Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Ulli Lommel Day
'I just watched a movie called Diary of a Cannibal and I want you to remember this name: Ulli Lommel. Why? This movie, shot on a home video camera with a script that was probably written on the back of an envelope had me wanting to actually bless my fast forward button. Diary consists of bad acting, non-existent lighting, jarring edits, and endlessly repeated scenes that go nowhere and mean nothing. That’s because Ulli Lommel is without a doubt the worst director currently alive. It’s a shame there isn’t some crap movie SWAT team to swoop in whenever a film of this caliber is being extruded to kill everyone involved. At the very least Lommel should have a restraining order making it a felony offense for him to come within 500 yards of any motion picture camera. Though this talentless hack continues to put out the worst film in history, again and again and again, he has somehow managed, since 2004, to release a mind boggling eleven films. Proof positive that God cares nothing for our day to day lives, this string of cinematic drek makes a conscientious reviewer search for new ways to say “horrible”. What do you say when “suck” just doesn’t remotely cut it? I’ve settled on “pukes”. As in: Every film by Ulli Lommel pukes.' -- The Plugg
'Ulli Lommel is the worst director ever to take a DV camera over his shoulder and persuade people to be in his alleged “movies.” Completely artless, without a shred of style or care, Lommel has recently embarked on a string of serial killer movies, exploiting them in such a flat amateurish way that no enjoyment can be derived from them whatsoever. Some people collect stamps. Lommel has just found a way to make his hobby of making crappy fact-based movies pay. Lommel seems like a disgruntled dad, angry that his kids won’t do wacky things for his home movies, who gathers up a bunch of his friends from work and says, “Act scary for the camera! Scary!”. And he’s getting paid by Lions Gate Entertainment, who seem to think they’ve cornered the market on horror just because the Saw movies have done well. That doesn’t mean you can market any low-grade piece of micro-shit out to the public and not expect to have the good name of your studio sullied.' -- Wildside Cinema
'I've long stated that I feel Ulli Lommel is one of the worst directors ever. I'm not alone in this opinion. At last count 4 of his films are in imdb's list of the BOTTOM 100 films. Several other movies of his have scores lower than that but have not reached the minimum amount of votes to be included on the list. A look at any of his movies from the past 2 decades will be met with a dozen user reviews all calling it "The Worst Movie Ever." The reason I've crossed paths with his filmography so many times is because Ulli Lommel's DTV work isn't just bad, it is NOTORIOUSLY bad. With each successive film of his I watch I feel an urge to shout: "Now THIS is the worst movie I've ever seen!" Which is why I find it intriguing that Tenderness of the Wolves is actually a good movie. I think this is the only Ulli Lommel film where he seemed to understand ideas like "implication" or "context." In the end it's good because it wasn't only Ulli Lommel's film. The director is part of a team of artists all working to make one product - a movie. In this case, Lommel happened to be working with a very talented group of artists and it was all of these people working together that make Tenderness of the Wolves a fascinating movie. Ulli Lommel never worked with people that matched the same kind of talent on future projects. I'm pretty sure he'll never come to the the same kind of artistic success he had with Tenderness of the Wolves. And with the good Ulli Lommel movie out of the way, I return to eventually have to wade through the mediocrity and garbage that it is the rest of Lommel's filmography.' -- Geek Juice
'I’ve been vilified for my experimental movies, many of which are marketed as horror pictures. But I see myself as an advocate for the underdog, trying to understand – to give a soul to – those who are demonised by society. I don’t condone their actions, but I want to explain the psychology of people who break the rules. I’m bored to death by the point-of-view of the police detective. I think that art can heal. Within every one of us is a painter, a dancer, a storyteller. I believe that if every individual’s artistic side was nurtured at school, it could channel much frustration and anger, and change the way people live their lives. Change even the way a potential serial killer might have lived his life. Maybe this is just an illusion. But I really do believe that art heals.' -- Ulli Lommel
