Du dumme Sau! retires

For obvious reasons but if it needs spelling out, due to the recent allegations against Klaus Kinski, this website is no longer active.  The earlier posts, all posted prior to this news, will remain here but I’m afraid I now feel unable to continue.  Feel free to send your comments but they will not be approved or responded to – like everyone else I was shocked by this news and I’m not here to defend anyone’s behaviour (and I would not want to) but nor can I be held responsible for it.

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Klaus Kinski negatives

Klaus Kinski negatives?!  No, this is not a long list of Klaus Kinski’s faults, it’s me giving you all a wonderful New Year’s gift.  Before Christmas, and I mean just before Christmas, I foolishly decided to spend some money on myself when I could least afford it.  But some things you can’t afford to miss, can you?


I bought myself 4 negative strips, jam packed with photographs of Klaus Kinski taken on 16 October 1979.  I don’t know what it was all in aid of – although Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (dir Werner Herzog) was released in the USA on 5 October 1979, so there could be a tie-in there, I suppose.  If anybody has any information about who took the photographs and what they were for, I’d really appreciate it.  Also, I’m not sure who our guest star is here (see below, second photo from the left), but hallo, whoever you are! [It’s film critic and screenwriter Roger Ebert – thanks to Will and Markus for letting me know]

kinski_negs004_smlkinski_negs003_smlkinski_negs002_smlkinski_negs001_smlIt’s a shame about the hole punch marks in the out of focus shots, but at least there are some really lovely photos here, along with the odd ones – third photo in on the second strip down, Klaus pulling a sex face, was there a woman in the room?!

Thanks to Dave for scanning the negatives for me super-quick so I could post them up tonight – I’ll upload some larger better quality scans of some more of the photos soon.  In the meantime, I hope you all enjoy these new (to me at least) photos of the wonderful Mr Kinski.

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Markus and Markus take on Klaus Kinski and his collection of life spirits

One of the great things about doing this website – despite the fact that it has made an obsession out of my interest in Klaus Kinski! – is that it has brought me into contact with a lot of really great people all over the world.  My god, I got to interview Margaret Lee, for one thing!

But aside from the opportunity to do interviews with Kinski co-stars and colleagues, I’ve made contact with some lovely fellow film buffs and Kinski fans.  One Du dumme Sau! friend is Markus and I’m really pleased that, with his friend (also called Markus), he’s started up a video blog, which is available to view on YouTube.

Markus and Markus call their posts, From Austria For The World, and describe themselves as: “Two Austrians walking through Vienna and talking about stuff.”  So far they have reviewed Prometheus and Howard the Duck (!) but their latest addition is Creature (with Klaus Kinski) which you have to see for several reasons:

  • It’s about a great (by which I mean mainly bad but good) Klaus Kinski film
  • It’s filmed outside Werner Herzog’s office
  • There’s a brief discussion about the “brand” of Klaus Kinski – you know, how to sell films on the basis that KK was in the general vicinity when a film was made and agreed to have his name on the poster in big letters
  • You need to see if Markus has lost his eye to a serious eye infection by the end of the review due to heavy rainfall!
  • And, finally, you have to see Markus’ impersonation of Klaus Kinski!!!

The From Austria For The World reviews are really great fun so I hope you all check them out and subscribe.

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Kinski biographer Christian David publishes a new book


Here’s something for those of you who have read and enjoyed Christian David’s fabulous KK biography, Kinski die Biographie, and the Du dumme Sau! interviews with the author (parts one and two are here in case you have not already seen them).  Christian David’s new book, a novel entitled Mädchenauge, will be published on 28 January 2013 by Deuticke Verlag.

Christian has sent a few words to Du dumme Sau! about his book:

“It’s a thriller set in Vienna. Young women are found dead in their apartments, brutally stabbed by a mysterious serial killer who strikes every second Saturday night. A young female prosecutor gets the unexpected chance to hunt down a mysterious serial killer. She has to cooperate with the cynical, arrogant head of the homicide unit. There seems to be no reasonable motive behind the killings, there are no reliable witnesses, and the search for useful traces leads to nowhere. The case turns out much more complex than originally thought, and it also involves political intrigues, overambitious journalists, and shadowy whistleblowers. Lily Horn, the prosecutor, soon finds herself confronted with the biggest challenge of her life, but she turns out tougher than everyone else had believed…

It was really great fun – but also hard work – writing it, and being a big admirer of the Italian Giallo, I’ve also wanted to create a little homage to this wonderful genre, aside from the usual thriller and crime fiction elements. But this information is just for the Giallo aficionados. One doesn’t need to know anything about the Giallo in order to enjoy the book.”

As it turns out, Du dumme Sau! is also a big fan of Giallo films – the book sounds excellent and DdS wishes Christian David great success with this new project.  You can find out more and buy the book on the publisher’s site, here:


You can also “like” the book on Facebook here or follow Christian David on Twitter here.   What are you waiting for?!

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Klaus Kinski gets that sinking feeling

That Man in Istanbul aka Estambul 65; L’Homme d’Istanbul; Unser Mann aus Istanbul (dir Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi, 1966)

Estambul 65 Credits 1

Basic plot:  Atomic scientist Professor Pendergast has been kidnapped.  The US government have handed over a $1M ransom for his release but the helicopter on which Pendergast and two top agents were travelling explodes on its way back to the US.  The post-mortem reveals that the “hostage” handed back to the US was a double and not actually Pendergast at all.  With Chinese agents also on the hunt for Pendergast, and a gang of crooks holding him on behalf of their bosses who want him to help them build an atomic laboratory on their island in order to become the biggest world power, the pressure is on for the US government to find Pendergast and his kidnappers.  Can FBI agent Miss Kenny handle this case with some help from a charming crook called Tony Mecenas?

Cast: Dr Schenk – Klaus Kinski; Tony Mecenas – Horst Buchholz; Kenny – Sylva Koscina; Bill – Mario Adorf; Elisabeth Furst – Perrette Pradier; Bogo – Álvaro de Luna; Brain – Gustavo Re; Gunther – Agustín González; Professor Pendergast – Umberto Raho.

Filming locations:  Istanbul; Barcelona; Garraf; and Costa Brava.

Release date:  9 May 1966 (UK)

Availability:  At the moment this film only seems to be available officially on a Spanish language DVD with no subtitles in other languages.  I got my copy via ZDD – it runs at 111 minutes, although IMDB indicates that the German release was 114 minutes and the US and UK versions were both 117 minutes.  Not sure what has been cut from the copy I have but hopefully the film will have an official full-length release at some point…

istanbulThe film – *SPOILER ALERT*:
Anyone who reads Du dumme Sau! regularly knows that I’m no fan of action movies, but I really enjoyed this action / spy film, which is very much along the lines of a cut-price James Bond film.

The film starts with a hostage handover, complete with the usual gang of criminals barely disguised by the nylon stockings stretched over their faces:

Estambul 65 1An atomic scientist, Professor Pendergast, has been kidnapped and his captors have agreed to hand him over in return for a $1M ransom from the US government.  Two top agents have been flown in to do the handover but in an attempt to track down the kidnappers after the handover one of the agents surreptitiously takes photographs of the gang members with his tie-pin camera. Estambul 65 2Estambul 65 3 Meantime the mysterious Dr Schenk reports that the operation has been completed – but the next phase takes place just moments later, when the helicopter on which the two agents and Pendergast are boarded explodes killing all passengers.Estambul 65 4Estambul 65 5 Estambul 65 6 Estambul 65 7 Estambul 65 8 A post-mortem of the passengers’ remains reveals that the man handed over as Professor Pendergast was in fact a double; the US government have handed over $1M for nothing – they don’t have Pendergast back, they have lost two top agents and what’s more the tie-pin camera has disappeared when the passengers’ belongings were returned to the government so they don’t even have any leads on those involved in the crime.

