Aug 6, 2013

The Nasty Girl

Unless focusing on totally deranged, perversely politically incorrect, and superlatively scatological subjects like the late great kraut avant-garde carny Christoph Schlingensief (The German Chainsaw-Massacre, Terror 2000) or farcical fascism/lunatic leftism of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's psychopathic slapstick flick Satan’s Brew (1976) aka Satansbraten, German filmmakers should stay away from cinematically depicting comedy, especially of the cliché far-leftist and philo-Semitic Brechtian sort, which is exactly why Bavarian bitchboy Michael Verhoeven’s Das schreckliche Mädchen (1990) aka The Nasty Girl is one of the most intrinsically irritating and aesthetically agonizing films I have ever seen. Based on the true story of a bitchy Bavarian broad named Anna Rosmus who started digging into her hometown of Passau’s unflattering Nazi past after being spurred by a nationwide essay contest, The Nasty Girl follows an indubitably nasty busybody girl who digs deep into her town’s history, despite having her flat bombed and personal relationships destroyed in the process, only to become an ungrateful cunt after the town honors her by having a bust placed in the town hall in the form of her likeliness despite her malicious research. A couple years ago, I had the misfortune of attending a public screening of The Nasty Girl in a room full of Jews, white liberals, and a hodgepodge of multicultural folks of varying racial shades. To my complete and utter surprise, a middle-aged Jewish man popped up immediately during a post-screening conversation regarding The Nasty Girl and rhetorically asked when the Germans will finally refrain from continuing to apologize to the Jews and paying hefty reparations to the not-so-tolerant Jewish ethno-nationalist state of Israel. Of course, the anti-zionist Jew was more keen than most viewers regarding picking up the sickening slave-morality-driven nature of the film, as The Nasty Girl is one of those ostensibly cutesy and comical works that makes it easier for less discerning viewers to swallow its ethno-masochistic, feminist message due to its deranged depiction of a pedomorphic ‘little princess’ depicted by the ever-so-annoying Lena Stolze, who previously depicted ‘anti-nazi martyr’ Sophie Scholl in Verhoeven’s Die Weiße Rose (1982) aka The White Rose, as the protagonist displaying her sassy Svengali-like ‘girl power’ by digging into her town’s past and proving that many of its esteemed leaders are ex-nazis and kike-killers. The son of National Socialist auteur Paul Verhoeven (no, not the Dutch one!), director Michael Verhoeven seems to have used The Nasty Girl as a way to dig up dirt on his daddy, but he thankfully had enough foresight to obscure his personally pernicious agenda by having a little girl stand in for himself, which is further supported by the director’s statement at the beginning of the film, “The story my film tells is at once fiction and truth. I am not interested in the history of a specific town in Germany, but rather in the truth of all towns in our country. My film is set in Bavaria because I live here. Characters and actions are fictional.” Utilizing Syberberg-esque tableaux, including back-projected streets and buildings, and a total blitzkrieging of the Fourth Wall, The Nasty Girl is aesthetic asininity and absurdity that made even holocaust-worshipper Roger Ebert nearly lose his lunch, writing regarding Verhoeven’s flick, “It's the film's style that I object to. The story itself is fascinating, but the style seems to add another tone, a level of irony that is somehow confusing: Does Verhoeven see this as quite the cheery romp he pretends, or is there a sly edge to his method? As a rule I welcome stylistic experiments - most movies are much too straightforward - but this time I'm not sure the movie's odd tone adds anything. Realism might have worked better.” Unfortunately, politics aside, Ebert could not have said it better as The Nasty Girl has the aesthetic integrity of a Geico commerical. 

