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Kamikaze 89 (1982)

Kamikaze 1989 (original title)
Not Rated | | Sci-Fi, Thriller | 16 July 1982 (West Germany)
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In a totalitarian society of the future, in which the government controls all facets of the media, a homicide detective investigates a string of bombings, and finds out more than he bargained for.

Director:

Wolf Gremm
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rainer Werner Fassbinder ... Polizeileutnant Jansen
Günther Kaufmann ... MK1 Anton
Boy Gobert Boy Gobert ... Konzernchef
Arnold Marquis Arnold Marquis ... Polizeipräsident
Richy Müller Richy Müller ... Neffe
Nicole Heesters Nicole Heesters ... Barbara
Brigitte Mira ... Personaldirektorin
Jörg Holm Jörg Holm ... Vizepräsident
Hans Wyprächtiger Hans Wyprächtiger ... Zerling
Petra Jokisch Petra Jokisch ... Elena Farr
Andreas Mannkopff Andreas Mannkopff ... Wechselschichtregisseur
Ute Koska Ute Koska ... Polizeiärztin (as Ute Fitz-Koska)
Frank Ripploh Frank Ripploh ... Gangster
Hans-Eckart Eckhardt Hans-Eckart Eckhardt ... Polizist
Christoph Baumann Christoph Baumann ... Kriminalpolizist
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Storyline

In the near future where "the combine" controls television and news, a bomb threat brings super cop Jansen to the combine's headquarters. Nothing happens, but his boss gives him four days to solve the hoax. Odd things occur: on day one there's a murder at the combine; vague references to the combine's enemy, Krysmopompas, appear; the nephew of the combine's boss confesses to the bomb threat, although he didn't do it. Jansen stays focused, interviewing employees who received special awards (printed on the paper used for the bomb threat). Is he onto something big or was the bomb threat just a prank? And what is this 31st floor rumored hidden in the 30-story combine headquarters? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

16 July 1982 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Kamikaze 89 See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,613, 5 June 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$18,710, 16 September 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the final acting role for Rainer Werner Fassbinder. See more »

Goofs

The movie claims 27 September 1989 to be a Monday, but that day was a Wednesday. (The movie plays in 1989, as the title and a spoken intro make clear. The supposed explosion in the beginning of the movie was planned to take place on September 23, as Jansen points out. The chief of the police then urges Jansen to solve the case within for days, saying "until Monday afternoon", which would be September 27.) See more »

Connections

Version of 31. osakonna hukk (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cheesy & Gaudy on the Outside, Subtle & Complex on the Inside
30 April 2006 | by tom-darwinSee all my reviews

A futurism crime thriller was a different venue for Fassbinder, whose stature had grown lately with films in historical settings. Though he didn't direct "Kamikaze," it was helmed by fellow New German filmmaker Gremm & has the moody complexity for which both directors are known, as well as more action. In the near future, West Germany's economy (remember, the fall of Communism was yet unforeseen) has become the world's largest. Virtually all broadcast & print media are controlled by a single, family-run corporation whose head (Gober) styles himself "The Blue Panther" & carefully crafts an elaborate personality cult, including a line of action comics. You still have a lot to learn, Rupert Murdoch. A terrorism campaign against the company by a nebulous entity called "Krysmopompas" (more impressive than "Osama," more intelligent than "Carlos the Jackal") brings on a police investigation headed by the force's most famous detective, Jansen (Fassbinder), who's never failed to solve a case. Clues indicate that someone well-placed in the corporation is responsible, but Jansen soon learns that the company itself is trying desperately to keep secrets. Is Krysmopompas really just an element of the Blue Panther personality cult? The story from Swedish writer Wahloo's novel "Murder on the 31st Floor" is frighteningly accurate in some of its visions, including the rise of cheap, inane reality TV (the marathon laughing contest is a classic) & the creation of euphemistic, self-serving police propaganda machinery (there's no such thing as murder or suicide anymore, only "accidental death"). The props are gleefully, stylishly cheap & cheesy, including Jansen's pajamalike leopard outfit, which might be some sort of uniform (remember Sylvia Anderson's purple wigs in "UFO?"), the burly assassins in black lingerie, the 3-wheeler choppers of the police & the Superman executive phone. However, they're no more outlandish than those of the wildly popular "Mad Max" films (Tina Turner in chain mail, oh, my!). Fassbinder does a remarkable job of projecting an air of old-fashioned, authoritative competence from Jansen through the futuristic absurdity, in contrast to the bland, painted-smile routine of the other cops & the worried urgings of his dying chief (Marquis). His relationship with his temperamental, long-suffering sidekick Anton (Kaufmann, Fassbinder's frequent collaborator & longtime companion) adds a complex human touch to the film. The brilliant Jansen is curtly condescending & critical ("Don't use unnecessary words, MK1 Anton") while the energetic Anton is alternately effusive & sullen. The portrayals of the media executives & personalities are delightfully bizarre & over-the-top, but probably less enjoyable if you don't understand German. The futurism venue was probably a good one for Fassbinder & Gremm (the latter's copious work remains almost unknown in the US) to venture out of the art-house domain of New German Cinema while keeping much of the technique that they had developed. Despite its similarity to "Soylent Green," "Kamikaze" is far less literal & direct but stylish beyond the point of parody. Hardly the most important work of the New Germans, "Kamikaze" is a valuable film in the near-future genre that died out in the 1980s but is about due for a revisit.


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