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215 Ratings

Tenderness of the Wolves

Die Zärtlichkeit der Wölfe

Directed by Ulli Lommel
West Germany, 1973
Horror, Thriller, Cult
  • German
  • English


The story of a serial killer who murders young boys so he can serve them as dinner to his circle of fellow cannibals.

Our take

Frequent Rainer Werner Fassbinder collaborator Ulli Lommel directed this stylish portrait of a serial killer. Replete with the several talents from Fassbinder’s cabinet of actors (including Rainer himself!), this unfairly forgotten film is an incisive look into a warped mind in a troubled society.

Tenderness of the Wolves Directed by Ulli Lommel

Critics reviews

Lommel withholds details of background or psychology that might serve to humanize Haarmann, and while this makes for a starker portrait, its integrity derives from its remorselessness (no “I can’t help with I do!” outcries here). Arrow’s impressive new Blu-ray makes palpable the Fassbinderian squalor of a society overrun with wolves, their tenderness making them all the easier to cannibalize.
November 04, 2015
If Tenderness of the Wolves works on a reflexive register, it’s due to Raab’s performance, which consistently displays his own homosexuality in a fashion that blurs lines between fiction and documentary, albeit a bit coarsely, since Lommel often trains his camera on Haarmann’s sexual encounters to milk their exploitative potential.
November 04, 2015
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