Ulli Lommel Official Website
Ulli Lommel @ IMDb
'The Serial Killer Cinema of Ulli Lommel'
'My America', a poem by Ulli Lommel
'Fucking Liberty!: Die Freiheiten des Ulli Lommel'
Ulli Lommel's Facebook page
'Was macht eigentlich... Ulli Lommel'
'Worlds of Ulli Lommel'
'The Top Ten Films by Ulli Lommel'
'The Top Ten Worst Directors'
'SMALLTALK: ULLI LOMMEL' @ Interview Magazine (Germany)
Ulli Lommel @ mubi
Video: Fassbinder & Lommel @ Berlinale 1969
'Ulli Lommel acted in over 28 plays, among them Shakespeare's "Hamlet"--in which he played the lead--22 made-for-TV movies and 18 theatrical films before joining Fassbinder and the Anti-Theater, an inspired theater collective that launched the careers of several prominent German actors including Lommel, Kurt Raab, Hanna Schygulla and Margit Carstensen. As Fassbinder moved from theater to films in the 1970s, rapidly becoming one of the leading voices of the German New Wave, Lommel became one of his closest collaborators. He spent 10 years working with Fassbinder, who was legendary for his prodigious output, directing 41 films in 13 years. Lommel not only acted in 16 Fassbinder productions but also served as producer, assistant director and production designer, on such films as Satan's Brew (1976), Love is Colder Than Death (1969), Effi Briest (1974) and Chinese Roulette (1976). Since Fassbinder's death in 1982, Lommel has been traveling the world and participating in numerous retrospectives dedicated to his Fassbinder years, among them the Museum of Modern Art in N.Y., Harvard, the Louvre, London and Beijing.' -- IMDb
Fassbinder Love Is Colder Than Death (1969)
Fassbinder Beware of a Holy Whore (1971)
Fassbinder Bremen Freedom (1972)
Fassbinder Chinese Roulette (1976)
Fassbinder Satan's Brew (1976)
from Soiled Interviews
What was your upbringing like?
Ulli Lommel: It felt normal, because I didn't know anything else. And it was fun, because I grew up right after WWII and Germany was completely destroyed and all the people that survived this madness were so happy and stuck together and helped each other. There is way too much of everything today. Too many songs that are terrible and too many awful movies, week after week, bombarding us and that's almost worse than being bombarded by the allies in WWII.
Fassbinder’s Beware of a Holy Whore (1971) was based on the hectic experience of making Whity (1971). As someone who acted in both films, do you think Beware of a Holy Whore features a realistic portrayal of what happened during the making of Whity?
UL: No, not at all, it's complete fantasy, and anyway, Fassbinder was always drunk during WHITY and probably didn't remember a thing. I actually co-produced WHITY and due to Fassbinder's insane actions which went way beyond being drunk on and off the set non-stop, it almost ruined me. But I forgave him.
Your third feature was Adolf and Marlene (1977). Can you describe this film to our readers? I once read the film is 'lost.'
UL: The Fassbinder Foundation is currently restoring ADOLF & MARLENE (it's a Fassbinder production). I met with Fassbinder in Paris in 1976 in a famous brothel and told him that I had discovered the diary of Eva Braun, Hitler's girlfriend and Fassbinder said let's make a movie! It's a very dark comedy, Michael Ballhaus did the camera and Kurt Raab, the male lead of TENDERNESS OF THE WOLVES, plays Hitler. I myself play Goebbels. The movie was compared to Ernst Lubitsch TO BE OR NOT TO BE. It's one of my dearest films.
What was your relationship like with Fassbinder?
UL: Everything one can imagine and more, that's all I can say. He asked me to star in his first film LOVE IS COLDER THAN DEATH so he could get the financing since I had already become a teenage idol with covers on teen mags etc. and I was box office. I accepted and for the next 10 years collaborated on 21 Fassbinder productions. He was a true genius, with all the madness and the good, the bad and the ugly.
What was your relationship like with Warhol?
