A cute med student starts a summer course at Heidelberg University. David's on her dissection table. She met him the day before on the train. Something's wrong.A cute med student starts a summer course at Heidelberg University. David's on her dissection table. She met him the day before on the train. Something's wrong.A cute med student starts a summer course at Heidelberg University. David's on her dissection table. She met him the day before on the train. Something's wrong.
If it is going to be compared to any other films, I would say it's a variation of Coma and Extreme Measures. I couldn't see any comparison to films like Scream, Urban Legends, et al. Yes, the cast is young (that's because they're med students! At least they aren't the increasingly boring high school type characters), and yes, some are lusty (basically the character played by Anna Loos is, and it is handled quite tastefully in the German language version), but Anatomy is well constructed, there is a tense mood throughout, the sets are amazing, the makeup effects are a wow, and Franka Potente is very credible in her role. I found myself enjoying all of it despite a few gaping holes in the plot! The story of a student discovering a sort-of secret society doing autopsies on still-living patients is a rather creepy scenario and what happens to those patients afterwards is quite clever. Sure, you could ask why didn't she just GET OUT OF THAT TOWN? Okay, but then the film would be over within a half hour.
This was the first effort from the German part of Columbia Pictures, and it's actually quite an impressive one. There was a bit of care in the production and to actually offer some genuine thrills is an accomplishment. It is a bit mature in mind, as it doesn't resort to constant opportunities for sexual encounters(a breast fest) or juvenile drug jokes. Anna Loos' character, while often making sexual remarks and looking for some fun, was actually a nice touch--having a character that was a woman more intelligent than any of the men in the school. She found that sex was really just a distraction for her and the men rather lacking.
THE IMPORTANT STUFF: Watching this film in the original German language with English or French subtitles is the BEST way to enjoy it. I saw the theatrical trailers dubbed in English and was disgusted by the change it made in the film's tone. I have never seen a properly dubbed film in my life--they never can find voices that suit the film's actors or characters. Sure enough, I tried to watch some of Anatomy dubbed in English and the intelligence level of it dropped severely, making it seem more like a comedy. A good example is when one guy was freaked out at being cut open and screamed to be sewn back up--hearing it in German he sounded frantic, but dubbed in English he sounded like a comedian. Frankly, I'm sick of hearing people say they can't handle reading subtitles or watch a "letterboxed" film. Anatomy comes off as silly with dubbed voices that seem octaves too high for any of the people you see in the film, and Anna Loos' sexual comments then just sound like awful remarks right out of Fast Times At Ridgemont High. I wonder if the negative comments about Anatomy are from people who watched it dubbed, it just doesn't seem like the same film at all! This is not a cheap horror film and deserves to be viewed as it was created. Interesting to note that some of the English subtitles are different in scenes in the feature and the "making of" supplement.
As it turns out, I gambled and won with Anatomy. It's a competent thriller with likeable characters and doesn't try to go for cheap thrills.
- Oct 3, 2001