The FBI believe that the Chinese government might have an interest in Pendergast but due to the delicate nature of the US’ relationship with China any investigations have to be conducted through diplomatic channels.  But Miss Kenny, a rather attractive FBI agent (played by Sylva Koscina), wants to go over to Istanbul where the handover took place as she believes that a character called Tony Mecenas (Horst Buchholz) may have been on the scene at the time and he has previous convictions for collecting a ransom and handing over a double.  Kenny requests two weeks’ “leave” for a “vacation”, promising that she will not interfere with diplomatic channels.  Her request is denied but Kenny heads off to Istanbul anyway.Estambul 65 9Estambul 65 10Tony is a kind of playboy-criminal – the repetition of the line “Ciao, Tony!” every time a pretty girl appears on screen is used to indicate that Tony is a bit of a player – who spends his time dodging police enquiries at his club The Four Aces, where he runs an illegal casino.  When one of his henchmen is looking for a 4-letter solution to a crossword clue of “trouble”, Tony offers up the answer: cops.  But Tony is also a 4-letter word and agent Kenny knows that he has been involved in gambling houses, forgery, smuggling, extortion and theft – he’s definitely trouble but is Tony behind the Pendergast kidnapping?  It doesn’t take Kenny long to track down Tony to his club where she hopes to investigate the case on the sly.Estambul 65 11Estambul 65 12Estambul 65 13 Kenny goes to see Tony and tells him that she lost all of her money on his roulette tables and needs a job to make some money.  Tony offers Kenny work but he is no fool and he asks one of his henchmen, Brain, to do a bit of digging around to find out about Kenny and what she is doing sniffing around.

Tony arranges to meet Kenny the next day to discuss work but instead of the anticipated meeting, Tony arrives at the location Kenny is checking out for evidence.  His arrival is in the nick of time as Kenny is being pursued and attacked by a Chinese man.  Kenny says she can take care of herself but it’s clear that Tony knows something is afoot so she has to tell him that she is there investigating him and his involvement in the Pendergast case.  Somehow this doesn’t seem to prevent Tony from kissing Kenny, or vice versa.

But although Tony claims he’s not involved in the Pendergast kidnapping, his interest is piqued by the mention of the $1M ransom paid out.  This said, the viewer is not supposed to think too badly of Tony because he tells his sob story about his father being killed for something he did not do and how consequently he was forced out onto the streets himself and was later deported from the US for something he did not do either.  Whether you believe that little story or not is another matter but it’s just been put out there as a kind of “heartbreak forced him into a life of crime” kind of sub-plot.

Kenny steals Tony’s apartment keys and lets herself in, using her sex appeal to make Tony change his mind about offering her some assistance with getting Pendergast back.  Whatever she does must be pretty good as somehow Tony seems to have come around to her way of thinking – the next thing you know he is off investigating the Chinese agents and this is where all the action begins.

Estambul 65 15 Estambul 65 16 Estambul 65 17 Estambul 65 18 Estambul 65 19 Tony is fighting people off left, right and centre, cracking safes, leaping out of windows, dodging bullets and escaping through underground tunnels – all to get the tie-pin camera for Kenny.  With a “Ciao, Tony!” moment along the way for added humour, and his explanation for taking his time, “Sorry, ran into some people”, Horst Buchholz makes a very entertaining anti-hero for the story.

The snaps from the tie-pin camera don’t offer much help until Brain notices that one of the crooks has a steel hand.  He can’t quite recall who it is, but Brain knows a woman who will – Josette, a dancer.  Tony and Brain go calling on Josette and she spills the beans; the man with the steel hand who they are looking for is called Hansi (is that irony or what?) and he lives in a boat on the waterfront.Estambul 65 20Tony goes straight over to see Hansi, but Hansi is not exactly welcoming to visitors so Tony is turned away from the houseboat.  Moments later Hansi leaves the premises and by ear-piece he tells a fellow gang member, Gunther, that he suspects he is being followed.  They arrange for the gang to meet at the mosque to stop Tony from pursuing them any further.

The mosque tower is where the second real piece of action takes place – Hansi tries to shoot Tony and they fight at the top of the tower, Hansi revealing his steel hand flick-knife attachment (curiously enough, a few years later in Enter the Dragon Bruce Lee also battled a villain called Han who sported a steel hand knife attachment):Estambul 65 21Estambul 65 22 Estambul 65 23The fight continues and Hansi eventually manages to throw Tony off the tower.  He imagines it’s all over but Tony grabs onto a wire and is looking for a way down to safety when the wire breaks and he has to hastily shimmy down onto a lower floor.  Let’s not even trouble ourselves with the fact that this is impossible, it would just detract from the enjoyment of the film.  So, Tony is on a lower floor – he doesn’t make his escape though, he heads straight back up the tower to finish off what he started with Hansi, beating him to a pulp and asking him where the money is.  Why bother asking about Pendergast when there’s $1M involved, eh?Estambul 65 24Then, to stop Hansi from talking, a gang member called Bill shoots him.  Knowing that Tony will be listening in from Hansi’s ear-piece Bill makes arrangements for the gang to meet in half an hour.  Taking the bait, Tony drives over to the rendez-vous where Gunther tries to force his car off the road.  He would appear to have succeeded in this as there is an almighty crash as the car smashes against the cliff and bursts into flames.  But is that the end of Tony?  No.  The Chinese agents watch from their vantage point and wait long enough to see Tony clambering onto the back of Gunther’s truck, then they follow in the hope that Tony will lead them to Pendergast.Estambul 65 25Estambul 65 26 Gunther and the gang sit around at their headquarters listening to and talking to a pair of spectacles – yes, I know, it sounds odd but it’s one of those special devices they always have in these action / spy films.  The spectacles inform them that they need to wait for the arrival of Dr Schenk who will give them the final instructions – so we will see KK again!  (Don’t hold your breath though because the film is about 85 minutes in before KK turns up again…)Estambul 65 27Meantime Tony is sneaking around outside in the warehouse and unbeknownst to him he has set off a sensor that raises the intruder alarm, with the alarm signalling the gang turn on yet another device – a table-top CCTV camera:Estambul 65 28 Estambul 65 29The gang, seeing Tony on the CCTV camera, inform Gunther that he has made an “unforgiveable error” in assuming that Tony had not survived the car crash.  But Tony’s not the only one invading their quarters – the Chinese gang are skulking around too and they also set off the alarms.  At this the spectacles inform the gang that they need to get the Professor off the premises.

Tony spots the Chinese agents and looks on as a big fight ensues between them and the kidnappers, letting them duke it out amongst themselves so he can escape unnoticed.  But as he sits, cool as a cucumber, sucking on a sour ball, he hears a moaning noise and goes to investigate – it’s a woman, an attractive one at that, bound and handcuffed.  Of course Tony has to be the hero and rescue her…

Estambul 65 30 Estambul 65 31The woman claims her name is Elisabeth Furst and that she was kidnapped from her father’s yacht by the gang – she lets slip that there was “an old man” with the gang and that they were preoccupied with him.