UL: Warhol was the opposite of Fassbinder. While Fassbinder tried to jail you in his own prison of the mind, Warhol gave you the key and set you free. I owe Warhol more than I will ever be able to imagine, not to mention the few pieces of Warhol Pop Art I have in my possession and Warhol Polaroids. Warhol was and is out of this universe for me.
You worked with popular German pop singer Daniel Küblböck for your film Daniel – Der Zauberer (2004). How did that collaboration come about and what was it like to work with Küblböck?
UL: He was hated by millions of Germans and I was fascinated by that type of hate towards such an innocent young man and I decided to defend him and stand up for him and make a movie to set the record straight. Needless to say, the haters voted it worst movie ever made, hahahahah! But I like it a lot. Always will. And it got some great reviews too. So what the hell, right? And it made money. Hahahahah!!!
How has filmmaking changed since when you first started? Where do you see cinema heading in the future?
UL: When I started it was much more precious with far less films coming out every week and I much prefer that. The future is something I rarely speculate about, I love memories, I love the past, it's all we have. The present is only an illusion and the future has not arrived yet, we can only dream about it. But every split second the future turns into the past, without ever stopping in the present.
12 of Ulli Lommel's 29 films
Tenderness of the Wolves (1973)
'The Tenderness of Wolves is a 1973 West German film, produced by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, directed by Ulli Lommel and based on the crimes of German serial killer and cannibal Fritz Haarmann. It was entered into the 23rd Berlin International Film Festival. Fritz Haarmann (Kurt Raab, who also wrote the film) uses his position as a government inspector to rape and murder young boys in war-torn Germany. After killing his victims, he shares the meat with his circle of cannibal friends.' -- collaged
the entire film
Cocaine Cowboys (1979)
'The premise of this 80 minutes in purgatory is as follows: A rock band smuggles 20 kilograms of cocaine from Colombia to Montauk, Long Island. They throw the cocaine in the sea right in front of their palatial home, then land at the airport. They double back to the house and try to find the cocaine, but are not successful. This was shot at Andy Warhol's home, so they had to give him a part in the movie. He does his Andy things, taking Polaroids, and not playing himself very convincingly. Jack Palance plays the band's manager, and is way too old for the part. He chomps on a cigar and talks about "our music." The rock band, full of people I have never heard of, is pretty awful. The handful of songs, including the title ballad, are all terrible.' -- Charles Tatum
Andy Warhol in Cocaine Cowboys
Blank Generation (1980)
'1980 was an amazing time of ups and downs. Jimmy Carter was President, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back was released, John Bonham of Led Zeppelin died of alcohol poisoning, comedian Richard Pryor was badly burned trying to freebase cocaine, and Ulli Lommel's Blank Generation was unleashed on an unsuspecting populace. Yes, that Ulli Lommel. Some 30 years ago he was honing his craft on Blank Generation, the story of Nada (Carole Bouquet), a beautiful French journalist on assignment in New York, who records the life and work of an up-and-coming punk rock star, Billy (portrayed by legendary punk pioneer Richard Hell). Soon she enters into a volatile relationship with him and must decide whether to continue with it or return to her lover, a fellow journalist trying to track down the elusive Andy Warhol.' -- Dread Central
the entire film
The Boogeyman (1980)
'The Boogeyman is a horrible, depressing, trite rip-off of the by far superior Halloween. There is a positive comment on the back of the package by none other than Mr. Happy himself, Leonard Maltin. All I can say is, who the hell paid him to say that? The movie is awful. Think Halloween on a farm with the Clampetts from The Beverly Hillbillies, throw a possessed mirror into the equation, and you've got this unparalled piece of crap. Did the filmmakers think a retarded (I'm talking literally, here) Michael Myers would be scary? The only thing worse than this movie is the video and audio quality. Spotty, grainy, sparse, uneven, and bland.' -- DVD Empire
