• Mädchen: Mit Gewalt (The Brutes)



    Released on: May 20th, 2015.
    Released by: Subkultur Entertainment
    Director: Roger Fritz
    Cast: Helga Anders, Klaus Löwitsch, Arthur Brauss
    Year: 1970
    Purchase From Diabolik DVD

    The Movie:

    Released domestically as The Brutes, Roger Fritz’s 1970 picture Mädchen: Mit Gewalt stars Klaus Löwitsch and Arthur Brauss as Werner and Mike respectively. These guys are no good. They’re sexual predators and the lowest order, this is made very clear right from the opening scene where they dismiss a prostitute whose services were clearly recently hired.

    After work one day they decide to go out and look for a new conquest. They meet a pair of lovely ladies but decide that they’re too loose, there’s no challenge. When the girls want ice cream the guys drop them off at the snack bar and split. Greener pastures await. From there they wind up at a go-kart track where three girls and two guys are hanging out having a good time. Werner and Mike crash their party and before you know it, they’re making not so subtle moves on Alice (Helga Anders), the very pretty and seemingly very single member of the party. The guys in the group are none too keen on Werner and Mike hanging around, but since the pair keeps buying drinks for the rest, they let it slide. After an altercation at a bar almost turns into a brawl, they decide to head out to the local quarry where there’s a lake.

    Alice rides with Werner and Mike, the other four go in a separate car. Bad move Alice. These guys are rapists, it doesn’t take her long to figure that out. But of course, there’s more to it than that. As the night plays out, all three of them are, in a sense, playing games with one another. As tensions rise between Werner and Mike over who should get to do what and when with their new plaything, Alice starts to get some ideas of her own.

    Also known as Cry Rape, this one is ninety-minutes of pure grit. We know pretty much from the start what Werner and Mike are up to, the movie makes that very clear. It’s a fairly predictable picture for the first half hour so, as the camera follows them around as they look for something to entertain themselves with. These guys are dirt bags. Once we get to the gravel pit, however, and Werner and Mike are free to do as they please, things take on a decidedly different tone. The last half of the film takes the story in some interesting and unexpected directions, at times reminiscent of something like Hitch-Hike, while still managing to put its own unique spin on things. And the ending? Well, it’s a very safe bet that you won’t see it coming.

    The performances here are very effective. Klaus Löwitsch, the older and less appealing of the two men, plays Werner really well. There are times here where his character shows genuine sympathy and concern for Alice, but then, there are times where he’s got nothing but lust in his eyes – a good example of this is when she decides to go for a swim, still unaware that they’ve taken here to a different location than the one her friends have gone off to. Here Löwitsch mutters under his breath about her breasts, instructing her to undress while she’s naïve enough to just go with it, not knowing the way that he’s looking at her the entire time. It’s a creepy turn and it works perfectly. Arthur Brauss creates, with Mike, a slightly worldlier character. He’s smarter, a little coyer and a lot more subtle, and he’s a master manipulator in his own way. Brauss brings the right amount of cockiness to the part and in doing so, makes it a memorable one. Pretty Helga Anders is also well cast as the damsel in distress. She’d have been in her early twenties when this was made but could pass for younger, which is likely why she was cast. She’s innocent looking but also very attractive, the perfect bait for our two skuzzy leads. Also watch out for the lovely Astrid Boner in a small role here – fans of the Schoolgirl Report films and early seventies German sexploitation films will recognize her!

    The movie takes about a half an hour to get going but once it does, the last half really quickens the pace. The camera work does a good job capturing the locations, and once we get to the desolate quarry for the main event, it’s interesting how such a big, open space becomes as claustrophobic as it does.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The film arrives on a 50GB Blu-ray disc looking good in high definition framed at 1.66.1 widescreen in AVC encoded 1080p. Black levels are nice and deep, detail is typically quite strong as is texture and depth and things shape up nicely here. Shadow detail in the many night time scenes is also good. Colors are reproduced very naturally, skin tones look lifelike and appropriately warm and there are no problems with edge enhancement, noise reduction or compression artifacts. Expect a fair amount of natural film grain and some regular instances of damage throughout. It’s mostly minor stuff but it is there and you will notice it. A bit more cleanup work might have made this look a bit nicer, but at the same time the minor damage does add to the movie’s sleazy vibe.

    A DTS-HD Mono option is provided in German only with optional subtitles provided in German and in English. The music used in the film, which is a weird mix of folk rock and fuzz guitar from Irmin Schmidt credited as The Can, sounds great while the dialogue is properly balanced. There are no problems with any hiss or distortion and the subtitles are clean, clear and easy to read.

