From my personal experience as the proud grandson of a Flying Dutchman, the Dutch reign supreme when it comes to hyper negativity, cynicism, airs of superiority, and pathological Teutophobia. In other words, the Dutch people (aka ‘lazy Germans’) are proud assholes who derive a deluded sense of superiority from the fact that they are pathologically ‘liberal’ (i.e. decadent and lazy) and adamantly support degenerate and ethno-masochistic social causes. Indeed, Dutch auteur filmmaker Edwin Brienen (Terrorama, Revision - Apocalypse II) is certainly a dude who makes nihilistic and oftentimes nasty films, but what makes him different from the average Cheese-Eater is that he seems to have a rather nice relationship with the perennial enemy nation of Germany (aka the land of the boorish “Moffen”)—the Germanic brother country that occupied the Netherlands during the Second World War and stole all its cheese while the natives starved and froze to death—and has made a number culturally pessimistic Nietzschean melodramas there. Indeed, being described as the “Dutch Fassbinder” might be akin to being described as the “Dutch Hitler” for some Dutch people, but Brienen seems to wear the distinguished Teutonic title with pride. Recently, I was quite happy to receive a Christmas present from Brienen and his Berlin-based production company Ultra Vista in the form of the Dutch filmmaker’s (anti)Christmas cult movie Warum Ulli sich am Weihnachtsabend umbringen wollte (2005) aka Why Ulli Wanted to Kill Himself on Christmas Eve, which was recently fittingly re-released for the Holiday season. Sort of the Xmas film that Fassbinder never made, albeit more brazenly naughty and nihilistic, Why Ulli Wanted to Kill Himself on Christmas Eve is certainly the ‘Satan’s Brew of Christmas movies.’ Made following the shooting of Brienen’s In a Year with 13 Moons-esque film Last Performance (2006), Why Ulli Wanted to Kill Himself on Christmas Eve was not only inspired by Fassbinder’s maniac melodramas but also by the Bavarian auteur filmmaker’s singularly prolific work ethic. Spurred by a whimsical idea Brienen had to complete an entire film (including shooting, editing, post-production, etc.) in a mere three to four works, Why Ulli Wanted to Kill Himself on Christmas Eve was shot in less than two weeks and was already in Germany theaters two months after pre-production began. The only real Christmas movie that I watched on this past Christmas day, Why Ulli Wanted to Kill Himself on Christmas Eve certainly got me in the “Bah! Humbug!” spirit as a tastelessly and even terrifyingly tragicomedic work about a pathetic loser who wants more than anything just for a single person to spend Christmas with him, but lacks the personality and social clique to attract even the most repugnant of Americanized Aryan degenerates, including his bitchy bull-dyke sister and obnoxiously extroverted transvestite father. Featuring clips from Frank Capra’s It's a Wonderful Life (1946) dubbed in German and elderly folks drinking themselves to death as they suffer yet another miserable and melancholy Yuletide, Why Ulli Wanted to Kill Himself on Christmas Eve is probably the only Xmas film ever made that has the potential to both drive people towards and steer people away from the perennial gift of suicide.
Ulli (Marin Caktas) is an unremarkable fellow with a dead-end job as an exceedingly emasculated office slave who is rather determined to find someone special to spend Christmas with, but the problem is that he has about as much swag as an elderly old man’s wrinkled scrotum, not to mention the fact that he still worships his long gone ex-girlfriend Nicki (Eva Dorrepaal). In fact, despite being well into his mid-30s, Ulli has only had one girlfriend in his entire sad life and his dubious relationship with Nicki only lasted a mere 6 months, thus he has about as much experience with women as the average high school boy. Rather autistically, Ulli makes his first pathetic attempt at wooing a woman to spend Christmas with him by approaching his cute next door neighbor, who he does not actually know, with a would-be-thoughtful Xmas gift. Naturally, the girl blows him off like he is a creepy salesman and rejects his retarded gift, which is a vintage copy of J. D. Salinger’s absurdly overrated teen angst novel The Catcher in the Rye (1951). After his failed attempt at seducing his neighbor, Ulli goes to hang out with his British best friend Elton (Tomas Spencer). Rather annoyed by his feeble friend’s moody and broody bitch boy behavior, Elton verbally berates Ulli into oblivion, ultimately insulting him for his love of the rather repellant romantic-comedy Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) and eventually tells him to “fuck off outta here.” Despite kicking him out of his apartment, Elton later makes up with Ulli and the two bros-without-hoes naively attempt to buy hard drugs from a degenerate swarthy drug dealer named Heino (René Ifrah), who has a rather bizarre fetish for so-called ‘Latin music’ and big booty bitches like Shakira. Of course, when Heino’s slutty and slightly unhinged girlfriend physically dominates and attempts to molest Ulli, the two friends unfortunately leave drug-free.