Meantime, the gang are gunning for Gunther but he knows this and he decides to call Tony, asking for a meeting with him – he wants his help to get out of the country and away from the gang, in return he will give him information on Pendergast’s whereabouts.  Elisabeth listens in as Tony makes arrangements to meet Gunther at 10pm – she does not look like she should be trusted, but she claims that Gunther and Hansi were engaged by her father to work on the yacht.  Tony appears to believe her story and entrusts Bogo to take her back to her hotel.

Kenny, now dubbed “Babyfat” by Tony for no apparent reason, wants to go with Tony when he meets with Gunther but to thwart her plans of participation Tony locks her in his wardrobe (with some sour balls – in case she feels the need, you know…) and then makes a dash for it.  When Tony arrives at the designated meeting point, Gunther shines his flashlight to indicate where he is concealed, but unfortunately his fellow gang members are there to pay him back for his unforgiveable error.  Bill shoots Gunther and Tony sees him fall to his death.Estambul 65 32Suddenly several cars are racing towards Tony from all angles – Tony looks to be a goner, yet again, but he handles the situation by shooting at the car headlights to cause multiple head-on car crashes.  In one of the many comments addressed directly, and rather cheekily, to the viewer / camera, Tony says “What?  Me worry?” as he moves out of the way of a car just in time.Estambul 65 33 Estambul 65 34Tony sneaks off with Gunther’s wallet, dodging bullets as he goes, heading directly for an excavator which he drives straight at the gang, lifting up one of the cars with the scoop to throw it onto the other cars – then he drives off into the night doing up his tie.

The next day Tony is relaxing by the pool with Elisabeth Furst, asking her about her kidnappers.  But Elisabeth seems keener on finding out whether Tony is doing the bump with Kenny; if you trusted her you’d think she was jealous when she says of Kenny: “She’s not fat – and she’s no baby.”  But Elisabeth is not to be trusted.

Tony spots the Chinese gang but he doesn’t seem to have spotted the guy in the swimming pool who is spying on him and Elisabeth.  The man shoots at Tony and Elisabeth and misses his target, instead hitting the glass in Elisabeth’s hand (spot the mannequin hand!):Estambul 65 35 Estambul 65 36 Estambul 65 37 Estambul 65 38 Estambul 65 39Tony dives into the pool to take on his assailant but he seems to be at a disadvantage as the guy has a gun, a knife and breathing apparatus at his disposal – despite all of this he seems to be trying to escape Tony via a vent in the side of the pool.  Tony doesn’t let him though and they have an extended underwater fight, which is really quite spectacular.

A crowd gathers around the pool, including at least a couple of policemen, who look on as Tony grapples with his attacker and eventually manages to force the guy’s knife into his own back.  As Tony begins to surface he sees the policemen and heads straight back underwater, taking the breathing apparatus with him as he heads off out of the vent, coming up just a matter of a few feet away in a smaller water feature on the premises.  He tries to make off undetected but he is spotted and has to leg it away from the hotel.Estambul 65 40 Estambul 65 41Tony jumps onto an external lift, loaded with dining chairs, and sits atop a chair as the lift rises – “Ciao, Tony!”, calls out another of Tony’s female friends as she sees him pass her window.  Clearly it’s not at all surprising to see Tony scaling the side of the high-rise building in such a way.  What is surprising though is that Tony does not stop Elisabeth Furst when she kisses him upon his arrival at her hotel room.  I am very disappointed with Tony, but probably not as disappointed as Babyfat who looks like she is chewing on a wasp when she next sees him.Estambul 65 42 Estambul 65 43 Estambul 65 44Maybe it’s Babyfat who suggests he should dress as a woman when they go to the Venus Baths, just to get him back, but this just provides another of the film’s comedy moments when, this time, a man calls out, “Ciao, Tony!”, wetting himself laughing at the sight of Tony dressed rather badly in a dress and a lady-hat.  Not at all convincing, Tony!Estambul 65 45As Tony enters the female baths, where he can access the back of the kidnappers’ quarters, he fails to notice that Babyfat has already been grabbed by the kidnappers.  He finds himself back in the warehouse where the kidnappers were previously holding Pendergast.  This time Tony opens up some of the crates being stored in the warehouse and he discovers huge gas canisters and atomic plant explosives (rather helpfully marked up as “atomic plant explosives” so we will all know what they are).Estambul 65 46The next thing you know Tony has a knife held to his back and he is being offered $100,000 to leave Istanbul – now Tony turns this down as a “lousy 10%” of the ransom fee but me, I’m thinking that a gang of kidnappers is hardly likely to be offering 10% of their money just to pay someone to go away.  But when they say that they’ll throw in Miss Kenny, alive, Tony starts to consider the offer saying, “You seem to have a point” (ha ha, they are holding a knife in his ribs, do you see what he did there, etc, etc?!).

But Tony doesn’t want the lousy 10% after all – he turns on a steam tap, aimed at his attackers, and then escapes back into the Turkish baths.  Ever the gentleman (ahem!), Tony tells the women in the baths to protect themselves and, losing his robe, steals a towel from a woman to cover himself up.  In order to comedy up his fight with the kidnappers Tony goes around tweaking noses and karate chopping his attackers into the pool.  In his haste he is just about to karate chop a woman when she Ciao, Tonies him.  Ha ha!

Tony says ciao to one and all as he makes his escape, fooling the police at the entrance by saying, “Quick! Cover the exits, there’s a woman in there!”, and then getting a lift from a posh old lady by telling her that some men are trying to kill him – seeing Tony is dressed in just a towel, the old lady says to her driver, “Edward! Drive on!”  But her thrills are cut short when Tony jumps out of the car and makes a run for it.

You would think that even Tony would find it difficult to escape dressed in only a towel but he manages to trade his watch for some clothes from some chap in the WCs.  It’s not long before he’s being pursued again though by both the kidnappers and the police.  Somehow he manages to brush them all off and gets Brain on the telephone.  Brain tells him that Bogo called from the Hilton (where Elisabeth Furst is staying) to tell him something about Kenny and a yacht but that they got cut off and he hasn’t been able to contact Bogo since.

Tony decides to head over to the Hilton and on the way he bumps into a stranger:Estambul 65 47Schenk, for it is he, (Yes! Klausy is back!) tells his colleagues that “everything went according to plan.”

When Tony arrives at the Hilton he finds Elisabeth’s room is empty, bar a few packed cases.  One of the cases is labelled up with the name SCHENK.Estambul 65 48Suspicious, Tony calls the desk and asks when Elisabeth checked out – they confirm she left over an hour ago, with “some gentlemen”.  Then Tony notices that water is spilling through from the bathroom to the bedroom.  He is just investigating when he sees Schenk reflected in the mirror behind him.Estambul 65 49Schenk tells Tony to turn around – “I am considered a good shot by those I’ve killed,” he says.  I’ve got to say, Klaus is not only looking good, but he also gets all the best lines in this film too.Estambul 65 50In a bit of a tight spot Tony clutches at straws and pretends that he is part of the kidnappers’ gang and when he thinks Schenk is distracted he makes to grab for a vase but Schenk is on to him and shoots the vase before Tony can pick it up.  Schenk tells him that there is a man in Istanbul whose antics are becoming a nuisance to them.  Tony agrees with him, yes, this Tony Mecenas guy is becoming a nuisance – but he’s not Tony Mecenas: “I’m Bill, you know, just plain Bill.”  In one of the best lines from the film, Schenk replies: “You smile too much, Just Plain Bill.”