Revenge of the Stolen Stars (1985)
'They must have paid Klaus Kinski some major dinero for this stinkeroo. YIKES!!!! It is hard to imagine that the great Kinski and Uli Lommel could team up and have a product so sorely lacking in any professionalism whatsoever. I've seen better acting and directing on the TBS monkey channel. I am not going to begin to comment on the movie itself which is so ridiculous as to not even warrant any type of review so as to justify it as a real movie. Based on what I watched (painfully so), the movie should have been filmed on video tape using a hand held home video camera. The budget of this film; about 3 or 4 dollars after Kinski's salary; was more than this disaster deserved.' -- Kinskiville
Ulli Lommel on Kinski shooting Revenge of the Stolen Stars
Zombie Nation (2004)
'Zombie Nation is a 2004 independent horror film directed by Ulli Lommel. Despite the title, only five zombies appear in the entire film. Reception of the film has been overwhelmingly negative. As of February 15, 2011, Zombie Nation is ranked #6 worst movie on IMDb's Bottom 100. I was not sure, at any stage, whether this film was made as a satirical portrayal of low-brow horror films, and the ridiculousness of this genre's position as a segue between proper dramatic film and naff obscenity, or whether it was the result of a group of cashed up wanna be directors/actors/cinematographers who, bursting with the ill gotten prestige of their celebrity parents, have put together a collection of their favourite storylines, scenes, and dramatic effects to create a monsterously absurd turd of a film, starring their friends and a group of pornographic actors. I hope, for the love of God, that it is the former.' -- Timothy Morrissey
All of the Most German Scenes
Daniel der Zauberer (2004)
'Daniel – Der Zauberer is a German grotesque experimental film about the pop singer Daniel Küblböck, starring as himself. The website filmstarts.de referred to the film as Küblböck's insane ego trip that would show from what a maniac hubris he would suffer. The film would be unbearable for non-fans of Küblböck. The performances of the actors would be some of the worst in the history of German cinema. Ulli Lommel and Peter Schamoni would have damaged their reputation. Even in school projects better films would be produced. As of January 2013, Daniel – Der Zauberer is now number 1 on the list of the "Bottom 100 Movies" of all time , as voted by the users of the Internet Movie Database.' -- collaged
Killer Pickton (2005)
'Killer Pickton is a 2005 United States production horror film that is loosely based on the crimes of Canadian pig farmer Robert Pickton. The movie was filmed in New Hampshire and was directed by Ulli Lommel. The movie was co-produced and co-written by Ulli Lommel and Jeff Frentzen. Frentzen portrayed the killer, herein called "Billy Pickton", using the stage name Curtis Graan. Killer Pickton became controversial when its planned 2006 release in Australia was delayed when the government of Canada put pressure on the Australian distributor, Peacock Films Ltd., to pull the movie from its release schedule for legal reasons—Canada's ban on publishing details of the alleged crimes prior to Pickton's trial was cited. The film remains unavailable in North America due to the legal problems of distributing the movie in Canada.' -- collaged
Diary of a Cannibal (2006)
'Diary of a Cannibal is a 2006 United States production horror film directed by Ulli Lommel. It is possibly inspired by the true-crime story of Armin Meiwes, the "Rotenburg Cannibal" who posted an online ad searching for someone to volunteer to be mutilated and eaten. Unlikely as it may seem, someone actually replied. The cannibal met his intended victim and seduced, murdered, and consumed him. Lommel's film changes the account from a "Rotenburg Cannibal" to a young Los Angeleno girl who is corrupted by her new lover, a narcissistic man who talks her into killing and eating him. The movie has received uniformly negative reviews and has bounced around the bottom-100 list on IMDB. On Yahoo Movies, 24 readers give Diary of a Cannibal an "F" rating.' -- collaged
Black Dahlia (2006)
