'Tenderness Of The Wolves' (2Disc Special Edition)
(Kurt Raab, Jeff Roden, Margit Christensen, Ingrid Craven, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, et al / 2-Disc Blu ray / NR / 2015 / MVD)
Overview: 'Tenderness Of The Wolves' is the story of a gay serial killer who murders young boys so he can serve them as dinner to his circle of fellow cannibals!
Blu ray Verdict: Listed as one of the 1,000 movies that will change your life in the book by TimeOut (UK), 'Tenderness Of The Wolves' is based on the true story of the German serial killer, Fritz Haarmann (1879-1925). Back in the early 70's, when his name wasn't yet a synonym for insufferably crappy hand-held camera horror stuff, Ulli Lommel actually was quite the promising and visionary young (barely 29 years old) director in his home country Germany.
I mean the powerful impact of 'The Tenderness of Wolves' (produced by Rainer Werner Fassbinder) upon our discerning movie going culture alone is already more than enough evidence to back up this statement. This is a thoroughly unsettling and disturbing drama/horror hybrid based on the true facts in the case of one of the most notorious European criminal figures of the previous century.
The real story, and as it plays out here also, is this: Fritz Haarmann was a German pedophile and serial killer of young adolescent males during the Interbellum period and made nearly 30 victims in only five years of time. Haarmann makes his money by trades food and goods on the black market that he himself falsely confiscated by pretending to be a policeman. This is also how he picks up young lads in the train station and lures them to his apartment loft. Uncle Fritz probes for homeless boys and eventually murders them by biting their throats; which gave him the nickname "The Vampire of Hanover".
The atrocities became even more inhuman when Fritz, together with his lover/partner-in-crime Hans Grans, sold the hacked up flesh of the victims on the black market. 'The Tenderness of Wolves' is definitely not an overly graphical or tasteless film, but the subject matter is sickening and the whole portrayal of pedophilia is beyond disturbing. Haarmann pretty openly declares his affection for young boys and his entire surrounding either deliberately ignores this or even considers it to be the most common thing in the world.
Indeed, only his neighbor from the apartment below suspects his psychopathic tendencies and attempts to alert the authorities, but that fails as Haarmann actually had connections with the police where he worked as a "rat"! And so, in closing, the mood, the settings, the whole feel of the film is so extraordinary, it keeps you glued to the screen from the first minute. And it's actually as good as the best Fassbinder films I have seen to date, truly! Newly re-mastered in HD and from the original negative, this critically praised film is truly one for the (new) ages to view. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
New high definition digital transfer prepared by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM Audio
New translated English subtitles
The Tender Wolf - a brand-new in-depth interview with director Ulli Lommel
Brand-new interview with director of photography Jürgen Jürges
Newly-filmed appreciation by film historian and expert on European horror cinema Stephen Thrower
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil
Illustrated booklet featuring new writing on the film by Tony Rayns