Friday, November 21, 2014

Honourable Mention: Die Schlacht der Idioten

This is a short silent film (with German intertitles) from 1986 and directed by Christoph Schlingensief and to say it is strange is an understatement and yet it was compelling in just as strange a way.

Apparently the film was shot in celebration of a movie organ being installed in the Film Institute in Dusseldorf and is a surreal exploration and celebration of the art of the silent movie, accompanied all the way through (quite obviously) by organ.

Udo Kier is the vampire
We start with folks watching a silent film, which we see in negative and, as such, do not get much of a clue of what is going on within it. Except… well we can tell that there is a vampire (Udo Kier, Shadow of the Vampire, Blood for Dracula, Blade, Dracula 3000. Modern Vampires & Bloodrayne) within the film as the fangs are prominent. As the film ends the actors leave, in costume… the actors remain in character, it appears, so I guess Keir’s character is acting as a vampire rather than being one, but the border of film and reality are less blurred and more absolutely merged.

The main film concerns Queen Quelly, who is in love with one actor/character but is the focus of jealousy from both the vampire and Native American chief. The two kill her lover (tying him to train tracks) and whilst the vampire revives him – as his first ever friend (and a zombie it would seem) – the chief and his braves (who are all played by children) kidnap Queen Quelly. This leads to rescue attempts, shifting alliances and true love winning in the end.

No doubt strange but Udo Kier again appears with fangs. The imdb page is here.

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