(4.5) well this is one messed up bunny of a movie. what jumps at you from the very beginning is an almost expressionistic use of camera angles and over-stated choices of certain sounds. everything is taken off its axis, cold and distant fitting the main character perfectly. at certain points the perversity of it makes the viewer seem almost equally deranged but who gains his pleasure through voyeurism.
William Lustig's Maniac, John McNaughton's Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, and Angst, were three serial-killer horror films from the '80's that are truly avant-garde filmmaking in their unorthodox approach that shuns narrative for sheer nerve-wracking terror. Angst, however, is the most polished one of them all. Its transcendent camera work and stellar use of musical score is pure arthouse. Grand acting, too.
This is some mainline sleaze. Whole thing hinges on this wild pas de deux between the DOP and the lead actor, the amazing (and totally knotted-up) Erwin Leder. This is not about schizophrenia or psychosis, but rather the vertigo of a kind of standing-on-the-precipice-then-falling. Erwin is tumbling maniacally into fragmented, tormented action. A hell of a thing to behold. The apex is a total amoral delight. Oof.
Contends with Body Love for the title of best Klaus Schulze soundtrack, but this one, aptly, dials back that film's sequential sensuality in favor of trembling, twitching treble and heaving gobs of vomitous, minor-key synth. The film itself is deeply, if narrowly, disturbing, not least for also being hilarious. Kargl borrows liberally (if, again, narrowly) from Kubrick's Clockwork, but his relentlessness is his own.