Le Vampire de Dusseldorf
Time Out saysThe years have been surprisingly kind to this sanitised sketch of compulsive killer Peter Kürten, guillotined in 1930 for nine murders, whose case inspired Fritz Lang's M and Ulli Lommel's Tenderness of the Wolves. Combining a mincing, stiff-armed walk with a fastidious, courtly manner, Hossein turns Kürten into a cross between a timid Truffaut hero and some bright-eyed, remorseless rodent. The background of political upheaval (the film opens with a mini-documentary on the Weimar Republic) is pseudo-significant: anomalies like Kürten are hardly a product of social conditions. Still, the sullen strikers and cruising Brownshirts all add to the atmosphere of disturbance and hysteria. The quirky tone is sustained by the score - written by the director's father - which like the whole film manages to be simultaneously jaunty and funereal.