'It's pretty obvious that Lionsgate only released Ulli Lommel's Black Dahlia so that they could cash in on Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia (much like other recent sound alike ripoffs War of the Planets, When a Killer Calls, and Flight 93). Like many of those, this hit DVD before the big movie it imitates in the preemptive rip-off tradition started by Roger Corman. In short, people are supposed to see this DVD on the shelf and mistake it for the De Palma movie. Working at a video store I have encountered the intentional confusion these ripoffs create time and time again. Apart from those confused into thinking it's something else, who is this movie really for? It's not for mystery fans because everything is spelled out to the point where you wonder why the police haven't solved it. It's not for action fans because the action is rare and pathetic. It could only be for very patient low-brow perverts and ultra-low-brow gore hounds, and those people could easily find better somewhere else. I've been renting straight to video crap all year and this is the worst movie I've found so far. For your own sake, stay far away.' -- IMDb
H.P. Lovecraft's The Tomb (2007)
'HP Lovecraft's The Tomb is a 2007 United States production horror film that is supposedly based on H.P. Lovecraft's 1917 story, "The Tomb". However, many reviewers have noted that the plot of this film is completely unrelated to the Lovecraft short story. The film in fact has no single element whatsoever in common with the short story, save for the title. The film is often compared to the 2004 movie, Saw, going as far as having that series mentioned on the box art. Lommel’s H.P. Lovecraft’s The Tomb defies explanation. He’s locked a bunch of people in that all-too-familiar warehouse set of his and let them run around in a vaguely Saw kind of atmosphere as they try to accomplish the ludicrous task of figuring out why they’re there in the first place and the much more rational task of trying to get out alive. It sounds ludicrous that that could be an actual movie plotline, but it’s Ulli Lommel. And frankly, considering that it’s Ulli Lommel, there is no such animal as too ludicrous.' -- Steve Anderson
Absolute Evil (2009)
'Absolute Evil is a drama film written and directed by Ulli Lommel. The film stars Carolyn Neff, Rusty Joiner and David Carradine. The film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 8, 2009. The Hollywood Reporter published an online review of Absolute Evil, in which Peter Brunette wrote: "At least once every festival, critics collectively scratch their heads and say "How did THAT get selected?" Absolute Evil is the tentative awardee for worst film at this year's Berlinale. Shot in an ugly digital format (not HD) that is often out of focus, the stock thriller structure also sports horribly cliched, repetitive dialogue, dramatic "gestures" that we've seen a thousand times, and very bad performances (with the exception of David Carradine, who seems to be having the time of his life).' -- collaged
p.s. Hey. Oh, I thought maybe I should alert you to something, if you're interested. You probably know that there's this abysmal 1996 film based on my novel 'Frisk'. Well, the best thing about it by a zillion miles is the score, which was made by Coil and Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth. Someone has uploaded the score to Mediafire, and you can download it, and, if you're admirers of Coil's or Ranaldo's work, I recommend that you do because the great majority of the music they created for the film has ever been available before, and it's very good. Anyway, if you like, you can download the score here. ** David Ehrenstein, Thank you on behalf of JD. And, if I had known it was your birthday yesterday while doing the p.s., I would celebrated the occasion like crazy here, so please take a belated ultra-happy birthday from me and from your home away from home. And, last but not least, thank for the of course very interesting and promising sounding FaBlog post! ** Dynomoose, You are indeed back! Yes! Welcome, welcome! Thrilled to have you here again, my old and dear friend! ** Jesse Bransford, Hey, Jesse! Awesome! Email, book to send ... great, I'll go find the former and give you the way to send me the latter, and, yeah, thank you, kind sir! You good? Wait, you totally fucking great? Yes, right? ** Rewritedept, Your weekend sounds to have been pretty okay enough. 