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"Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Old 09-22-19, 10:49 PM
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"Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge





Der Fan (1982)



Selected by DaveyJoe


Spoiler:























IMDB ENTRY

ALYXSTARR LINK - GERMAN

ALYXSTARR LINK - ENGLISH DUB

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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.
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2019 DISCUSSION | 2019 LISTS


Last edited by Chad; 10-29-19 at 10:00 PM.
Old 10-03-19, 02:06 AM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

The Fan is a sleeping giant seeming mundane early on with a pedestarian teen fan plot and a gleefully mediocre but repetative soundtrack then slow burning it's way to an increasingly more and more intense conclusion. The exploitive teen sex is quite explicit but the sleazy dirtiness of it seems necessary to show how violated and ultimately disappointed the girl is before returning to her fantasy. The cringeworthy irony of knowing she's being used is revolting more than it is arousing and the film rubs your nose in it to the point that when she literally dismantles her idol it seems sympathetic. The Fan ends up being one of the weighty films that I find myself having to take a break after. The soundtrack switching from obnoxiously simple repetition to long more complex rhythm as the conclusion boils over really drive it home. The way the film forces you to sit with the aftermath is brilliant.
Old 10-03-19, 11:24 AM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Undeadcow
The way the film forces you to sit with the aftermath is brilliant.
Old 10-03-19, 07:52 PM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I was somewhat mesmerized by this movie. It's hard for me to fathom that Desiree Nosbusch was only 17 when this movie was released. She was fantastic in the role and is still a looker today. I had never heard of her before, but I may check out some of her other films. That said, what a slow burn. It's like seeing a trainwreck in slow motion. You see what's going to happen, but you can't do anything to stop it. I'm not sure it has any rewatch factor, but as a one-time view, it was a pretty good movie.
Old 10-03-19, 09:19 PM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Yes to what you all have said. I was totally absorbed by this film from the start. Desiree Nosbusch did an excellent job as the obsessed teen and the mild humor with the mailmen helped keep things going. I was taken aback at how she coped with the initial meeting but it did make sense. The dismemberment really got to me because of the slow pacing and somewhat twisted affection she was displaying. Everything that followed that left me a bit stunned. An excellent movie but not a pleasant watch. I'm glad I saw it but not sure I ever want to watch it again.
Old 10-04-19, 04:44 AM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by MysterioMan007
I was somewhat mesmerized by this movie. It's hard for me to fathom that Desiree Nosbusch was only 17 when this movie was released. She was fantastic in the role and is still a looker today. I had never heard of her before, but I may check out some of her other films. That said, what a slow burn. It's like seeing a trainwreck in slow motion. You see what's going to happen, but you can't do anything to stop it. I'm not sure it has any rewatch factor, but as a one-time view, it was a pretty good movie.
Are you telling me we all just watched child porn???? Or did they have a body double for her?

As for the movie, it holds up even almost 40 years later. It does seem like the English dub and the subtitles were a bit different. Curious on what the original language and subtitles will do because it seems like reports say the guy was blowing off the girl while, the version I watched, it just seemed like the guy needed a bone but was still going to check up on her later and she got to stay in that amazing place. It wasn't all bad for her. Got some issues like how her parents did not search for her, she's a cute girl but not someone a megastar would probably single out, how can you eat human and not get sick and not harm a baby growing inside you, and I HATE how the head is shaped when she is supposed to be bald because no way her head is shaped that way (bad bald wig). Those points aside, it def stays with you and had a lot of creepy factors to it.
Old 10-04-19, 09:26 AM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

The Fan is a hidden gem. It reminds me alot of Miike's The Audition. A cautionary tale - Be careful who you jump into bed with!.
Old 10-04-19, 09:30 AM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by jacob_b
Are you telling me we all just watched child porn???? Or did they have a body double for her?
Germany may have a lower age of legality, but the actress was born in '65 and this was released in '82. Something from the Trivia section on imdb:

In her contract, popular German TV moderator Désirée Nosbusch agreed to shoot the nude scenes together with 'Bodo Staiger'. After stills from those scenes were published during the marketing campaign of the film, she tried to stop the release. After a long trial that caused a scandal in German press, she finally lost and the film was released in the original version by director Eckhart Schmidt. Schmidt and Nosbusch reconciled their struggle years after that and became friends again.
Old 10-04-19, 09:33 AM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I had a crazy-assed day today, and all I could think about was getting home to watch some horror. My stress level has been pretty high, and I just found out that we're likely to inherit another puppy from my in-laws. All I wanted was to escape into something mindless. Der Fan, was not that movie.