Playing along with Tony’s game Schenk tells him that the orders had been to report to the yacht and asks why he did not obey.  Typical Tony, he says he was running late because he was just popping in to say ’bye to a girl.  That’s totally believable, of course, but what’s not believable is that he is part of Schenk’s gang.  To take the attention away from himself Tony asks Schenk who he is and Schenk tells him: “All you have to know about me is I hold the gun.”Estambul 65 51 Estambul 65 52 Estambul 65 53 Estambul 65 54 Estambul 65 55 Estambul 65 56Schenk opens up a case and cranks up his comms equipment to make contact with the gang and check out Tony’s story.  Schenk asks Tony for his number, which he gives him but when it’s checked out it turns out that the number belonged to Gunther who is long dead.  Schenk says he doesn’t need assistance when asked, and that’s his first mistake – the rest of the scene is full of mistakes, especially from someone considered to be “a good shot”.  But before his errors can come back to bite him on the bum, Schenk manages to throw another great line at Tony:  “Whatever your number is – it’s up.”Estambul 65 57 Estambul 65 58 Estambul 65 59 Estambul 65 60With that he turns the radio on, loud, and gets going on Mecenas.  Or Mister Mecenas, as Tony corrects him.  Even though he is facing Tony head-on, Schenk still manages to miss him with a direct shot.  Then Tony hides under a glass table for protection and Schenk still manages to cock it all up – shooting at the table rather than the protruding parts of Tony’s body, causing bullets to ricochet around the room.  Tony then stands up, using the glass table as a shield, Schenk again makes the same mistake repeatedly shooting at the table causing ricochets but no injuries whatsoever.  Then the bullets run out and Schenk no longer has the advantage. Estambul 65 61 Estambul 65 62 Estambul 65 63 Estambul 65 64Tony throws the table at Schenk and then they fight it out.  Schenk is strangling Tony at one point but the fight moves into the bathroom and then Tony notices his henchman, Bogo, lying dead in a bath full of water and suddenly he is re-energised with anger.  He is beating Schenk to a pulp when Schenk manages to grab a cable and starts to strangle Tony with it.  Then, inexplicably, Tony somehow manages to force Schenk’s head towards the sink, where he turns on the tap and forces Schenk’s face under until he has drowned.Estambul 65 65 Estambul 65 66 Estambul 65 67 Estambul 65 68 Estambul 65 69 Estambul 65 70 Estambul 65 71 Estambul 65 72 Estambul 65 73 Estambul 65 74 Estambul 65 75It’s all over for Schenk – and for Tony it’s all pretty much over too, bar the shouting.

Tony leaves the hotel and heads to the port only to see the yacht pulling away.  The Chinese gang, always watching from a distance, see Tony lowering himself from the bridge and jumping onto the yacht. Estambul 65 76 Shooting a gang member, Tony shows the Captain he means business and then demands that he switch the yacht to auto-pilot and order all hands on deck.

“Shore leave, boys – all over the side!”, Tony tells the gang, and then he starts shooting when they take no notice of his orders.  Suddenly they take notice.  Before demanding that the Captain follow suit, Tony asks him where the others are and, finding Babyfat and Pendergast below deck, he makes the Captain jump ship too.Estambul 65 77 Estambul 65 78Pendergast tells Tony that the yacht is loaded with dangerous materials, because the crooks are trying to build an atomic laboratory.  Elsewhere on the yacht, apparently not having heard the gun shots and the orders for all hands on deck etc, the crooks (and, I’m sorry, I don’t even know these people’s names – who are they?!) are trying to make contact with Schenk.  And failing, of course.

These anonymous crooks – who, I guess, the kidnappers were working for – discuss how their atomic laboratory they are going to build on an island somewhere in the South Atlantic is going to mean a shift in the balance of world power.  They think they are going to take over everything, with the help of Schenk and Pendergast.  But Schenk is floating in a sink at the Hilton and Pendergast is making an escape as they speak with the assistance of Miss Babyfat Kenny.Estambul 65 79 Estambul 65 80Tony finds the crooks and shoots at them all – they are all dead, bar one who is concealed behind a curtain.  Who is this anonymous crook?  Why it’s Elisabeth Furst, of course.  Is Tony surprised?  No, he says he’s been onto her for some time.  In one last ditch attempt to save her life Elisabeth pretends she is in love with Tony and wants to get out of this whole mess.  But really she’s put on the special gadget spectacles and activated an alarm on them which seemingly awakens some guy with a cast on his arm.  He’s not much help, I’d say, as he’s not woken up when much louder noises have been sounding on the yacht – and he has a cast on his arm…Estambul 65 81 Estambul 65 82But I guess he’s the only hope Elisabeth has now so she might has well try before it’s too late for her – in the meantime as she waits for arm cast man to respond to her call for assistance she tries to convince Tony that she wants to go away with him, and the $1M.  Tony looks like he might be considering it, but in fact he’s looking at the reflection in Elisabeth’s spectacles lens.  Her final mistake – Tony can see arm cast man entering the room behind him and he ducks just in time as he shoots; the bullet hitting Elisabeth rather than Tony. Estambul 65 83Meanwhile Babyfat has taken care of arm cast man by shooting him.  But Elisabeth is not quite dead – she grabs Tony’s ankle as he goes to leave with the case of money.  She tells him he’ll never do it, that he’ll die with her.  Tony ignores her and leaves as she shoots at the explosives which she had intended for her atomic laboratory.  Now Tony and Babyfat and Pendergast need to ensure they get far enough away from the yacht before it explodes. Estambul 65 84Tony somehow cuts the ropes on the dinghy boat with enough time for them to get far enough away from the yacht, to safety.  Pendergast says of the crooks: “Poor fools, they thought they could conquer the world.”

Suddenly a boat is approaching but it’s the Chinese gang, so Tony hides in the water with the case of cash and tells Babyfat and Pendergast to go aboard their boat.  When the Chinese gang see it is Pendergast they are delighted, but their delight turns to disappointment when Tony surfaces with a gun and orders the Chinese gang onto the dinghy boat, taking their boat in return for a more speedy escape.

It all looks to be a happy ending but then Tony goes and spoils it all by telling Babyfat that he has to go, with the cash.  She thinks the US government will be grateful and they will let him keep the cash but he says he has to go and that they will “run into each other again.  Maybe… You’re the only cop I ever loved.”  With that he leaps into the sea and he is off.Estambul 65 85Babyfat is aboard a train heading back to the US with Pendergast and some of her fellow FBI agents and her Chief.  They say that they will be forgetting the whole thing as far as Mecenas is concerned – as unbelievable as that sounds.  But, even so, what follows is even more unbelievable.  Brain is aboard the train and he has got a message through to Babyfat to say that Tony is on his way and will be boarding the train. Estambul 65 86But the final stop-off has been and gone and Tony is nowhere to be seen – that’s because Tony is flying above the train in a hired helicopter, he asks the put-upon pilot to drop him off at the fourth car from the front.

Tony leaps from the helicopter onto the roof of the train, narrowly misses having his head chopped off by a tunnel, and another, and finally he manages to shimmy down to Babyfat’s carriage where he knocks on her window waiting to be let in. Estambul 65 87 Estambul 65 88With a face covered in soot, he stands before Babyfat and looks disappointed when he realises he has somehow lost his sour balls on the leap from the helicopter to the train. Oh, Tony, what are you like!

