1971-1980ArthouseGermanyHorrorNiklaus Schilling

Niklaus Schilling – Nachtschatten AKA Nightshade (1972)

This film was one of the few attempts of the “New German cinema” to produce something like a horror film. Not quite a successful attempt in my opinion since director Niklaus Schilling seems to be rather afraid of anything to do with “genre” and therefore keeps out most the atmosphere that could be achieved by exploiting Germanic mysticism as he does here. The film has an unpleasantly pretentious aura and could’ve made much more of its theme and locations. It really requires some endurance, especially during many of the redundantly chatty scenes – I actually am into slow-paced films but I felt that the dozy pace here had no particular purpose, other than giving an impression of “auteurism” and reduction for reduction’s sake. However, there are some memorable, eerie moments, a handful of pittoresque shots (watch out, they’re the ones I selected as screenshots) and Schilling’s wife Elke Haltaufderheide (who also starred in Rudolf Thome’s cult film DETEKTIVE) delivers a memorable performance as the haunted woman around whom the film evolves.

Plot-wise, the film introduces a dull music publisher who travels to a remote village in the Luneburg Heath (the German version of Dartmoor) where he intends to purchase the house of a recently deceased man. He is accomodated at the house by the wife of the deceased, a rather mysterious lady with an air of tragedy around her. At night, he is plagued by uncanny nightmares in which the woman puts flowers onto his grave, rather than her husband’s…
– RudolfLemkeSchmidt

1.96GB | 1h 31m | 768×576 | mkv



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