Saturday, May 23, 2015

Honourable Mention: Die Einsteiger

Directed by Sigi Rothemund and released in 1985 this German comedy was a vehicle for Thomas Gottschalk and Mike Krüger, who had become stars due to their popular radio show. The resultant film (one of several) was, unfortunately, not that funny.

The basic premise was that Mike (Mike Krüger) had invented a device called the video integrator that allowed him to project himself and Tommy (Thomas Gottschalk) into movies that are playing on video cassette.

Tommy and Mike
The process has dangers, beyond the fact that, for instance, in the Western they enter – which is their first adventure – we see them appearing on a gallows with nooses round their necks. The remote control that allows their entry and exit in and out of the film needs to recharge for three minutes between uses (until it’s convenient to forget that) and should the power go or the machine be switched off whilst in a film they will be trapped forever. Meanwhile Tommy has used the machine as a talking point to a woman he fancies and that has led to news of it leaking and a Japanese company trying to steal the idea.

Udo Kier as Graf Frackstein
From our point of view it is the vampire film they enter that is important, and not just any vampire film – this is clearly a spoof of the Fearless Vampire Killers. Tommy and Mike arrive at the castle (the process clothes them appropriately) and are mistaken by Graf Frackstein (Udo Kier) and Gräfin Frackstein (Thea Gottschalk) as guests and are taken through to the vampire ball, where the Graf curses the name of their enemy Professor Liborius (Ossy Kolmann) of the University of Karlsbad.

who ordered a bloody Mary?
Having turned down a drink containing offal as garnishes (and asking for a bloody Mary, which leads to a woman being carried in to drink from), Tommy ends up dancing with the Gräfin and Mike with a gentleman vampire (Kurt Weinzierl) – this is an on-running joke as the same actor appears in every film they enter and is always attracted to Mike. During the dance the lack of scar bite marks on their necks, their warmth and a reprisal of the dancing alone in the mirror gag, get them spotted as human. In his escape from the Gräfin’s bite, Tommy wedges the remote in her mouth – reminiscent of a similar escape using a book in the original film.

mallet rather than cross
They are chased until they run past Professor Liborius and his assistant. It has to be said that Ossy Kolmann’s Liborius looks spot on in a Professor Abronsius kind of way. The Professor asks for a cross and tries to ward the vampires with a mallet. When the right instrument is passed to him, the cross causes the vampires to freeze in place. The cross is left in place allowing the two hunters to chase after the two escaped “vampires”. Tommy and Mike hide in a crypt and, after the staking of a genuine vampire, do manage to escape the clutches of the hapless hunters and lock them in the crypt. They get the remote back from the Gräfin but the cross falls over unfreezing the vampires. In the confusion Tommy holds hands with the Gräfin (the two men have to hold hands to enter and escape the video) and brings her into reality. He immediately remote controls her back into the film and then gets Mike out – completely ignoring the three minute recharge rule.

dancing in the mirror
The film clearly had some budget but it, as a whole, did nothing for me – using the song Agadoo in a set piece didn’t help either! That said the vampire section did actually amuse me. The imdb page is here.

Please note the DVD on Amazon does not have English subtitles but there are fan subtitles on the net.

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