Tony kisses Babyfat and looks straight into the camera for one last break of the fourth wall: “Happens to us all sooner or later”, he says. Estambul 65 89The film ends with a gun-shot to the carriage window and Tony’s voice off-screen saying: “Oh! Don’t you guys ever take a day off!”  It seems the adventure is far from over for Tony and Miss Babyfat Kenny…

What an excellent little film!  Klaus as Schenk was great (ein Geschenk des Himmels!), but so was Horst Buchholz as Tony – I think he made a great action (anti)hero and I was very impressed by how much he seemed to do in the film.  During all the key scenes he actually seemed to be participating in the action and made it all look very realistic indeed.  He also made a very charming character and brought a lot of humour to it.  I would definitely recommend seeing this film.

Other information about the film:  Well, for once I can find no additional information – I have looked through all my KK books and can’t seem to find anything specifically about this film, which is a real shame.  I have just one thing to offer up.

Markus B. contacted me some time back providing me with a translated transcript of the Hans Leutenegger über Klaus Kinski interview from the Kinski Talks 1 DVD, just to feed my Leutenegger obsession!  In the interview there is a great (although rather sad) story about Klaus Kinski and Horst Buchholz – I am including the extract below.  Many thanks to Markus for providing me with this translation:

HANS LEUTENEGGER:  “After Cannes we arrived at the airport in Rome.  There came a man, Horst Buchholz, towards me and he said: “Hello, Klaus Kinski’s lieutenant!”

I shook his hand.  Respect! Horst Buchholz!  I knew him from the movies; he was one of my boyhood idols in my early years.  I shook his hand – just at this moment Kinski turns around and shouts: “HANS! DON’T BOTHER WITH THIS FRUIT! YOU ARE A FRUIT!”  And he insulted him.

I felt ashamed, like a dog! Horst Buchholz shook my hand and just at this moment Kinski looks back and offends him; I felt ashamed.  This was Kinski.  He couldn’t stand that Horst Buchholz would shake hands with me first – and also because he was a great star too.  He couldn’t stand celebrities around him; only the starlets.  The great celebrities were all nobodies for him.  In this regard Kinski was a very bad egomaniac.”

Other than this, note that, for once, Klaus Kinski did not get an elevated status on the film’s credits and appears fairly low down the credit listing with his surname mis-spelt as Kinsky: Estambul 65 Credits 2

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Klaus Kinski is just resting

Yesterday (23 November 2012) it was 21 years since our hero Klaus Kinski died, but I am such a bad KK fan that I omitted to publish something on here in remembrance – bad girl, Raechel!

But let’s just comfort ourselves by believing that he’s not really dead anyway – he’s just resting, like he was in Neues vom Hexer (dir Alfred Vohrer, 1965):

Knock three times on the coffin and Klausy wakes up!

So let’s just remember KK as he was – handsome, stylish and intense:

Klaus Kinski  18 October 1926 – 23 November 1991

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Happy birthday, Klaus Kinski!

On October 18th Klaus Kinski would have been 86 years old – if he hadn’t burnt himself out with his fancy lifestyle, his heavy filming schedules, his melodramatic over-reactions and all the sex.  We miss Klaus.  A lot.  That’s why, this year, Klaus Kinski gets two birthday cards:

The first is an amusing card from Dave at Datapanik Design:

Dave has his gig posters on his Datapanik Design site, but also see Dave’s Flickr site for his photographs and all his stuff about space and the moon and that.

The second is from a regular visitor of Du dumme Sau!, and now a DdS! friend,  Avicus at Avikstudio – a very talented graphic designer and artist who is regularly inspired by those wonderful Kinski features:

I have a “hunch” that that’s KK in For a Few Dollars More.  Do you see what I did there? Yeah, sorry about that, but if you can’t make funnies on Klausy’s birthday, when can you, eh?

And since it’s Klausy’s birthday, here’s another great picture for you – my favourite KK portrait by Avicus, inspired by one of the photographs recently shared on Du dumme Sau!Amazing, isn’t it?  You’ll find plenty more where that came from if you visit Avicus at Avikstudio

Thanks, Avicus, and thanks too to Dave.  And HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KLAUSY!!!

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Klaus Kinski hangs out with a Professional

Commando Leopard aka Kommando Leopard (Dir Antonio Margheriti / Anthony M Dawson, 1985)

Basic plot:  A group of freedom fighters, led by Carrasco, set out to destroy the dictatorship that rules their state.

Cast: Silveira – Klaus Kinski; Carrasco – Lewis Collins; Maria – Cristina Donadio; Padre Julio – Manfred Lehmann; Smithy – John Steiner; Capitan – Hans Leutenegger; José – Thomas Danneberg; Pater Miguel – Michael James; Homoza – Subas Herrera

Filming location: Maracaibo, Estado Zulia, Venezuela; Pagsanjan, Laguna, Philippines

Release date: 24 October 1985 (West Germany)

Availability:  The DVD of Commando Leopard is readily available and I understand a new version is to be released by Arrow Films on 19 November 2012 (available to pre-order for just £6.99 here).  I wonder if this new version will be a full length version as the running time for the film is listed as 103 minutes on IMDB, with a 100 minute edit in Norway.  The Anchor Bay version I have runs to just 99 minutes though.  The Anchor Bay version has a Making Of… featurette as a bonus feature, which has already been reviewed by me separately here.  Very amusing it is, too!  Note that on the Anchor Bay DVD the cover states that the soundtrack is provided by Ennio Morricone – it’s not; the Casio pan pipes sounds come courtesy of Goran Kuzminac.

The film – *SPOILER ALERT*:

I have been saying I will review this film since June this year when I reviewed the Making Of featurette and I have been procrastinating ever since.  It has to be said that action films are not my cup of tea, at all – anyone who read my review of The Soldier  will have gathered that.  But I have watched Commando Leopard 3 or 4 times now to make notes and take screen grabs &c and so this review just has to be done so I can move on and put this nightmare behind me at last.  Right then, let’s go for it!

The action starts on September 11th when there are big explosions aplenty – now I’m not saying that Antonio Margheriti was having a Powder Keg moment of precognition but he must surely have foreseen that there would be explosions on set at least.  Between Klaus Kinski and someone; in this case Lewis Collins.  Good job then that they were on the opposite sides of this civil war so they (or Klaus mainly) could take out their anger on each other during the filming as well as off-camera.  No need to bottle it up, eh?

There’s plenty here for the action movie fans as immediately there is throat slashing and shooting with darts.  Loads of low angle shots of a dam and people the viewer just doesn’t know.  I don’t know if I’m supposed to be on their side because I don’t know who they are or what they are doing.  Even by the end of the film I’m still not quite sure what’s happening, but I’m quibbling, aren’t I?  Why should there be a narrative to follow when all you need to know is there are two groups fighting each other?

All the elements of action movies have been covered in Commando Leopard.  Typically just 3 minutes in there is “a look” between Carrasco (Lewis Collins) and a character called Maria (Cristina Donadio) – yes, as ever, there is time for sexual tension even in the midst of a terribly violent civil war.  There are tanks, tankers, barbed wire, abseiling down rocky cliff faces, machine guns, grenades, dynamite, choppers and explosions left, right and centre.  Margheriti puts on a real show for us, but what actually happens?  Like I said before I’m not entirely sure but I’ll take a pop at it and try to see if I can make any sense of it.

