AKA: Die Zärtlichkeit der Wölfe
Directed by: Ulli Lommel
Starring: Kurt Raab (Fritz Haarmann), Jeff Roden (Hans Grans), Margit Carstensen (Lindner), Brigitte Mira (Luise), Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Wittowski)
Country: (West) Germany; Effed Up European Cinema
Language: German; Effed Up German Films
Genres: Based on a True Story, Serial Killer, Gay-CrossDressing, Old-Young, Sexual-Violence against Men, Cannibalism
Plot – Spoilers:
Based on the German serial killer, The Vampire of Hanover, Fritz Haarmann.
Fritz Haarmann has a special thing for young men and boys. In post WW-1 Germany, finding desperate boys isn’t too hard and Fritz has a supply of young flesh that he brings back home to ravage and later butcher. As a black-marketeer specializing in meat, getting rid of their bodies is easy and his friends and social circle often enjoy his tasty dinner parties. Fritz is a man of limited means often resorting to petty theft and the sale of his victims’ belongings to live day to day. A lot of the money he is able to arrange goes into funding the company of a younger pimp he is in love with. It also helps that in war-strapped Germany the police enlist his help to rat out other petty criminals and so Fritz has friends and access to information to help him get away with his crimes for a while.
The narrative in Tenderness Of The Wolves is stilted at times, but is overall a satisfyingly gritty ’70s German flick with some of producer Fassbinder’s style flowing through it.