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Festival of Fear: Der Samurai

By  · Published on October 21st, 2016

Junkfood Cinema

Beware the wolf at the door.

As the Junkfood Cinema podcast continues The Festival of Fear, an exploration of horror flicks featured at film festivals, we stamp our passports with the German flag and discuss UK Fright Fest alum Der Samurai.

More often than not (read: more often than is recommended by doctors) this podcast is devoted to shameless indulgence of films that would raise a dubious eyebrow or two from the more steadfastly academic of critics. We devour the greasy, the cheesy, and/or the sugary movies that are high in saturated enjoyment but potentially lacking in anything artistically substantial. This week however, we earn the second half of our podcast title. Der Samurai is pure cinema.

Writer/director Till Kleinert crafts an extremely intimate horror drama that provocatively and beautifully explores the dangers of repressing one’s true nature in order to better adhere to expectations and standards of normalcy. Der Samurai is equal parts slasher film, warped fairy tale, and psychosexual character study. Even at its most violent, Der Samurai delivers an artistic competency that defies all all attempts at genre pigeonholing.

And like any piece of important art, Der Samurai will inspire conversation. The fantastical nature of the story and its utilization of some rather dream-like turns will elicit all manner of analyses from viewers, which is absolutely by design; Kleinert leading the audience through the woods but expertly removing all bread crumbs behind us before leaving us alone with our interpretations.

To wrap up the episode, as if inspired by the film to resist denying who we truly are as a podcast, we engage in the lengthiest/most absurd conversation about actual junk food that Junkfood Cinema has ever experienced. Bon appetit!

As a special treat, anyone who backs JFC on Patreon will have access to a weekly bonus episodes covering an additional cult movie, a new movie in theaters, or a mailbag episode devoted to your submitted questions! Have a couple bucks to throw in the hat, we’ll reward you!

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Longtime FSR columnist, current host of FSR’s Junkfood Cinema podcast. President of the Austin Film Critics Association.