Carrasco is the leader of the rebels but he inexplicably has traces of a Merseyside accent and sometimes looks like he has been “blacked-up” a bit, mainly because he has.  He’s not supposed to be from Merseyside, you see, he’s supposed to be (indeterminate) Latin American.  This is a problem.

He is fighting against some dictatorship we’ve not yet been introduced to and he has to make tough decisions like whether or not to blow up a dam even if it means that innocent people downstream will die.  Of course he blows up the dam because he sees it as being for the greater good of everyone else; some innocent people will die but it will help to put an end to the evil regime that is currently ruling them.  He also manages to lose some men in a chopper explosion as well.  Not sure how many of the “good folk” will be left by the end of the film, but it’s not looking like a good start, that’s for sure.

Add to this the Casio pan pipes music fading in and out, which just serves to make the film even more annoying (as far as I’m concerned at least).

Carrasco takes his men to see how things are on the other side of the mountain – it seems that what they really want is some food, water and a rest before they go on their way to fight some more.  They don’t seem to care that they are effectively stealing the food and water from the villagers who have very little and they seem to see it as their right to take it anyway because they are fighting to save everyone from the evil regime.  As far as I can see they are not that far removed from being an evil regime themselves, especially Smithy (John Steiner) who is rude and nasty and grasping.  Smithy helps himself to some soup, which he eats like a pig.  He’s told that it’s the kids’ supper and now they’ll have to go hungry but he carries on eating regardless.  They’re going about all this the wrong way as far as I’m concerned and I’m proved right only moments later…

Yes, by going to the village Carrasco and his group of rebels have made the villagers part of the militia’s target; the militia are after Carrasco, of course, but if they have to attack an entire village to get Carrasco they will do it in the same way that Carrasco attacked the dam and killed civilians downstream.  So thanks to Carrasco the entire village is set on fire and the villagers are gunned down by the Capitan (Hans Leutenegger, yay!) and his men.  The rebels are doing so well, aren’t they?

During this attack some kid, who had earlier been befriending Maria in one of those “this has to be the heart-warming moment” in the film, sees his dad being shot repeatedly.  You know Maria will take him with her and he’s going to end up joining the rebels even though he is only about 7 years old.   Again, she probably thinks she is helping him and yet she is actually drawing him into the firing line.

The rebels don’t want their wounded slowing them down (they are nice like that) so Maria is sent off to a hospital to get treatment for them.  Carrasco and Smithy and the other rebels will carry on without them.  Just as well Maria has gone as she’s a woman and she would have slowed them down, what with her hair and make-up and shoes and that.  She’s just a liability so let’s banish her, yeah?

Meanwhile the Capitan surveys the damage the militia have caused to the village and Silveira (Klaus Kinski) is called before the President to explain why the valley is full of militia men.  The President is not very happy at all but Silveira just dismisses it all as “stupid propaganda”.  We find out a little about Carrasco now as well – his father is one of the richest men in the country, who gave everything up to fight for the people.  I don’t know what to make of that nugget.  Silveira lights a huge cigar and tells the President if he is given more fuel and men that the rebels can be crushed.  There are obvious tensions between Silveira and the President; maybe I’m going all precog on you now, but something tells me that this is not a very happy partnership.

If Silveira is dismissive of Carrasco (and he is – he tells the President that Carrasco is “like all the others; he wants your place”), he is equally dismissive of the President (whose place Silveira undoubtedly wants for himself).  When the President is shown on TV making a speech to the people, Silveira turns the volume down because he’s just not interested in what the President has to say.

Meantime Maria had been taking some behavioural lessons from the ever-charming Smithy – she’s arrived at the hospital, which has seen better days, and is demanding beds, antibiotics and surgical instruments at gunpoint.  When she is told that there are only 2 beds free she starts dragging sick people out of their beds to make way for the wounded rebels.  One of the Fathers who are working at the hospital tells Maria in no uncertain terms that she can’t be doing that and that as far as he’s concerned the rebels are just like the militia.  Maybe this makes Maria think about her actions because there is a quick about-turn with Maria revealing that she was a medical student and diagnosing one of the hospitalised men as needing operating on immediately.

Whilst Maria springs into action in the hospital, the militia have heard news of where Carrasco’s gang are holed up, so it will only be a matter of time before another attack takes place.  But Carrasco and Smithy are trying to put an end to the dictatorship by retrieving some explosives that were sunk during the dam explosion.  They plan to do this by setting up a bomb with what looks like a bedside alarm clock and some putty.  As they swim around underwater, you know it’s going to go wrong and indeed it does – the timing is out and Smithy suffers some injuries when one of the bombs goes off.  Carrasco manages to get away with the help of some of his men but he has to leave Smithy behind as dead – remember, the rebels can’t let the wounded slow them down.

Another oblique insight into Carrasco’s back story – one of his men says to him, “If your father was here to see that…”, to which Carrasco responds, “He’d probably shoot me.”  He also says that he was brought up believing that the rich came before the poor.  I’m not quite sure what point he is making here as he seems to be behaving in such a way that says that the rebels come before the civilians who are not fighting; there’s not a lot of difference.  These little snippets of information about Carrasco’s father do not help with the narrative development at all really.

Back at the hospital Maria is pulling a blinder in her role as Florence Nightingale.  She is so distracted with her medical work that she doesn’t even notice that the militia have arrived.  The Capitan is there with his men and they want to know where the rebels are; Hans Leutenegger tries to act as mean as possible but you just know he’s a pussycat underneath it all.  The Father tells Maria to stay inside but she insists on fighting for her beliefs – whatever they are – and goes outside only to get shot immediately.  The Father runs out and they share one of those magic moments; a bit like “the look” she shared with Carrasco earlier.  She’s a one, that Maria.

Then the chopper arrives with Silveira onboard – now we know some real damage will be done, yay!  Silveira does the rounds at the hospital, although he’s not so hot on the bedside manner – when one of the injured men shouts out to him, “Colonel! I’m one of yours!”, Silveira shows no sympathy and just mutters, “You let yourself be captured, uh?”, as he walks away.  Same rules apply as with the rebels, I guess – “Don’t let the wounded slow you down.”

Silveira heads over to José, one of the injured rebels, and asks him if he was one of the technicians at the dam and if he knows who was in charge.  Instead of acting dumb, José tells Silveira, “Find them yourself, you son of a bitch!”  His last words, alas, as he is immediately shot to pieces by the militia.  The Father tells Silveira to stop and gets a gun smacked around his face for his trouble – Silveira wants to take Maria and the Father but he also wants the hospital set on fire and all the equipment shot to pieces.  He leaves the injured militia behind to perish in the fire as well.

As Carrasco and his men arrive armed with guns, the Casio pan pipes kick in again.  That’s enough to send Silveira and the Capitan back to their chopper in which they escape.  Carrasco blows up a chopper, but it’s not Silveira’s.  Maria and the Father have inadvertently been left behind and Carrasco goes over to see them.  The Father asks Carrasco what he will do with the people now that the hospital has been attacked.  Carrasco avoids answering and simply tells the Father that he should get his face wound looked at before it gets infected.  The Father is right though, if the militia come back they will be massacred but all Carrasco says he can do is give them trucks to get away.  When the Father says he will take the people with him instead, Carrasco is dismissive – “Where to?  The Promised Land?”  Got any better ideas yourself, Carrasco?  No, thought not.

It’s now one week since the film started – I mean, since the action started; it just feels like the film’s been on a long time, that’s all.  Nothing much has happened really but we now discover that Smithy survived the underwater blast after all and has been captured by the militia.  He’s currently sitting naked on a chair and Silveira is looking at him through a barred window.  Kinky!

