Release Date: January 23, 1957 (limited)
R | Action/Adventure, Drama, Thriller
German director Fred Kelemen brings his trademark stylistic minimalism to this frightening look into the depths of the abyss. The film opens showing Anton (Wolfgang Michael) drifting around town, drunk, unwashed, and blank-faced. He is so distracted that he cannot finish shaving himself before lighting a cigarette.
Anton soon returns to his apartment that he shares with his laundry woman girlfriend Leni (Verena Jasch). Though she longs to make love with him, her beau is clearly unable to perform physically. Anton's emotional distance proves to be too much for Leni, and she flees out into the cold night alone.
She is seduced by a pimp, and eventually she endures the wrenching experience of prostituting herself. Meanwhile, in a moment of jealousy and pain, Anton tries to remove her tattooed initials on his hand with a penknife. From there, the film descends into a shroud of surreal barbarity.
Some of the film's more memorable final sequences include Anton's chilling encounter with a crazed bell maker and a nightmarish auction of a child to a sweaty group of pederasts. This film was screened at the 1999 Venice Film Festival.