Seeing the day I was having, I was surprised I was able to focus on such a slow burn. I was really taken by her obsession and there was something REALLY unsettling about that. Then she broke out the electric turkey carver.... Growing up, we had that very knife, and I fear Thanksgiving will never be the same again.
My wife was working on her laptop in the living room and she ended up working for about 10 minutes total. The movie was very engrossing and I was completely in from the start. I had to take a break, as puppy #1 needed to go potty, and I found myself humming that electronic tune for both our amusement.

Someone mentioned the red case Mondo disk earlier in the thread. I have the blue, but I'm assuming the only difference is the case color. Is there an extra goody with the red?
Old 10-04-19, 09:40 AM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by numbercrunch
The Fan is a hidden gem. It reminds me alot of Miike's The Audition. A cautionary tale - Be careful who you jump into bed with!.
YES! Miike's father/protagonist is such a sympathetic and likeable character, who just stumbles into a very bad situation. I can't wait to see this one again.
Old 10-04-19, 09:57 AM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by WillieMLF
Someone mentioned the red case Mondo disk earlier in the thread. I have the blue, but I'm assuming the only difference is the case color. Is there an extra goody with the red?
Disc content is the same; Mondo Macabro started to include small booklet exclusives in their red case editions and I think Der Fan's red case has a small pamphlet about the Der Fan film or soundtrack.
Old 10-04-19, 03:13 PM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Der Fan is something I discovered a couple of years ago just because of my admiration for Mondo Macabro and it has quickly risen to be one of my favorite films. Desiree Nosbusch's performance is key to the film, and the portrayal of a naive teen who's obsessed with a pop-star feels very genuine. The first act of the film is my favorite, I love all of the shots of an angsty Simone wandering through town while synthpop plays. The letters she writes to R explaining how she can recognize his sadness and loneliness are heartbreaking, because she's actually talking about her own feelings and subconsciously projecting them onto a stranger.

I find it interesting how even after killing, dismembering, and eating a person, the audience is still sympathetic with Simone, and during this viewing I really tried to figure out why. I think a big part of the reason is that Simone is a young, attractive woman. I tried to think about how I would feel if the genders were reversed, and a man kills his celebrity crush probably wouldn't have garnered an ounce of sympathy from me. So funny how I feel for Simone, and wind up hating R for being a sleazy, self-absorbed musician who is eager to take advantage of naive women.

This time I tried to picture Simone as more of a villain than a victim. For the majority of the film we pity her, but there's one moment where she presses her face against a mirror that genuinely creeps me out. Did Simone react the way she did because of the extreme nature of R's manipulation, or was she always capable of murder, and R just happened to catch her attention? I always wondered why she shaves her head at the end of the movie and I think it has something to do with the mannequins in R's music video at the TV Station. In that scene we see R wearing a bald cap and weaving around a display of bald mannequins, making it difficult for the audience to tell if they're looking at a man or a mannequin. So is identity vs. image a theme of the film?

In Simone's letter she writes that she can tell how R is a very good person, but the audience knows better, and Simone eventually finds out the hard way. R didn't just take advantage of Simone, he toyed with her emotions. Even while having sex with her he keeps pulling away from her, causing her to follow him around the room. He tells a friend that he "always treats them mean, because it keeps them keen." Beyond sexual gratification, he seems to enjoy manipulating girls and breaking their hearts. R's public perception is one of a kind and talented musician, but he's actually a horrible human being.

Simone seems like a shy, vulnerable young woman, but is that the case? We actually see that she can take care of herself quite well, hitchhiking and living on the streets for a week as she travels to Munich. Almost every man she meets tries to engage her sexually but she shows little difficulty fending them off. R is the only person she seems vulnerable around, and that might be why she was so devastated when he leaves her. Simone seems to know that she can get her way by using her charms: when her father doesn't want to watch the music program, she doesn't argue with him, she slides closer to him and asks him about the movie he's enjoying with a smile. R and Simone both seem to have a public perception that isn't consistent with who they are. Nobody would suspect Simone did what she did because people perceive her to be a vulnerable young woman. I doubt any of the men who tried to seduce her in the film would have pulled their shtick if they knew what she was truly capable of.

