Angst (1983)



AKA: Fear, Schizophrenia
Year: 1983
Directed by: Gerald Kargl
Starring: Erwin Leder (Man)
Country: Austria, European Cinema
Language: German (English subtitles)
Runtime: 01:26:45
Genres: Based on a True Story, Serial Killers, Sexual-Violence against Women, Necrophilia

Plot – Spoilers:
Angst is one of those movies you look at the year it was made in, 1983, and take in a sharp breath because apart from the obvious things – the clothes, hairstyles, cars and tone of the film – everything about it seems so current and hip. Unfortunately for us, Director Gerald Kargl didn’t make another film after this.

It begins with a man holding a gun walking down a street with purpose in his face but not in his legs as he tries to enter several homes before eventually finding an open gate. He shoots the old lady who answers the door and is subsequently arrested. Through a series of vintage photos we discover a childhood of abuse and trauma and pick up a little later when he’s released from prison.

Earlier, when asked his motives for murdering the old woman, he replied, “I only had this feeling, that something needs to happen.” This brilliantly eerie single line encapsulates the acts that follow his release.

Angst was based on Austrian serial killer Werner Kniesek whose versions of the killings were more drawn out and elaborate.

This is a movie riddled with fascinating shots and camera trickery but is also memorable for Erwin Leder’s performance – him crawling while clutching on to the girl rather than dragging her is one that stood out for me.

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