Studio: Mondo Macabro
Theatrical Release: June 4, 1982 (Germany)
Blu Ray Release: March 10, 2015
Director: Eckhart Schmidt
Review by James Klein
“One of the most chilling portrayals of psychotic teenage obsession ever committed to film” screams a quote by Celluloid Scream Festival that’s presented on the Mondo Macabro blu ray cover. Really? Gee, I don’t know, I thought Der Fan was a real bore and a chore to sit through.
The gorgeous (and very young, 17) Desiree Nosbusch plays Simone, a die hard fan of the pop artist “R” (Bodo Steiger) who is obsessed with this new wave artist. In fact, she dreams about him, writes to him, her room is covered in photos of him, Simone even skips class just to pout when she can’t seem to get “R” off her mind. Her violent outbursts with the mailman and her father only add to her teen angst.
While ‘R” seems to be very popular with the ladies, Simone is able to see “R” signing autographs before he is about to do a taping of a TV show. She faints in front of him only to wake up on a couch looking up at his eyes. Taking a liking to Simone, he is able to give her a seat while he performs live on TV. Once he’s done, he takes her back to his room for a little lovemaking session.
Simone confesses her love to “R” after they have completed fuckins, trying to convince him to stay however “R” having already gotten his piece of pie, wants to leave and go back to his friends and posse. Heartbroken, Simone takes measures into her own hand…and well, this is where the films conclusion takes place without giving away what happens next. The problem is, one can see the ending coming a mile away and the fact that the film is so drawn out and so slow that when the supposed “shocking” conclusion takes place, its predictability almost adds to the frustration for the viewer.
Director Eckhart Schmidt doesn’t keep the viewer engaged and in fact also frustrates and confuses the viewer with his strange long takes and bizarre editing choices like fading to black too quickly when an action is taking place. While I like the idea of a teenager obsessed with a celebrity and being crushed by the reality of that celebrity not living up to his / her expectations, I never once understood what Simone’s obsession with “R” was really about. Her blank stares almost make her out to be either in a trance or Nosbusch is just a bad actress. Simone’s one dramatic moment where she screams when “R” decides to leave just looks forced and down right laughable.
Der Fan isn’t completely without merit as the new wave soundtrack by the German band Rheingold (whose lead singer is actually Bodo Steiger) is quite good and has that early 80’s synth sound. There is an ample amount of nudity in the second half and that is where I think this blu ray is boasting that it is the uncut version due to Nosbusch actually showing off bush.
Mondo Macabro’s blu ray looks amazingly well although the darker, indoor sequences do tend to look a bit murky and seem inconsistent with the brighter, outdoor sequences. The print source has a little bit of damage but overall, it’s a nice presentation. Viewers can also watch the film in the original German language with English subtitles or with the dubbed English track. Both the German DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 and English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 sound great. The blu ray does contain a rather long interview with director Schmidt who discusses the entire production of Der Fan along with his career. There are some throwaway features like text info on the cast and crew which no one ever reads, lets be honest. Rounding out the special features are trailers for other and more interesting Mondo Macabro films.
It’s pretty obvious I was not “a fan” of Der Fan.
Blu Ray Rating: