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June 12, 2022

Premutos: Fallen Angel

Est. Reading: 3 minutes

Premutos: Fallen Angel doesn’t have a lot going for it except an awesome narrator and a seemingly endless supply of fake blood, but if you’re in the right mood that can be enough. The narrator sounds like a combination of Paul Robeson, and Tom Waits if they were drowning in something bubbly and viscous like carbonated honey. On top of that, the narration is in German which just seals the deal. 

As for the blood, it splashes and splatters from a glorious never-ending cavalcade of violence. There’s a pick ax to the eye, a shovel to the face, an exploding head, and a skeleton bites a man’s penis off. There are stabbings, burnings, shootings, beatings and if that isn’t enough there is a protracted dentist scene, and all of this within the first twenty minutes

Then for reasons I have yet to uncover there is a montage of stock footage of farming shown in reverse. It’s as if someone just cut in a piece of someone else’s film by accident. Then we briefly go to the suburbs to be introduced to our protagonist who immediately gets hit by a car and then, lying in the road unconscious, has a dream about the Middle Ages. Fortunately, the dream comes with a convenient subtitle explaining that it is 1293. Actually, I’m not really sure it was a dream. It was like a cross between a dream and a historical flashback or some kind of reverse clairvoyance or past life regression. 

Our protagonist eventually wakes up and returns to the present. Once the movie returns to reality it slows to a lifeless pace wandering around the middle-class suburbs seemingly without purpose until our whiny protagonist is kicked in the balls causing him to pass out and go back to the Middle Ages again where we get a little more blood and guts, then more suburbs, then more violence, then more suburbs. 

From what I can gather the film is about a fallen angel named Premutos who keeps getting reincarnated. Each time he is reborn war and pestilence break out. This provides Ittenbach, the director, an opportunity to pop in and out of history’s many atrocities like the Holocaust, Genghis Khan, and even Jesus’ crucifixion. Each one lovingly rendered in lurid splashes of red. Were he a painter like Picasso you might say this film constitutes Ittenbach’s red period.

Then back to the suburbs for a sweaty boobs sex scene that again seems to be dropped in at random. Then there’s some vomiting and a bunch of snot. None of it makes sense but I don’t think sensibility is the goal. Then suddenly the whole thing turns into a heavy metal zombie movie, which was fine with me. The guitar screams out and the cannibalism commences. All the bone smashing, flesh-tearing goodness is driven home by super loud, super wet sound effects. 

By the time the chainsaw comes out, the floor is just a lake of blood. There’s a nice bit where the chainsaw guy traps a zombie in an Ikea cabinet and as he sticks the saw in we see explosions of blood and limbs come flying out. It’s a real crowd-pleaser. I also enjoyed when the squib blood spattered on the lens. For about a half an hour the only dialogue is “Ahhhhhhhhh!” “Grrrrrrr” and “Nein!”

Premutos: Fallen Angel was probably more fun to make than to watch but if you need a gore fix it will do the trick. Olaf Ittenbach made Premutos in 1997. The cast looks like it is comprised of Ittenbach’s friends or maybe a bunch of film students but they all appear to be in their mid-twenties which looks pretty strange when a scene involves parents and kids, but once their heads start exploding it doesn’t really matter.

Premutos‘ amateur roughness feels like an invitation to gather some friends and make your own movie. You watch it and you think, “that looks like fun. I could do that. I wonder how much ketchup we have in the fridge.”

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