Dec 2, 2013
If Great Britain has been invaded by every dark shade of untermensch from the former colonies and America has been hit the hardest by so-called Hispanics from south of the border, post-WWII Germany has been most accursed with Islamic aliens (or what liberals call 'guest workers') from Turkey. As a German friend once told me, thank Odin that the Fatherland lost their handful of colonies after losing the First World War as the land of the Teutons is not nearly as racially and culturally chaotic as France and the UK, but still they have their fair share of hostile brown problems. Of course, a number of Teutonic filmmakers, especially those of German New Cinema, have touched on the immigrant problem in the past, including Rainer Werner Fassbinder with Katzelmacher (1969) aka Cock Artist and Angst essen Seele auf (1974) aka Ali: Fear Eats the Soul and Helma Sanders-Brahms with Shirins Hochzeit (1976) aka Shirin's Wedding, among countless others. Additionally, foreign director have touched on the problems of Turk-on-Teuton relations as well, with Turkish queer auteur Kutlug Ataman’s Fassbinder-esque work Lola and Billy the Kid (1999) aka Lola + Bilidikid showing the tragedy that results when Turks trannies and hustlers, sodomite skinheads, and cocksucker Counts interact in the multicultural metropolis of Berlin. Of curious, less pretentious and melodramatic films have been made centering around malignant multiculturalism and culture clashes in Deutschland, with the made-for-television cult gang flick Verlierer (1987) aka Losers directed by TV-auteur Bernd Schadewald (Angst, Schicksalsspiel) being one of the most ‘accessible,’ if not outmoded, works on this rather revolting yet always provocative subject. A proletarian flick made about the lumpenproletariat for the lumpenproletariat, Verlierer depicts two gangs—one German and one Turkish—as they nihilistically battle over territory in the post-industrial Ruhr region located in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Starring Ralf Richter (who, aside from appearing as a degenerate sailor in Wolfgang Peterson’s Das Boot (1981), is the brother of famed musician FM Einheit) and singer Campino of the kraut punk group Die Toten Hosen and who more recently starred in Wim Wenders’ Palermo Shooting (2008), as well as quest appearances and/or music from thrash/metal/punk groups like Kreator, Sodom, Violent Force, and Killing Joke, Verlierer was practically destined to become a kraut cult flick. A sort of quasi-realist punk/metal rip-off of The Warriors (1979) directed by Walter Hill that was produced for the West German public television channel ZDF, Verlierer is essentially the working-class equivalent to Decoder (1984), which not coincidentally starred lead Ralf Richter’s brother FM Einheit, as an ultimately trashy yet tragic celluloid work depicting how German culture has drastically degenerated with the culture-distorting curse of globalization and the American occupation of the Fatherland after the Second World War.
At the beginning of Verlierer, the viewer is introduced to the rival yet similarly dressed Ruhr-based street gangs—the Rats (which is comprised of Turks) and the Ghetto Sharks (which are mainly comprised of indigenous Aryans of the mostly swarthy sort)—who have decided to call a truce for the time being, though any gang member caught in enemy territory is treated with a beating and loses their fancy leather gang vest. Meanwhile, a young teenager named Mücke aka Gnat (Mario Irrek), who resembles the young anti-hero of Peter Kern's pedo-themed cuming-of-age flick Street Kid (1992) aka Gossenkind, is tired of getting beaten by his beefy and boorish dipsomaniac father, so he runs away from home to join the Sharks gang, which his big bad brother Richy (Ralf Richter) is the infamous Führer of. On his way to meet up with his bro, Mücke helps a young Turk teen named Erdal (Yüksel Bicici) escape from being brutally mutilated by a gang of lard ass neo-nazis with Wesley Snipes-esque flattops, thus siring a slightly homoerotic would-be-Shakespearean subplot between the two boys. Unfortunately for Mücke, his new Turk friend is a proud member of the Rats, so naturally their friendship will be tested in a most vile way. When little man Mücke finally meets up with his big bro Richy, his brother firmly refuses to let him join the gang and kicks him out of his gang headquarters (an abandoned building riddled with rumble, graffiti, and beer cans), as he wants a better future for his little bro. Feeling rather dejected, Mücke hits the streets and eventually once again bumps into Erdal, who introduces the German boy to his Turkish family and the two act like a bunch of wild whippersnappers around town to celebrate their new-found sense of solidarity. Meanwhile, the Rats are hassled and called “Kanake” (a word used by Germans that is more or less the equivalent of calling a Turk a “nigger”) by Teutonic Turk-bashing cops, but the leader of the gang, Hasan (Aram Basyurt), who looks strikingly Nordic for an Asiatic mongrel, scares the men-in-blue away. Eventually, Mücke and Erdal have a falling out after the latter calls the former’s brother Richy an “asshole,” thus prematurely ending their kameradschaft. To finance their criminal enterprise, Richy, who rather resents the bourgeois and is a self-loathing proletarian of sorts who thankfully never bothered to read Marx, takes his gang of street sharks to a fancy yuppie bar where they steal money and alcohol without a single employee/customer putting up a fight. As anyone would guess from the very beginning of the film, Verlierer concludes with a battle between the Rats and Sharks, which results in the death of Richy via stabbing, thus leaving Mücke to suffer the loss of both a friend and brother. Instead of rejecting the gang life, Mücke embraces it by taking the leather gang vest off of his brother's corpse and assumedly continuing the vicious circle of barbaric ignorance the left his big brother dead in the first place.
Essentially, a shockingly well directed and culturally authentic after-school-special featuring the sort of decidedly degenerate music and wardrobes of the unsalvageable disgruntled youth it depicts, Verlierer is ironically a work that will most appeal to the sort of individuals it unflatteringly depicts, hence why this little TV movie has gone on to earn cult status in Germany as a sort of 1980s punk/metal equivalent to Rudolf Thome’s Red Sun (1970) aka Rote Sonne and Klaus Lemke’s Rocker (1972). Indeed, Verlierer also makes for mandatory viewing for fans of Eckhart Schmidt films like Der Fan (1982) aka Trance, Loft (1985), and Alpha City (1985), as well as Supermarkt (1974) directed by Roland Klick, Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo (1981) directed by Uli Edel, and Strike Back (1981) aka Kalt wie Eis directed by Carl Schenkel, as a work of action-packed celluloid anti-art of the angst-addled sort. Although Verlierer makes a fairly feeble attempt to condemn so-called ‘xenophobia’ by depicting Turk and Kraut proletarians as people stuck in the same boat who ostensibly nonsensically fight each other instead of the real enemy (aka rich Germans and capitalists), the film fails to offer any serious answer to the problem of multiculturalism. By no means a masterpiece in any sense of the word, Verlierer ultimately makes for a decent way to waste 90 minutes or so, especially if you're like myself and enjoy watching proud degenerates with metalhead mullets destroying not only themselves, but everyone and everything around them. A sad testament to the fact that Deutschland has devolved into a multicultural hellhole where Aryan peasants have fallen to such a meek and patently pathetic degree that they share the same aesthetically disgusting public housing flats as illegal aliens from the third world, Verlierer also unwittingly proves that thrash metal music is so aesthetically worthless and deracinated in character that it appealed to both poor Turks and Teutons alike. Ironically, Verlierer director Bernd Schadewald would go on promote the same subculture by directing a music video for the kraut punk band Die Toten Hosen, henceforth demonstrating how kaput German kultur is presently.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 12:05 AM
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