HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Birth of the Dragon
Revenge of the Pink Panther
Thelma
Stratton
February
Taking of Beverly Hills, The
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  Flashback Sickle HumourBuy this film here.
Year: 2000
Director: Michael Karen
Stars: Valerie Neihaus, Xaver Hutter, Alexandra Nedel, Simone Hanselman, Erich Schleyer, Katya Woywood, Fabian Zapatka, Christian Näthe, Michael Greiling, Nicola Etzelstorfer, Allegra Curtis, Elke Sommer, Detlev Buck, Marina Mehlinger, Sebastian Deyle
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ten years ago, a couple were in a railway carriage travelling through Germany when things started growing amorous, or they did until the train entered a tunnel and a transvestite serial killer slaughtered them with a sickle. The family of little Jeanette heard about this on the radio, but thought they were safe enough in their country cottage, laughing and joking as it neared the girl's bedtime, unaware they were being watched by a lurking psychopath. Sure enough, he got in through an unlocked window and when Jeanette heard some commotion, she ran to her parents' bedroom and was witness to them being murdered - then the killer ran after her, she tried to open the front door and escape, but he caught up, sickle in hand, and...

From that arresting prologue, we are privy to the now-grown Jeanette's psychiatric sessions as she has spent the intervening years in a mental hospital, attempting to get over her trauma with professional help. Now it would seem she (played by Valerie Neihaus) is ready to re-enter the big, bad world, and her doctor (Erich Schleyer) endorses this with a few misgivings he is not ready to share with the woman herself, hoping for the best. Naturally, if you’ve ever seen, or even heard about, a movie that kicks off the way this one does, you can tell well in advance it's simply a matter of time before the violence will begin again, and sure enough there are strong hints that killer in the floral pattern summer dress is stalking her.

Flashback, or Flashback - Mörderische Ferien to give this its German title (meaning Murderous Holidays), was one of those slashers that broke like a wave over turn of the millennium cinema after Scream was the huge success, not only in north America but all over the globe. Some of these imitators were more inventive than others, and not all were from the United States: Belgium had Haute Tension, Britain had Tormented, and so on, but this was the main German offering (a few would put Anatomie in that bracket too, but this was more the real deal). Created mostly by the talent from nation’s television shows making a rare excursion to the big screen, it was not exactly an advancement for popular Germanic cinema in the same way Wes Craven's movie had been for America.

But then, did it really need to be? If anything, it made crafting a fairly basic slasher look easy, deceptively so considering not many at the time or since had the same basic sense of flair that director Michael Karen and his cast worked up for what was a pretty silly experience. It had a more interesting background than many of its peers, having been drawn from a script by Hammer stalwart Jimmy Sangster and polished up by Natalie Scharf for a contemporary European audience, which could be why the structure was stronger than its rivals, starting with a bang and then winding down to establish the premise, then giving us the measure of our obvious final girl Jeanette who has turned out to be a polite but nervous young lady. She gets a job as a French tutor for a group of students at a rural house, and then starts to worry.

Did she really see the man in the dress wielding that sickle standing in the middle of the road that night, or is her fraught with unease mind playing tricks? The answer to that was to treat the time honoured final girl in a manner that came across as a natural progression for a genre that even with the revitalisation was getting a little tired already, and though it was not unique to this, the trappings were so traditional it was possible it would play better for the more conservative fan who didn't like any of the nuttiness of Haute Tension and its approach to the twist. Flashback had a sense of humour in addition, which was quite funny if you had a strong tolerance for pitch black comedy that often featured gory special effects, with running jokes including appalling treatment of pets and a corpse that was apparently never found, and is still listening to his favourite song on a loop on his car stereo. Plus it had the best death by swimming pool scene since The Legacy. Overall, it wasn't going to reinvent the wheel, but if you appreciated a half-decent slasher, this fit the bill. Music by Siggi Mueller.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 309 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
The Elix
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
   

 

Last Updated: