Grimm Love (2006)
"Rohtenburg" (original title)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Horror  |  18 June 2009 (Germany)
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Reviews: 21 user | 69 critic

In Germany, as graduate student Katie Armstrong researches cannibal killer Oliver Hagen for her thesis, she becomes obsessed with her subject and ultimately plunges into a lifestyle similar to Hagen's and the thousands of people like him.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Thomas Huber ...
Rainier Meissner ...
Young Oliver
Angelika Bartsch ...
Alexander Martschewski ...
Nils Dommning ...
Pascal Andres ...
Young Simon
Tatjana Clasing ...
Prof. Zech
Stefan Gebelhoff ...
Simon's Dad
Helga Bellinghausen ...
Simon's Mom
Bojan Heyn ...


In Germany, as graduate student Katie Armstrong researches cannibal killer Oliver Hagen for her thesis, she becomes obsessed with her subject and ultimately plunges into a lifestyle similar to Hagen's and the thousands of people like him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hungering For Affection See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong aberrant violent/sexual content and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 June 2009 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Grimm Love  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


3rd March 2006: The state court in Kassel upheld a complaint from Meiwes, 44, against the film Rohtenburg, which was due for release in Germany on 9 March. The court ruled that Meiwes' rights as an individual outweighed artistic freedom and that he should not become the object of a horror film. On May 26 2009, Germany's highest civil court overturned the ban, ruling that freedom of the arts took precedence over Meiwes' personality rights. The court also ruled that because the film didn't distort the well-known facts of the case, Meiwes' rights were not violated. The film was finally released in German cinemas on June 18 2009. See more »


[last lines]
Oliver Hartwin: [typing an email] Running out of flesh. Seeking for more!
See more »


References Faces of Death (1978) See more »


I Like Plastique
Words, Music, and Produced by Mickey DueChamp, Sandokan, Janni Gagarin, Philipp Supreme
Performed by Die Raketen
Courtesy of Low Spirit Recordings GmbH
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User Reviews

The Cannibal ate my homework ....
4 November 2007 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Both this film and Marian Dora's "Cannibal" were inspired by the unbelievably inhuman yet real-life horror case of Armin "The Rohtenburg Cannibal" Meiwes. Meiwes was a lonely and introvert homosexual who placed an internet add, looking for volunteers to get slaughtered and consumed by him. It didn't take that long before he got a response from Bernd Jürgen Brandes, another homosexual who treasured a life-long dream of having his penis chopped off and eaten. Like the script states at several occasions: these two formed a perfect match. Even though both films remain faithful to the grueling and sickening facts, they are two completely different viewing experiences. This film is more like a 'light' version of the facts (but, mind you, still shocking enough to upset people with a weak stomach), whereas "Cannibal" is a downright brutal and uncompromising film. "Grimm Love" supposedly takes place after the facts and the story is re-enacted via the research and profiling of an American psychology student (Keri Russell) residing in Germany to work on her thesis. This wraparound story is actually rather redundant, since Russell only appears on screen in order to link together all the flashbacks that build up towards the two men's fatal cannibalistic meeting. Unlike "Cannibal", this film dedicates a large amount of time digging up the men's backgrounds and illustrating their personalities. The voluntary victim Bernd Jürgen Brandes (renamed Simon Grombeck) forcefully hated the reproduction organ between his legs and apparently blamed himself for his mother's suicide, because she once caught him and another boy playing doctor. Armin Meiwes (renamed Oliver Hartwin) had issues with his mother as well, but she was more of a dominant and overly protective type. He developed cannibalistic tendencies after she died and eventually the endless opportunities of the almighty internet brought these wandering souls together. I find it praiseworthy that both films, especially considering the gruesome themes, succeed in clarifying to the audiences that this is, in fact, primarily an (unusual) love story rather than a gratuitous exploitation flick. It's a portrait of two men who're social outcasts due to their unacceptable sexual desires. This was even clearer in "Cannibal", since the two men shared all the screen time together as from the opening sequence, but even "Grimm Love" successfully reflects the affectionate and deeper relationship between the two 'monsters'. However, this movie suffers from a handful of dreadfully tedious moments and it sadly remains too vague about the disturbing things that happened after the castration. Meiwes stored Brandes' corpse on a meat hook in his basement and continued to eat his pal for several more months after the actual killing. This film only briefly mentions this little detail somewhere at the beginning. The cinematography is pleasingly dark and depressing, and the slow pacing and grim set-pieces contribute to the building up of an overall uncanny atmosphere as well. Martin Weisz' direction is subtly creepy and he clearly doesn't aim for sensationalism here. The German actors are very competent as well, even though they are for some reason forced to speak their lines in hesitant English… My main complaint regarding this production, as stated by other reviewers already as well, is the international character of the film. Why the involvement of a fictionalized American student character working on a psychology thesis? Why narrate the story through flashbacks, for that matter? Russell's role is entirely redundant and her character isn't even plausible anyway. For someone who has been obsessed and fascinated with the case for more than 3 years, she really sucks at watching graphic cannibalism on tape.

20 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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