Desperate for both love and affection, Ulli makes the moronic mistake of visiting his bull-dyke beastess sister Bettina (Nicole Ohliger) and her dude-like Dutch dyke girlfriend Karin (Esther Eva Verkaaik). Sister Bettina immediately attempts to throw Ulli out, but Karin makes him stay as she seems strangely turned-on by his company. After going on a painfully plodding and pretentious spiel about the purported homoeroticism of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, Karin begins to get horny and starts feeling up the sexless office worker, which rather irks Bettina and results in a brutal battle between the two bull-dykes that concludes in rough lesbo sex. After getting in the Christmas spirit by eating an archaic-looking aluminum-bound TV dinner, Ulli goes to visit his man-mommy Evelyn (Ades Zabel) and her decidedly despicable Euro-wigger boyfriend Olaf (Niels Bormann). After Olaf—a fellow who is in a relationship with a less than homely transman—accuses Ulli of being a cocksucker, Evelyn reveals to her son that she has a tumor and will die of cancer in the next couple months, thus further compounding the offbeat office worker's undying depression and disillusionment with the holiday season. Feeling more desperate than ever, Ulli decides to take a strange stranger named Cat (Malah Helman) hostage with a toy prop gun, which initially proves to successful but the hapless hopeless romantic ultimately gets more than he bargained for. Indeed, Cat is a cute but somewhat creepy gal who attempts to get Ulli to strangle her as two awkwardly make misbegotten love in a bathtub, but the sensitive gentleman naturally refuses to do so, so the little lady leaves her kidnapper with the unflattering remark, “I really feel sorry for you” as if he is the most pathetic pussy in the world. After going to a church sermon and receiving nil solace after asking the stoic reverend why not a single one of the seven billion or so people that inhabitant the earth is willing to spend Christmas with him, Ulli contemplates suicide but naturally pussies out. In the end, Ulli spends Christmas in a retirement home inhabited by mostly senile and somber elderly folks and gets drunk with a resentful old fart that has no interest in speaking with him. Indeed, it is not a wonderful life after all, at least for postmodern untermensch Ulli.
Undoubtedly, in its malignant anti-merry melancholy, Why Ulli Wanted to Kill Himself on Christmas Eve might have been better titled Why Didn’t Ulli Kill Himself on Christmas Eve? as the patently pathetic protagonist’s self-slaughter would have given him the gift-that-keeps-on-giving; eternal peace. In terms of pathetic male protagonists, Why Ulli Wanted to Kill Himself on Christmas Eve ultimately puts the accursed cuckolds of Fassbinder’s Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (1970), The Merchant of Four Seasons (1972), and The Stationmaster's Wife (1977) to abject shame. Of course, protagonist Ulli was not the only deplorable character featured in the film, as Why Ulli Wanted to Kill Himself on Christmas Eve does not feature a single likeable nor redeemable character. Indeed, featuring loony lesbian erotomaniacs, bastard ‘best friends,’ swarthy Shakira-saluting dope dealers, pompous charlatan preachers, erratic elderly old farts, sadistic Sapphic sisters, masochistic kidnap victims, and Euro-Trash wiggers, Why Ulli Wanted to Kill Himself on Christmas Eve is certainly a insanely inconoclastic anti-It's a Wonderful Life of sorts where everyone is naughty and no one plays nice. A sleazily sardonic piece of celluloid coal in your much cherished vintage Christmas stocking, Why Ulli Wanted to Kill Himself on Christmas Eve is the perfect cinematic Xmas feast for both anti-Santa-ists and subversive cinemaphiles alike. Indeed, I doubt auteur Edwin Brienen got any presents in is shoes from Sinterklaas this year after deciding to re-release Why Ulli Wanted to Kill Himself on Christmas Eve; arguably the most antagonistic yet hilarious anti-Christ-Mass ever made. A Christmas flick for those individuals who prefer Krampus over Santa Claus, Why Ulli Wanted to Kill Himself on Christmas Eve reminds the viewer that for every person that loves the holiday season, there are two or three other people who have hit rock bottom and cannot wait for the new year to begin and for the Christmas tree to be thrown in the dumpster.