- RELEASE DATE: Available Now on Blu-ray (Click Here to Purchase a Copy)
- WRITTEN BY: Nikias Chryssos
- DIRECTED BY: Nikias Chryssos
- STARRING: Pit Bukowski, Daniel Fripan, Oona von Maydell
“What in the unholy hell did I just fucking watch?” That is the question I guarantee you will ask yourself after sitting through the new German…whatever the hell it is…I mean it’s a film; but just what kind defies description. Anyway; let’s see if all of this confusion works to this flicks advantage as I experience (notice I didn’t say “watch”) DER BUNKER…
O.k. creeps; here we go. A student, seeking the maximum amount of solitude he can find, takes a room in what he thinks will be a fairly normal isolated property with a nice view of a lake. Seems calm enough, right? Well, this property is in fact a small bunker buried under snow that is home to an absolutely batshit insane family whose young son Klaus (played by a 30 year old man that looks nothing like a child of course) aspires to be the President of the United States (again…of course); so our student hero is assigned the task of tutoring the “lad” so he can achieve that goal. Along the way, we are “treated” to the patriarch of the family reciting jokes while wearing clown make-up, some awkward/creepy breastfeeding (ala Peter Bark in Andrea Bianchi’s BURIAL GROUND), tales of an alien love affair with an extra-terrestrial named Heinrich (who manifests as a talking leg wound), and…and, you know what; that’s about enough; you get the idea.
Containing a disparate combination of an absolute refusal to explain what the hell is going on mixed with a strange sense of heartfelt sentiment; DER BUNKER is a flick unlike any other. Is that a good thing? Well, that depends on your nonsense tolerance. Mine is set very high; so this thing worked pretty damn well for me. Full of 80’s throwback montages (and a dance party), sinister overtones, and sci-fi trappings; this chimera of a film never the less ends up charming and quirky while simultaneously filling you with a case of “the wrongs”.
The reason all of it works as well as it does is wholly the result of the strength of the acting. Comprised of only four main roles (and one minor voice-over); the performances all display a sense of conviction no matter how absurd (and pitch black) the proceedings become. Also of note is the effective set design; which really creates a surreal world of its own while being limited to a handful of tiny rooms.
But, all is not perfect here my creeps; the film while clocking in at a brief 85 minutes; can at times feel aimless and plodding. The plot, while weird, is a tad thin, and the ending is slightly anti-climactic.
That being said; I feel DER BUNKER is well worth your time; especially if you have a desire to see a film that’s like an unholy combination of the works of Herzog, Miike and Lynch. You have been warned, and recommended all at once dear fiends!