A comedy of absurd situations and misunderstandings. Hans and Max would like to corner the local hot dog market, whereas Harry would prefer to be pampered by his muscular auto mechanics. But a bag with mysterious contents interrupts everyone's plans, and the group of improbable thieves and gangsters suddenly find themselves in Poland's Drogomysl. Written by
Warsaw Film Festival
If Michael Glawogger had gained any kind of international reputation, it was perhaps for serious-minded, left-leaning features and documentaries about the struggles of the working man. CONTACT HIGH is not that sort of film. Branching out into the world of drugs and idiots, it is instead not a million miles away from an Austrian WITHNAIL AND I (only not as laugh-out-loud funny).
An American gangster in Vienna (Jeremy Strong) needs a bag retrieved from Lodz in Poland. He tells a gay garage-owner (Detlev Buck) to fetch it, who in turn asks a manic half-wit called George (or Schorschi - Georg Friedrich) to fetch it, who decides he'd rather watch the Le Mans 24 Hour Race so he asks a girl he knows (Pia Hierzegger) to fetch it, who finally asks the hapless pair who run her hot-dog stand for her. One of them (Raimund Wallisch) fancies him a bit of a sausage king and can't wait to sample Polish Würst; the other (Michael Ostrowski, who co-wrote the screenplay with the director) is just a good-natured dope-head.
There's also Wallisch's obnoxious daughter who discovers all sorts of excellent hallucinogenics lying around and alters several people's perceptions as a result; plus the perfect girl for Ostrowski; and a whacked-out hotel.
There's pleasure for non-Austrian audiences in seeing players like Buck and Friedrich, more familiar from Michael Haneke pictures, letting their hair down and having a wild time; there's pleasure, too, in the craziness of it all. It has that dopey, generous quality associated with all the best trips. Not incidentally, it's also among the best films I know about being stoned.
Unfortunately, the makers appear to have got high on their own supply, since, by the final couple of reels, they give up on the plot entirely and just have everyone tripping off their faces to general bemusement - not least the audience's.
That aside, I suspect you already know whether you're going to like this film - or whether you're going to think it a gross breach of public morality.
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