DER BUNKER (2015)Label: Artsploitation Films
Region Code: A
Duration: 85 Minutes
Audio: German Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.35:1)
Director: Nikias Chryssos
Cast: Nikias Chryssos, Hans W. Geissendörfer, Hana Geissendörfer
A young man referred to only as the "student" arrives at the family bunker to rent a room which had been advertised as having a view of a lake. He seeks to rent a quiet room where he can fully immerse himself in solitude and his studies. What he finds is a cold, concrete bunker that is sparse and depressing. Despite the poor accommodations he decides to stay on as a tenant with the family, hoping to further his studies into subatomic quantum mechanics or some such science-y type stuff. His studies prove not to be too important to the story as he is quickly overcome by the strange happenings at the bunker-house and the oddball inhabitants who call it home.
The father is a strict taskmaster prone to lashing his son with a rod when he disapproves of the boys lack of progress with his home studies, at night he dons white-faced mime make-up and tells awful jokes to the family, at dinner he counts how many dumplings and napkins the new tenant eats and makes notes in a journal. Mother is a weirdie, too. A quietly intense woman obsessed with keeping her seemingly challenged son at home, and again the boy seems to have aged well beyond eight years old, perhaps because his domineering parents have not allowed him to grow, perhaps stunted by their claustrophobic neediness. Strangely, Mom and Dad have set a lofty career goal for their son, encouraging him to rise to the challenge of becoming the President of the United States, which as a German might prove to be difficult
Weird seems to be the word of the day while watching Der Bunker, an arty movie that seems to touch on the dangers of suffocating parents, the horrors of home schooling, and wraps it up in a voyeuristic melange of surreal weirdness ... oh, and then there's the addition of a sentient wound on the mother's leg which makes decisions for the family. Yup, way beyond weird and darkly funny, which I was not expecting. The movie has a building sense of quirky dread which I thought would transform into some bloody carnage, but it only unfolds into more surreal lunacy. If a mash-up the 70's cult-classic The Baby (1973) by way of Delicatessen (1991) sounds like a good time, this ought to be a fun watch for you, for others it might just be a head-scratcher. Highly recommended for fans of surreal black comedies.