'Paranoid Park' is a goodie. Oh, duh, 'Mr. Show', yeah, of course. My brain was ... I don't know where. I interviewed David Cross for Spin Magazine re: the show at the time, so, yeah, I know it. It was excellent, duh, so, if you want to do a related post, please do jump right in. I noticed the Mediafire delete, of course. Glad it's back up, at least for now, and I'll go grab it post-haste post-p.s. Everyone, if you tried to download Rewritedept's mix 'tape' yesterday and failed miserably like I did, it's now in a safer spot and easy-peasy, so go get it here. The Shangri-Las are kind of completely godhead, so, yes, I do highly recommend that you get their stuff. Okay, gotcha, re: the reasons to move where you're thinking of moving. That link to your friend's stickers, etc. didn't work, btw. Thanks, man. ** Kyler, Hi, K! Cool that the FB thing is going so well. Hm, yeah, I'll try to think of a question and pose it to you. Let me think. Maybe re: the book, hm, let me think. Thank you! ** 5STRINGS, Success on both fronts ... why am I not surprised. Everything's complicated. That's why we're not bored all that often, if we're not bored. I only like sculpture when it's complicated, but it can be Minimalist or Pop and still be way complicated. With the ex? Yikes, how was that? Everyone, 5STRINGS goes boom. I would say that qualifies as a boom, yes. ** Steevee, Very interesting re: the Ruiz. I greatly appreciate the thoughts and share. If it played here, and I would guess it has by now, I totally spaced out and missed it. I'm so out of the loop re: film/Paris right now. ** Misanthrope, Cool, Rallo, link, nearness, yum. Mm, gosh, there's probably some subconscious part of me who/that thinks about that issue 'cos I'm fairly attentive to how my work is received, but I think it works like a spy or as a double-agent probably. ** _Black_Acrylic, Psyched is definitely warranted, and, yeah, it'll be great and fun to converse with you re: the show afterwards. I really look forward to that! ** Billy Lloyd, Hi, Billy! Amsterdam was heaven. Best thing we did? There was a lot of bestness. The Mike Kelley show, for sure. We had one hell of a great rijsttafel meal while there. The whole trip was a blur of greatness. Hm, maybe your friend is intimidated? You know, she wants to please you by doing something great and is a bit insecure that she's up to the challenge? Maybe? Okay, your London visit -- if it's over, which I'm not sure it is -- was eventful, for certain. Rick Astley live? That's kind of a pure horror of many shades and tones. The dreams of people who don't get to make out with those with whom they want to make out can be very rich, even richer than if they had been inspired by an actual making out session, so I wouldn't feel bad. Ice skating, that's weird. I just made a plan to visit an ice skating rink re: a possible ice rink-based art project that a friend of mine is doing. Anyway, so, what happened on the second day of the downing of your hair? ** Sypha, I don't know, it's kind of cool that you still have Bowie to explore. It's cool to really know someone's work, but it's kind of sad to have lost one's virginity too. Didion's nonfiction is incredible. Good recommend by Mr. Best, and good choice on your part. ** Statictick, Somewhere, Jamison Davey is smiling at your words, I predict. A nice balancing feeling, yeah, fate can be very kind and fortuitous sometimes, or at least to those who richly deserve such treatment like you. ** Cobaltfram, Every day is Valentines Day in France. There's just nonstop smooching and exchanges of bouquets going on here. No one knows why Mike killed himself. It is a bit painful to talk about, yeah, but, really, no one I know who also knew Mike understands it. I didn't take a single photo in Amsterdam. I kept forgetting to carry my camera. My friend Zac took some, so maybe I'll see what he took and put something together. The next two weekends are the fun ones, ... okay, even better. A shiny future is even shinier than a shiny past, I reckon. Bon day to you. ** Bollo, Hi, J. The Mike Kelley show is kind of a total must-see if possible. The Germs! It was a rich scene and time in LA, and there is a lot of fantastic stuff and bands from that era. I hope the feeling of heaviness went bye-bye. It is bright-ish and sunny (sans -ish) so far today. I hope it swoops over your way. ** Okay. Due to an idea-implant from our very own Chilly Jay Chill, you have an Ulli Lommel fest to get you through the next 24 hours, and then I will be back to interrupt the blog's flow yet again.
Posted by Dennis Cooper at 12:06 AM