So I think the film is asking the audience to think about how they perceive people and how that might be inconsistent with who they really are. Sometimes what we're actually seeing is the mannequin. We sympathize with Simone because she's a young, attractive woman. The film is using our perception against us, as we probably wouldn't root for a male character who behaves the way Simone does. Even with the extreme nature of the dismemberment, I doubt many viewers perceive R as a victim. The end might feel exploitative because both characters are nude for a long sequence, but I think it's important because it's the first time that both characters are truly exposed for who they are.

So is identity vs. self image important to how we interact with people in society? Or is it all moot as we'll all wind up as bone dust blowing in the wind?
Old 10-04-19, 05:08 PM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

That was one heavy duty electric knife -- mein Gott!
Old 10-04-19, 05:21 PM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge



Old 10-04-19, 05:26 PM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I think me confusing this with the 1996 The Fan (with Robert DeNiro and Wesley Snipes) is why I never got around to seeing it until now. Also, the general plot synopsis sounds very generic. Fortunately there was a lot more going on in this movie. Even if my initial impression wasn't "loved it" I'm finding it sitting around in my brain (and wanting to read other comments/reviews).

At one point, I was expecting an "it's all in her head" twist. The meeting of Simone and R seemed so fairy-tale at first and exactly the sort of thing that Simone was fantasizing about that I emotionally disconnected from the story a bit.

And yeah ... no one should worry that they're going to be busted for watching child pornography. With parental consent, movies have had nudity from younger girls than this. Even American movies (I would think Pretty Baby with a 12 year old Brooke Shields would be considered more scandalous).
Old 10-04-19, 06:20 PM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by DaveyJoe
Spoilered for length:
Spoiler:
...The letters she writes to R explaining how she can recognize his sadness and loneliness are heartbreaking, because she's actually talking about her own feelings and subconsciously projecting them onto a stranger.

I find it interesting how even after killing, dismembering, and eating a person, the audience is still sympathetic with Simone, and during this viewing I really tried to figure out why. I think a big part of the reason is that Simone is a young, attractive woman. I tried to think about how I would feel if the genders were reversed, and a man kills his celebrity crush probably wouldn't have garnered an ounce of sympathy from me. So funny how I feel for Simone, and wind up hating R for being a sleazy, self-absorbed musician who is eager to take advantage of naive women.

This time I tried to picture Simone as more of a villain than a victim. For the majority of the film we pity her, but there's one moment where she presses her face against a mirror that genuinely creeps me out. Did Simone react the way she did because of the extreme nature of R's manipulation, or was she always capable of murder, and R just happened to catch her attention? I always wondered why she shaves her head at the end of the movie and I think it has something to do with the mannequins in R's music video at the TV Station. In that scene we see R wearing a bald cap and weaving around a display of bald mannequins, making it difficult for the audience to tell if they're looking at a man or a mannequin. So is identity vs. image a theme of the film?

In Simone's letter she writes that she can tell how R is a very good person, but the audience knows better, and Simone eventually finds out the hard way. R didn't just take advantage of Simone, he toyed with her emotions. Even while having sex with her he keeps pulling away from her, causing her to follow him around the room. He tells a friend that he "always treats them mean, because it keeps them keen." Beyond sexual gratification, he seems to enjoy manipulating girls and breaking their hearts. R's public perception is one of a kind and talented musician, but he's actually a horrible human being.

Simone seems like a shy, vulnerable young woman, but is that the case? We actually see that she can take care of herself quite well, hitchhiking and living on the streets for a week as she travels to Munich. Almost every man she meets tries to engage her sexually but she shows little difficulty fending them off. R is the only person she seems vulnerable around, and that might be why she was so devastated when he leaves her. Simone seems to know that she can get her way by using her charms: when her father doesn't want to watch the music program, she doesn't argue with him, she slides closer to him and asks him about the movie he's enjoying with a smile. R and Simone both seem to have a public perception that isn't consistent with who they are. Nobody would suspect Simone did what she did because people perceive her to be a vulnerable young woman. I doubt any of the men who tried to seduce her in the film would have pulled their shtick if they knew what she was truly capable of.

So I think the film is asking the audience to think about how they perceive people and how that might be inconsistent with who they really are. Sometimes what we're actually seeing is the mannequin. We sympathize with Simone because she's a young, attractive woman. The film is using our perception against us, as we probably wouldn't root for a male character who behaves the way Simone does. Even with the extreme nature of the dismemberment, I doubt many viewers perceive R as a victim. The end might feel exploitative because both characters are nude for a long sequence, but I think it's important because it's the first time that both characters are truly exposed for who they are.


So is identity vs. self image important to how we interact with people in society? Or is it all moot as we'll all wind up as bone dust blowing in the wind?
I think you're right that the black and white extremes only thinking of seeing characters as good/bad or heroes/villains is part of the message with the film. That our pop culture heros are no more heroic than the average smuck and that as average smucks ourselves we do things that are pretty villanious (not literally cutting people up in most cases) - so we're all the same big pile of bone dust. Although if you consider the plot as metaphorical it makes more sense to me. Since Simone identifies so much with R they're really interchangeable at some point; she incorporates who R appears to be dismantling him into herself (literally).

If metaphorical she didn't literally eat anyone but she intellectually absorbed some characteristics she saw as most visible or identifiable. That might make sense of how far out the scenario of meeting and intermingling with a superstar is; when if it was all metaphor it perhaps all happened in her head within a few minutes of watching tv.
Simone goes through physical changes to emulate R - but it's weird because that's not really R that's just the latest music video bald cap fake version of R. That might again be stating the case of her identifying with an illusion more than the person (she could have bobbed her hair into some poofy short real life R version rather than going bobbed).
Old 10-05-19, 12:26 AM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by MysterioMan007
Germany may have a lower age of legality, but the actress was born in '65 and this was released in '82. Something from the Trivia section on imdb:
Germany might, but I still think if we watch it here in America, it's still illegal, no? It kind of freaks me out TBH.

Originally Posted by brainee
And yeah ... no one should worry that they're going to be busted for watching child pornography. With parental consent, movies have had nudity from younger girls than this. Even American movies (I would think Pretty Baby with a 12 year old Brooke Shields would be considered more scandalous).
WTF, seriously? That's so wrong and immoral because what right does a parent really have in deciding if their child can be shown nude for the world at such a young age? Yet Pee-Wee gets busted for older pictures? I don't get this system.

As for the movie, I'm still not sure if I feel sorry for Simone. Yes, R had some jerk like characteristics (typical of fame) but nothing too extreme. I'm thinking it has to do with maybe the language and difference between films as I just don't think Simone is anywhere justified for what she did.
Old 10-05-19, 08:56 AM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by jacob_b
Germany might, but I still think if we watch it here in America, it's still illegal, no? It kind of freaks me out TBH.
It's legal or they wouldn't sell any official DVDs from officially licensed companies. This wasn't a porn movie. As far as I know, just being nude doesn't constitute pornography. There's been other mainstream movies where there's been nudity from teenagers. Here's a whole list of about 200 of them, a list which includes American Beauty and The Godfather...

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls024371548/

Old 10-05-19, 01:36 PM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Chad, the first poster in the spoiler tag is for Cat People.
Old 10-05-19, 02:43 PM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by MysterioMan007
It's legal or they wouldn't sell any official DVDs from officially licensed companies. This wasn't a porn movie. As far as I know, just being nude doesn't constitute pornography. There's been other mainstream movies where there's been nudity from teenagers. Here's a whole list of about 200 of them, a list which includes American Beauty and The Godfather...

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls024371548/
Yet magazines like Playboy is considered porn and they cannot shot anyone under 18, correct? I just don't get the difference. Or, when that Olympic gymnastics girl had her nude pictures released, everyone had to take them down because she was under 18 and it was considered child porn even though they were topless pictures I believe.
Old 10-29-19, 09:31 PM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Is there a link to the German language version that others have used? Both of the links above lead to the English dub. I'm not finding any German option. I'd much rather watch the original language version, but if that's currently unavailable, I'll settle for the English dub.
Old 10-30-19, 03:57 AM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