    Extras kick off with a commentary track from director Roger Fritz and actor Arthur Brauss who are joined by Christopher Draxtra and Sand Cestnik. A second commentary gets Pelle Felsch, Tino Zimmermann and Draxtra together for a talk about the picture. Both tracks are in German with no English subtitle options available, unfortunately.

    There is, however, a fair bit more in the extra features than just those commentary tracks, the main bonus being the inclusion of the alternate US version of the movie available to watch in German or English with optional German subtitles. This version runs 1:21:36 as opposed to the German version which runs 1:37:51. Presentation quality is roughly the same between the two cuts of the movie. This one gets to the chase quicker, going from the opening scene with the hooker then almost right into the go-kart scene where Mike and Werner meet Alice. This is a completely separate encode but it’s also in AVC encoded 1080p framed at 1.66.1 with the two audio options provided in DTS-HD Mono. Note that it still uses the German title card, not the alternate The Brutes title sequence.

    The disc also includes some interesting interviews, the first of which is with Roger Fritz and runs just under six minutes in length. Here the director talks about his education and background in the film business, how he got his start first as an actor, the specifics of making this particular film and working with the cast and crew on this project. The second interview features Arthur Brauss who talks for just under eight minutes about his work as an actor, his background in sports and pole vaulting (!!), his work in the theater and various film projects that he has been involved with over the years including The Train and the feature attraction here. The third and final interview is with Rolf Zacher, who has a supporting role in the picture as the older man that they almost get in a fight with after the go-kart scene. This twelve minute interview finds him talking about how he got his start as an actor in Berlin, some of the different people that he worked with over the years (including Montgomery Clift), his thoughts on acting and ego, and of course, his experiences working on this particular feature. All three of these interviews include optional English subtitles.

    Rounding out the extras is the US alternate opening credits sequence (under the Cry Rape title), US and German theatrical trailers, a still gallery, trailers for other titles in Subkultur’s excellent EDV line, menus in German or English, and chapter selection. Additionally, as this is a combo pack release we also get a DVD version of the movie that fits inside the slick gatefold packaging alongside the Blu-ray disc and an insert booklet of liner notes (in German only). This all fits inside a sturdy cardboard slipcover – the packaging on this release is pretty slick!

    The Final Word:

    Mädchen: Mit Gewalt is just as well made as it is provocative and sleazy. The performances here are impressive while Roger Fritz’s skills as a director keep a steady hand on the pacing and the exposition. Subkultur’s Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack release presents the film uncut and with a load of extras as well. Highly recommended!

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!




















    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Jason C's Avatar
      Jason C -
      Highly entertaining but I'm still trying to reconcile the ending.
    1. Mark C.'s Avatar
      Mark C. -
      I like this film the best out of the 6 Vita releases SubKultur has released thus far,
    1. Mark C.'s Avatar
      Mark C. -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jason C View Post
      Highly entertaining but I'm still trying to reconcile the ending.
      That ending was very unexpected, and very ambiguous.
    1. Jason C's Avatar
      Jason C -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mark C. View Post
      That ending was very unexpected, and very ambiguous.
      [SPOILER]I'm running back through the film in my head and trying to figure out if there was any hint that it could go that way. I suppose one possibility is that she knew what she was doing when she got in the car and was looking forward to a night of debauchery. Once things escalate she certainly doesn't appear to be stupid. If I ever get around to a second watch I'll be looking to see if that ending was earned. [/SPOILER]

      Apparently I'm too stupid to figure out how spoiler tags work here.
    1. Mark C.'s Avatar
      Mark C. -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jason C View Post
      [SPOILER]I'm running back through the film in my head and trying to figure out if there was any hint that it could go that way. I suppose one possibility is that she knew what she was doing when she got in the car and was looking forward to a night of debauchery. Once things escalate she certainly doesn't appear to be stupid. If I ever get around to a second watch I'll be looking to see if that ending was earned. [/SPOILER]

      Apparently I'm too stupid to figure out how spoiler tags work here.
      Either that or she was convinced about that story they fed her about going to the police and looking like a liar. But she also had ample time to truly get away if she wanted. Overall a interesting film and I thought the actress Helga Anders was gorgeous, She also stars in Madchen, Madchen (#6 in the vita series) and sadly passed away rather young (38) in 1986.

      Looking forward to more movies from this imprint as these German Exploitation flicks are pretty obscure to my eyes.