this sent all imaginable kind of films through my player don't even get me started on what we had to check which came from the "Adult-section".
Now, why am I brattling on about days past, certainly boring the reader beyond patience? I'll tell you: as justification. And I assure anybody reading these lines, in any other circumstance I wouldn't have touched anything related to "Erkan & Stefan" with a ten-foot-pole. But then came the faithful day when a cross-eyed teen in baggie-pants and over-sized baseball cap appeared before the counter, mumbling something about "didn' work, voll krass, eyh". So, here I was with "Erkan & Stefan Der Tod kommt krass" at my hands, cursing god and humanity, even trying to haggle with a female co-worker to exchange this film with the one she had to check (a porn involving fecal matters, if memory serves right). She refused.
If you're not familiar with the "comedic"-duo Erkan & Stefan, consider yourself lucky. In layman's terms, we could compare them as the German answer to Ali G. aka Sacha Baron Cohen in the role of Ali G. Or, to call it's by the real name: they're ripping off Ali G. In reality two rather mediocre comedians from Bavaria, the two have slipped into the role of a Turk and a German, both bred and raised in the seedier, ghetto-part of Munich. Their trademark is combining local Bavarian slang with Denglish (a bastardization of German with English words) and Kanak Sprak (also called "Kanakendeutsch", spoken predominantly by Turkish youth in the third or fourth generation, who still haven't managed to grasp the basics of German). Their most infamous "word-creation" (of which, unfortunately, there are many) is "eyh, krass" or alternatively "voll krass". Apart from the Latin origin of "crassus", the word means nothing, apart from something being extreme, both in the positive and negative sense. Sometimes teens will also utter it without any detectable reason or random mingle it into half-formed sentences. As it is, many of their "word-creations" were eagerly picked up by kids and teenagers who came from the shallower end of the social hierarchy or shall we say: Kanak Sprak spread like typhus.
This charade was played over the next ten odd years. While the critics cringed, muttering sweet pillow-talk like "the most untalented Comedy-Stars of the nation" and the "bottom of the barrel", while language-teachers tore their hair out and parents wept bitter tears over their kids turning into morons, the alter-ego of Erkan & Stefan made those two bozos rich and popular figures. Until the day they dropped their masks on live-TV and implied in fluent German, that they would no longer associate with the scum they've catered to and would no longer play morons for morons. One would go on to become a member of the council on behalf of the German party SPD, the other one tried his luck in a couple of movies, appearing next to Corey Feldman in "Lucky Fritz" and Stephen Baldwin in "Shoot the Duke", before vanishing in the depth of soap-operas and TV-crime-shows. In short, the good news: they're gone and the bad news: their legacy lives on.
That should sum it up, unless we've forgotten something. Oh, yes, the movie: It's a rip-off of "Weekend at Bernie's" and if you're able to find one single, competent gag or something that would raise as much as a smirk: keep it. From me it gets a round number of points: 0/10 (And if you're still with me, wondering what I charged the kid who was responsible for me watching this garbage, that he claimed was not working properly: roughly thirty bucks, because the DVD was long overdue).
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