It was the film that shocked and delighted audiences the world over. It was seized by US Customs, restricted to screenings in private clubs in London and Paris and terrified the Mary Whitehouse establishment. Welcome to the aftermath of Frank Ripploh – school teacher, film director, and insatiable sex addict!
Taxi zum Klo lifts the lid on the life of a constant cruiser – Frank even corrects homework in public toilets as he waits to score. One evening, he meets sweet natured Bernd, but while they are similar, the need to sleep around applies only to Frank. For how long will Bernd and Frank tolerate each other’s habits, and for how long can Frank keep his sexual orientation out of the classroom? –Peccadillo Pictures
Ripploh made quite a splash in both the waning days of “New German Cinema” and the international art-house scene with his debut feature, Taxi zum Klo (1980), but his career in features has not sustained itself. An extremely low-budget affair made, atypically for a German film at that time, without state support, Taxi was written and directed by the bold and enterprising neophyte. The long-faced, bearded and hawk-nosed Ripploh also engagingly played the leading role of Frank, a schoolteacher torn between his love of promiscuity, drag, public sex and the S&M leather scene on one hand and his romance with a monogamous theater manager on the other. Emerging at a time when gay-themed features were briefly making inroads in the USA and elsewhere, Taxi was unusually free of the sugar coating that marred most of the other, more tentative films. Both it and its leading character were remarkably frank and even explicit, and yet the film managed to charm critics… read more
An exceptional film, reminiscent of Paul Morrissey’s Trash and, more obscurer, the British film Nighthawks, about a series of vignettes that takes place for the character Frank, the autobiographic nature of the film for the director an honest view on his life and relationships that has no issue poking fun or thought at himself and his moments of questionable actions. The sexual explicitness is also refreshing, regardless of your own sexuality. That this is the only film that will not have its scene of water sports removed by the British Board of Film Classificators is something to absorb for how transgressive the scene is, and how innocent it is as well, raising an eyebrow about why this sort of sexual activity, when done in a safe, trusting environment, is chastised as it is in the first place.
Like the perfect Woody Allen movie, only with water-sports and a graphic (medical) anal exam.