There are horror movies. You know, hide your eyes scary movies. Films with slashers. Films with hideous creatures that give you nightmares. Oh, and don’t forget those spooky films that deliver atmosphere; chills. We all love a good a scare from time to time!
And then there are films like German writer/director David Wnendt’s Combat Girls. A truly terrifying film to watch … it’s the kind of film that sends shivers down your spine. A bit of cinema that attacks your senses and rubs your emotions raw — it’s Romper Stomper, A Clockwork Orange and more.
Artsploitation Films has tabbed July 9 as the DVD debut date for this German-language import (with English subtitles) that is absolutely guaranteed to creep you out.
Since 2011 Combat Girls has been working the European film festival circuit and scored wins for Best Picture, Best Actress or Best Director at nearly every stop along the way. With those wins came a ton of rave reviews ... and buzz, lots of buzz.
So why is Combat Girls a scary film? What Wnendt delivers rings incredibly true and therein frames the terror; the horror comes in asking how can this be?
Alina Levshin (in a breakout performance) plays Marisa, a wannabe Neo-Nazi, living in what used to be East Germany, but now a united Germany. She’d be an attractive young woman (maybe 20; a little older perhaps), but the tattoos, hair and clothing choices, coupled with her rudely violent social behavior makes her anything but. She is the kind of person that you despise on sight; eye contact is avoided.
Levshin, an unknown talent in the domestic arena, but Best Actress wins at the German Film Awards, German Film Critics Association Awards, Munich Film Festival and the São Paulo International Film Festival (among others) will not keep her below the radar for long. No one knew of Franka Potente around here before Run Lola Run … Combat Girls is that kind of movie; one that launches a career.
She gives an incredible performance as a young woman who lives and breathes a culture of hate and violence.
But strangely, as the film progresses, Wnendt deals us some cards that cast her and her life choices in a slightly different light. Not black and white, but filled with shades of gray. How she got to where she is at is slowly revealed and we — as the audience — actually hope that she finds her way out of the dark place that she is in.
An unlikely newcomer arrives — a catalyst that ultimately drives the film to its “inevitable” conclusion — in the form of a young teen named Svenja (Jella Haase). She’s smart, comes from a reasonably well-off family environment and is right near the top of her class at school.
She’s a child, just barely past puberty, who suddenly finds herself as much an outcast as those who run with Sandro and Alina — they are today’s “droogs,” no different from Alex and his mates from four decades earlier.
With the young girl now taken in by Alina, changes in the dynamics of the group are set in motion that can only lead — in their tightly-wound world of anger, violence and hatred — to tragedy. Combat Girls is not for the faint of heart … a horror tale to be sure.
To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report