 If The Nasty Girl ‘protagonist’ Sonja (Lena Stolze) is good at anything, it is prying into other people’s business, especially when said people kindly and, eventually, not so kindly, tell her to fuck off and to mind her own damn business. After winning a high school essay contest that wins her a trip to Paris, which further lobotomizes her already liberal mind, Sonja is more than confident about entering another essay contest that involves researching her town of Pfilzing’s relationship to the Third Reich, but after hitting a number of dead-ends and roadblocks, largely put up by highly secretive townspeople, especially those people in places of power, she must accept that the essay contest’s deadline has expired, which makes her cuckold teacher boyfriend Martin (Robert Giggenbach) rather happy and the two leftist lovebirds inevitably wed. Of course, the always prying Sonja treats her failure to enter the essay contest as a minor setback and after a bunch of naughty Nazis throw a rock through the rear window of her car after her wedding ceremony, she is more than determined to seek her hysterical revenge against the crypto-Nazi townspeople. In fact, throughout various points in The Nasty Girl, the town of Pfilzing is depicted as a Catholic crypto-Nazi epicenter where drunk and boorish krauts sing old school National Socialist songs secretly in the night like sinister demons. When Sonja discovers a certain Jewish conman, who apparently met his death after being sent to a concentration camp, swindled two Pfilzing priests out of 100 pairs of underwear during the Third Reich, she becomes determined to unmask the unholy anti-Semitic holymen. On top of the nameless and faceless masked neo-nazis in the night, Sonja faces scorn from her professor Juckenack (Hans-Reinhard Müller), who, using Gestapo-esque tactics, secretly bars the girl from researching microfilms in a local city archive. To get to the dubious documents, Sonja decides to sue Pfilzing, which causes countless death threats against the little lady and her extended family, but she ultimately wins the lawsuit, although the so-called ‘Zumtobel documents’ that she is looking for are nowhere to be found and she is given a number of questionable reasons why as to their disappearance. Putting the search for the Zumtobel documents before her baby daughter and jealous cuck of a man-woman husband, her personal life takes a dive for the worst, but hey, she eventually gets the docs and proves her ‘girl power’ or whatever and literally yodels in celebration. After learning her professor Juckenack was one of the Nazi priests responsible for putting the Jewish conman in a concentration camp and the local pharmacist was involved with experimenting on Jews, Sonja has the distinguished luxury of having her family home bombed by some nefarious Nazi scum. Sonja publishes a paper on her findings, titled "My Hometown in the Third Reich," and is even given an honorary degree from the University of Vienna because of her “brave accounting of the recent history,” and is subsequently awarded a doctorate from the Swedish Royal Academy in Uppsala, among various other prizes. After revealing that she is writing a book on the “Jews of Pfilzing,” Sonja reveals to the town that professor Juckenack, as well as a certain Father Brummel, the man that christened her as a child, were the two priests that got the Jew put in the concentration camp. Meanwhile, Sonja’s husband leaves her for Munich, her progressive and sexually promiscuous brother starts screwing girls, and professor Juckenack sues her for defamation. With the help of an old school communist who was persecuted during the Third Reich, Sonja wins the trial and “Juckenack is dropped like a hot potato.” Although the townspeople ultimately side with Sonja and pay tribute to her with a bust of her head in tribute, she proves intolerable to the end, stating to the entire town, “I won’t let you turn me into a bust and stick me in the town hall. I am a living human being…I’m not falling for this. Just because you’re scared shitless, because you’re afraid of what I might still find out…I won’t be quiet. That is exactly what they want,” and promptly smacks her mother and grandmother, thus proving to a hysterical and bitter bitch to the very end. 

At the anticlimactic, albeit fitting, conclusion of The Nasty Girl, perennially prying protagonist Sonja climbs up and hides in a tree like a scared little girl who has not only pushed away immediate family and even her neighbors, but who has also become a self-righteous and prissy pixie bitch whose nearly megalomaniacal goals seem to be dragging everyone she knows to a sort of nihilistic and ethno-masochistic netherworld, which can also be said of director Michael Verhoeven and his idiotically idealistic films. In a somewhat recent documentary he directed, Der unbekannte Soldat (2006) aka The Unknown Soldier, Verhoeven proved he saw a kindred spirit/alter-ego in the form of his protagonist from The Nasty Girl by depicting the entire Wehrmacht (German army) as genocidal kike killers, thus making him a man after Teutonophobe S. Spielberg’s Hebraic heart. Aside from being an aesthetically appalling piece of failed kraut comedy, The Nasty Girl is a somewhat hateful work that attempts to disguise its deranged message of ‘most Germans were and are anti-Semitic Nazis’ with a smile by using humor as the ultimate merry and malicious manipulator of the viewer as a wretched work that is intended to inspire self-hatred, guilt, and a sackless slave-morality in German viewers and Hollywood-like Germanophobic hysteria in Americans and other non-krauts. More embarrassing and aesthetically revolting than the most patently prosaic of Wim Wenders’ pseudo-existentialist celluloid meanderings and less humorous and more irritating than the latest Judd Apatow stoner ‘Jew crew’ comedy, The Nasty Girl is as noxious and nettling as cinematic works come, even in the context of ethno-masochistic cinema. Aside from those interested in seeing girlish and agonizingly annoying lead actress Lena Stolze's stark-naked body or baboonish beer-chugging Bavarian acting which is no less retarded than the average on field antics of an American Negro professional football player, The Nasty Girl is a film to be avoided at all costs, though certain masochists, especially of the cuckold persuasion, might find Verhoeven’s film to be one of the greatest ‘ softcore commie comedies’ ever made. 

-Ty E

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