Carrasco has dressed up in civvies and gone into town to see a man about a dog – or something.  A strange little man follows him around but Carrasco knows all about it and in the film’s (unfunny) comedy moment, Carrasco surprises the man by sticking a gun in his mouth which makes his eyes go all googly, look:

Carrasco wants to know where Pépé is – maybe I’m right after all and he is going to see a man about a dog, Pépé sounds like a dog’s name, right?  But, no, Pépé is in fact a chap who thinks he can get Smithy and the others out of prison.  It seems that Smithy is a famous mercenary brought back from Europe by Carrasco to join the rebels.  The next day Smithy and his fellow inmates are broken out of the prison, one of them dies on the way out, but Smithy gets out intact.

Smithy has to pass Carrasco a message to say that President Homoza is planning a fact finding tour of the province on Thursday.  This is the only bit of the film that makes me laugh because, no word of a lie, I had to rewind and watch this segment about 5 times before I realised that it was a “fact finding tour”; it sounded just like “fat fanny tour” to me (if you’ve got the Anchor Bay version of the film, go to 58 mins 15 secs and see what you think) which means something else altogether really.

It’s now 2 weeks since the action started.  Smithy is back with a couple of dubious looking new recruits – he goes with Carrasco and the new recruits to see Homoza.  They are all hanging out at a landing field when suddenly one of the new recruits runs off as a plane lands.  It seems that the new recruits were using Smithy to lure Carrasco into a trap.  Carrasco shoots the man and then shoots at the plane believing that something untoward is about to happen.  The plane explodes, which Carrasco believes he is responsible for, but in fact the plane has been shot down by Silveira’s men with a rocket launcher.  Silveira drives off, believing that this incident will prove to be the end of Carrasco.

Carrasco is shot and the Casio pan pipes kick in again – that’s adding insult to injury, that is.

Meantime the President is told that the plane, believed to have been shot down by the rebels, was carrying 185 children on their way back from adventure camps.  That Silveira is a one!  He thinks this will turn the people against Carrasco for sure and he’s now as good as dead.  It certainly looks bad for him right now.

But they’re all a bit slow off the mark because it’s two weeks later when a chopper circulates propaganda to the people demanding that the rebels surrender.  The Father sees the propaganda but he doesn’t believe that Carrasco would deliberately try and cause a disaster; he believes Silveira is somehow responsible.  He’s right on that one.

Silveira tells the President that the militia were responsible for the plane being shot down but this fails to impress the President because, as he points out, he could have been on the plane himself.  Silveira is so annoyed with the President’s ungrateful attitude that he shakes his finger in the President’s face and tells him that he’s not afraid of him.  The relationship is really deteriorating now…

I’m not sure where he’s been all this time but Carrasco is back now and he’s injured from that shot he took about two weeks ago.  Carrasco asks the Father for some help – he wants to destroy the refinery so the dictatorship would be finished and in return he will escort the people to the border.  By now, of course, three-quarters of the rebels are gone so I’m not sure how Carrasco plans to do this, but I clearly know very little so just ignore me.

By luck it would seem that the Father was the garrison chaplain at the refinery so the militia won’t be suspicious when he turns up there.  The Father agrees to help Carrasco and as this part of the story unfolds it seems to me that the Father knows a bit too much about how to bring about utter destruction.  The Father goes to the train station with Carrasco, now dressed as a Father too, and he drops a case of sacred objects to cause a distraction whilst Carrasco puts explosives on the train.  The train driver knows the Father and insists on speaking with him, so the Father and Carrasco have to board.  They are just being asked to present their papers, which will be a problem for Carrasco, when the train pulls into the refinery and the bombs go off.  The Father and Carrasco jump off the train.

Silveira is still getting nowhere with the President – the tables are now turned and this time the President walks away from Silveira mid-sentence, dismissing his claims that Carrasco has now dug his own grave and that he will get Carrasco.

A few days later the Father leaves with the children on a bus, but unfortunately the bus is heading straight for some mine fields.  Silveira is looking out to see if Carrasco is onboard but he’s not.  Then the mines start to go off and the militia start shooting.

Carrasco and the rebels are on the road and a chap called General Bentez calls out that he wants to meet with Carrasco and that he comes in peace.  Carrasco decides to take Bentez at his word and goes to speak with him.  Bentez tells him that President Homoza has left the country and that he has left General Gomez in charge, who wants to restore law and order to the country.  It sounds unlikely but Carrasco shakes on it with Bentez and agrees to call an end to the civil war.  But unfortunately just as they make their agreement Carrasco is told that there are militia men in town killing more civilians and he has to forget the cease fire and head off to fight once more.

The children and the Father are now trying to get off the bus as they want to head back to the church.  But the militia men arrive and the Father decides that it’s a good idea to confront Silveira.  Silveira doesn’t appreciate that and just throws the Father to the ground; in turn the Father doesn’t appreciate being thrown to the ground either and he retaliates by grabbing a gun and shooting, without realising that it’s a flamethrower, oops!  Silveira shoots the Father for that and tells him, “Carrasco used you to save his ass.”

It’s the beginning of the end now as Silveira’s right hand man, the Capitan, gets shot at and then the bloody Casio pan pipes kick in again.  The kid drags the Father to safety as Silveira commences what turns out to be a bloodbath shoot out.  This is the best bit of the film really but it’s all over in a flash.

Trigger-happy Silveira soon runs out of bullets and gets cornered by the rebels who start to kick the crap out of him.  Carrasco arrives and tries to break it up but he’s arrived too late as Silveira is already dead.  That puts an end to it all, except that before the credits can roll we have to go through yet another of those embarrassingly heartfelt moments.  This one is an absolute corker – Carrasco tells the Father: “It’s our country again, Julio.  We are the future.”  The Father dies, probably of embarrassment at the corniness of it all.  Then people start banging stuff and I’m not sure why, maybe it is in an attempt to drown out a horrid song called “In The War” – bring back the Casio pan pipes, I say!

The horror!  The horror!  Thank goodness, it’s all over now… It’s all over now.  But I will, of course, be getting the Arrow Films version of Commando Leopard if it’s the original running time and contains more footage, so let’s hope that it doesn’t, eh?

Kinski’s acting methods:  As ever, Kinski is a sight to behold in this film – he spends some of his time fiddling with his armpits, a lot of time smoking and blowing smoke in people’s faces, and the rest of his time with his hands in his pockets:

He also manages to stare through a barred window as well:

Other information about the film:  According to IMDB at the time of making Commando Leopard was the most expensive Swiss-budgeted film, with the special effects using up about half of the budget.  Christian David says in Kinski die Biographie that Kinski began work on Commando Leopard on 22 April 1985 and was paid $75,000 for two weeks’ filming.  The working title of the film was Guerrilleros / Bushfighter.

Regular readers of Du dumme Sau! will already have read my “review” of Kinski Talks 1 and specifically the Wer bin ich? interview with Helga Guitton, accompanied by Hans Leutenegger, to promote Commando Leopard.  Klaus didn’t make much effort as far as promotion was concerned – every time Helga asked a question he made every attempt not to answer it or if he did bother to answer he either did so mischievously or with disdain.  It has to be seen to be believed, but if your German is basic like mine just read my review (or look at the pictures) here.