All right, movie watched, and I will admit that as I was scrolling through and reading all these comments about how sympathetic the girl was, all I could think was that your sexual attraction to her was influencing your opinion of her. And then I read DaveyJoe was thinking in a similar fashion. From pretty much the beginning of the movie, I didn't find her all that sympathetic. I got the impression she was a spoiled entitled brat from the start, and she did nothing for that opinion to waiver. Maybe also a bit sad but not sympathetic. And certainly crazy, which became all too clear by the end of the movie. For those of you who are feeling such sympathy for her, how would you react if you met a girl, had sex with her that first day, and then she won't let you leave, even going so far as to physically grabbing you to stop you? And then she tops it all off by saying she loves you? After one day and one time having sex. I have a feeling some of you might make R look like a gentleman with the way he reacted. None of you who has sympathy for her has ever had a one-night stand where she was maybe into you but you were just looking for sex? Does that make you revolting and villainous? Is this film going to make you rethink casual sex? I get that he's a famous singer and that maybe he should take that into account, but he is still just human after all. I know the youth thing might be a sticking point for some, but I don't think she would be any different as an older woman. She got what she wanted, and I don't think any reaction from R outside the fairy tale in her head would have pleased her. The bottom line is she was psychotic not sympathetic. And I don't think I would feel much different if the roles were reversed.

Speaking of the end, after reading jacob_b's comments about possible language differences, I decided to watch the conversation before the killing back to back in both languages. I do think he's a bit more brusque in the English dub, but I didn't in any way see him as a villain. So he would pull away during sex ... big deal. Many couples deal with similar power dynamics. I didn't see that as a big thing, certainly not villainous. Besides, she was the one chasing him from the start. And their conversation before the killing? I didn't think he said or did anything way out of line. There would be a line here or there that was a little harsh, but what does she really expect? I know, she's nuts, so she expects for them to go off and never separate, but they've only known each other for like a day, right? He said when he left the studio that he needed to go on vacation. He was a bit of an ass to his friends so wanted to make amends (that was more explicit in the English version). In the English, I felt it was a little more sympathetic to R in this instance, making clear he wants to "mend fences" with his friends and needs them. In both, he makes it clear that he needs some time off and tells her she can come with him to talk to his friends, though in the English version it adds that he thinks she'd be bored. While both versions have R being a bit wishy-washy as far as calling while he's away, he also says this is the beginning and that he'll see her when he returns. He even offers her the apartment for as long as she wants! How villainous!

I get the Audition comparisons, but that movie produced a far more visceral reaction from me, probably because the guy was actually alive when that was occurring and the almost gleeful way she tortured him. It felt more clinical in this film, like a dissection with a liberal helping of craziness and a dash of Thanksgiving. I did like Der Fan, but as was stated, I'm not sure of the replay value. It was definitely well made and well acted, though.
Old 10-30-19, 04:17 AM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by jacob_b
Yet magazines like Playboy is considered porn and they cannot shot anyone under 18, correct? I just don't get the difference. Or, when that Olympic gymnastics girl had her nude pictures released, everyone had to take them down because she was under 18 and it was considered child porn even though they were topless pictures I believe.
I think it has more to do with intent. Models in Playboy are adults posing nude in a magazine that is meant to provide stimulation for guys to masturbate. That's specifically its purpose. This movie is meant to be seen as art. It's not trying to get you hard. It's not trying to get you to whack off. I realize it was a bit explicit, but were you actually aroused during the scene? I bet you weren't. And I bet that in cases of underage nudity in legitimate films, there is parental consent and likely even a parent on set. In the case of the gymnast, there was no consent. Her parents didn't give permission. The gymnast didn't give permission for those photos to be released, and they weren't leaked because the person leaking them was trying to put forward the idea of the artistic nude.
Old 10-31-19, 04:09 PM
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Re: "Der Fan" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Well this was timely. My favorite part of my free subscription to Variety, is the last page, a column called Final Cut where they interview someone partly about the first time they were mentioned in the magazine.

This week’s column was about Eckhart Schmidt and was focused mostly on Der Fan.

Funny exchange at the end, see pics:

Edit to add: Crap, upload filed. Anyway, here’s the exchange:

Interviewer: But “The Fan” is more like an Italian giallo film of the era.

Schmidt: It’s not a horror movie, as many think. It’s like all my films; it’s a love story.

Interviewer: [spoiler alert] With cannibalism.

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