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More Klaus Kinski photos

Apparently it seems I will do anything to avoid finishing off writing that review of Commando Leopard – so near and yet so far… I’ve been spending some time working on my other website Hero Culte but to prove to you that I have not been neglecting my Klausie, I just spent a small fortune on more Kinski stuff and here it is:

First up, one of my favourite stills from Nachtblende (L’Important c’est d’aimer), 1975, dir Andrzej Zulawski.  I’ve wanted this print for a while now and finally I have it!

An original 1960s postcard from Germany – “Kinski” in For a Few Dollars More, 1965, dir Sergio Leone.

Another original 1960s postcard from Germany, this time of Klaus looking totally arrogant alongside Pierre Brice (who I always remember for Star Maidens rather than anything else) in Winnetou II, 1964, dir Harald Reinl.  KK looks gorgeous, doesn’t he?

A shot from Fitzcarraldo, 1982, dir Werner Herzog.

A still from the Jesus Christus Erlöser show.

Klaus looking cute in his little pullover in La femme enfant, 1980, dir Raphaële Billetdoux.  I haven’t seen this film yet, but I really want to so I must get it even if it has to be without subtitles.

I’m not sure which film this is from – if anyone knows (Konrad?) send in some information, please!  I really want to see it (if I haven’t already) – Klaus in a hat, a dickie bow and sticking his tongue out as well, what’s not to like?!

This looks like it’s from Nachtblende again, but I could be wrong.  Anyone know?  A fabulous look though.

A shot from one of my favourite Klaus Kinski films, Zoo zéro, 1979, dir Alain Fleischer.  With the lovely Catherine Jourdan.

And finally two great shots of Klaus with Minhoi:

I don’t speak Italian but it doesn’t take a genius to work out that these photos were around the time of Klaus’ marriage to Minhoi and the press information also seems to mention the fact that Klaus was playing Edgar Allan Poe in Nella stretta morsa del ragno, 1971, dir Antonio Margheriti.  Anyway, what a handsome couple they made!

What’s next? I guess it’s that long awaited review of Commando Leopard

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The Berlin Guide to Klaus Kinski Pt 2 (2012)

Well, I have finally got my Berlin holiday photographs back so now I can provide a little update on Kinski related places to visit in Berlin.  I didn’t manage to get around everywhere I wanted to go but I did see and photograph a few more places, and revisited a couple from Part One to get better photographs too.

Anyway, without further ado – The Berlin Guide to Klaus Kinski Pt 2:

Friedrich-List-Schule, previously the Prinz-Heinrich Gymnasium – last time I visited I went around to the Klixstraße side of the school and got a really bad shot of some scaffolding as they were obviously doing some building work at the time.  This time I went around to the Grunewaldstraße side and got a slightly better shot:

Klaus Kinski attended the school in 1936 – or maybe he didn’t, as he claims to have skipped school for seven months because he preferred to hang around the streets!

Another place I previously visited in 2010, but here’s a different shot of it – the Paris-Bar,  Kantstraße 152:

I won’t repeat the story again but suffice to say that Klaus went to the Paris-Bar with his friend Sasha Kropotkin and met a Polish stripper…

On 16 November 1958, Klaus performed Der Ketzer von Soana by Gerhart Hauptmann at the Konzertsaal der Hochschule für Musik, Fasanenstraße 1:

From 7 – 20 June 1958, Klaus Kinski performed his Rimbaud recital at the Kammerspiele in der Kongreßhalle, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10.  Then from 26 June – 4 July 1958 he performed his Villon recital there, and a show of extracts from Villon, Rimbaud, Goethe, Schiller, Wilde and Mayakovsky on 2 December 1960.

Whilst at the Kongreßhalle, I took the opportunity to hang out in the Tiergarten:

It’s kind of apt that this photograph of the bushes came out a little dark looking (and there’s a bunny rabbit in front of the bushes if you look hard enough), as it was in the Tiergarten that Klaus met the mysterious British Countess who wrote to him asking him to recite the Hamlet soliloquies for her, alone in her castle.  Over to Klaus:

“One week later she calls me up.  We are to meet in the Tiergarten.  You never know.  We take a long walk, and she rattles on about Hamlet.  She’s not pretty, nor does she turn me on particularly.  If worse came to worst, I could f*** her right in the Tiergarten.  Then I wouldn’t have to go to England, where the beer is as warm as p*** and has no head.  Her Hamlet obsession is starting to get on my nerves.

It’s drizzling.  I suggest that we take cover in the bushes to escape the rain, and so we charge into a thicket.  We find a place where we can’t be seen from anywhere.  I strip her naked and lay her out on the damp soil; she’s embarrassed because she’s having her period….

Long past nightfall I say I have to leave.  She remains lying in the bushes.

…Two weeks later Scotland Yard phones to ask if I know where the countess is; they say she hasn’t returned to England and that she left my address behind.  I tell them I don’t know her.  That she did plan to visit me but never called.

So the countess has vanished.  What’s next?”

(Kinski Uncut, Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 1997, p143)

Here’s a vintage postcard I found of the Tiergarten and the Kongreßhalle.

Next up is the Standesamt Berlin-Charlottenburg, Alt-Lietzow 28:

This is where Klaus married Ruth Brigitte Tocki on 31 October 1960.

Now, this is somewhere that Klaus did NOT perform, apparently – the Schiller Theater, Bismarckstraße 110:

The reason the Schiller is mentioned is because…:

“Some asshole artistic director has the nerve to keep asking me if I’d be willing to perform at Berlin’s Schiller Theater.  His assistant keeps calling me, but I tell him: “You could offer me any amount of dough, but I’d rather do the lousiest movie than set even one foot in your graveyard!””

(Kinski Uncut, Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 1997, p185)

So, there you have the “graveyard” that Klaus avoided at all costs!

Another place previously visited in 2010, the Gloria Palast, Kurfürstendamm 12-13.  Three shots, take your pick:

Again, I won’t repeat the entire story but Klaus met an usherette at the Gloria Palast and took her back to his apartment on Uhlandstraße.

Next up another theatre Klaus might not have actually performed in, but he does claim to have rented it for his recitals in Kinski Uncut (p129) – the New Philharmonic Konzerthaus, Gendarmenmarkt 2:

Now, I believe this to be correct but I’m not sure – the Ellington Hotel, Nürnberger Straße 50-52, is on the site of the old Berliner Theater where Klaus performed Villon, Rimbaud, Hauptmann and Wilde for ten days running from 12 -21 June 1959:

In mid July 1958 Klaus went to stay with his brother Hans-Joachim at Berchtesgadener Straße 20:

By the end of August that year, Klaus moved into a new place at Prinzregentenstraße 9:

In 1952, whilst working on Der Idiot with Tatjana Gsovsky, Klaus moved into her apartment at Fasanenstraße 64:

In Kinski Uncut (p110), Klaus says:  “In Berlin, I live with Tatjana.  She makes my bed, cleans my room, cooks for me and takes care of everything else.  She also trains sixteen hours a day.”  Sounds like the ideal landlady!

I have one more location photograph, but for the life of me I can’t find the reference to the location in any of my books now – I will seek it out and include it at a later date.

Finally, here is some Klaus Kinski graffiti artwork found by chance in the streets of Berlin.  Looks like Cobra Verde maybe:

That’s all folks!

Information and dates taken from Kinski Uncut The Autobiography of Klaus Kinski (Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 1997) and Kinski die Biographie by Christian David (Aufbau, Berlin, 2008).  Photographs by me, taken with my Diana F+ camera.

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