Auf bösem Boden AKA On Evil Grounds (2007)

director: Peter Koller
release-year: 2007
genres: horror, comedy
countries: Austria
languages: German

A slapstick comedy horror about some kids named Romeo and Juliet, who are hanging around some sketchy places in rural Austria for unexplained reasons.

Romeo and Juliet, no sign of Shakespeare

They meet with a real estate agent, who looks and acts like Johnny-Depp-as-Hunter-S-Thompson, who shows them a run down industrial building. "A filthy hole," they call it. "Our filthy hole." This is shortly after Romeo vomited on the floor for some reason.

Johnny Depp's career has really tanked.

Romeo is a punk with anger issues who likes to punch people. Juliet has a cute, bubblegum personality, with some occasional wild mood swings. Everyone in the film is a shallow caricature; weird, angry, quirky, and lacking intention. The character names are introduced with title cards over freeze-frames, since all of the conversations are too unhinged to involve names or introductions. All of the characters talk a lot, but nobody says anything.

A friendly real estate transaction.

The cinematography is schizophrenic: frequent fast cuts, quick replays and rewinds, slow-motion, fast-motion, vignetting, highlight blooms, shaking cameras, shooting through various household items and architectural pieces, and just having a grand ol' time entertaining itself. A bit similar to Crank, but less refined; more like somebody had too much footage with not enough plot, had to cut it together somehow, and wanted to try out all of the buttons in Final Cut Pro eventually. There are a few clever shots, but more often it's just a bit annoying. Much of it has that high-contrast-low-saturation-yellow-tint that you see so often in low-budget modern horror movies. I don't know what causes that. Is that intentional?

Fast cars, high contrast, and vignettes.

Romeo and Juliet drive around, for reasons unclear. There are some shots of them having aggressive domination sex, for reasons unclear. Some small town cops make an appearance, who do a little awkward comedy act, but mostly just exist so they can die violently later. The cop scene introduces the artificially sped up banjo music that will, very unfortunately, come to dominate the soundtrack.

Local law enforcement fails to enforce local laws.

Romeo goes to pay Hunter S. Thompson for the filthy hole, but Hunter yells some crazy nonsense at him and takes a swing with a knife. Romeo disarms, and subsequently stabs him many, many times. He takes the corpse home to show Juliet, and she yells a lot because the car is dirty.

Hunter was not a nice man.

Romeo goes to bury Hunter, but some crazy farmer kidnaps him and buries him up to his head in the ground, Creepshow style. They spend far, far too long having a playful back-and-forth about whether the crazy farmer should dig him up and release him. The crazy farmer looks and acts rather like the alien in Men In Black wearing the droopy farmer suit, but quite a bit more lively, and maybe crossed with some Bruce Willis.

No high tide for this head in the sand.

Juliet comes to save him. Despite the fast-paced appearance, with sped-up car chases and camera cuts every three seconds and murders here and there, the pacing still manages to be gruelingly slow. They make a lot of noise and clatter around, but nothing really happens.

A modern love story.

Juliet and the farmer kick off some cartoon-style chase scenes, complete with the xylophone musical accompaniment and wacky switcheroos. This takes 20 minutes and goes nowhere.

Like, yoinks Scoob!  After that madman!

She gets captured. She escapes. There's some more chasing. Romeo escapes from his hole in the ground, there's another chase, and he gets buried again. There's plenty of blood and punching, and some hippies and the cops get shot, but it's really quite boring.

Some bloody hippies.

I stopped paying attention and didn't see how Juliet escaped, but she intentionally leaves Romeo in the ground and goes home to their filthy hole, which magically transforms into a normal apartment via some silly special effects.

Cops keep interfering with the killing.

Completely inexplicably, the credits list hundreds of people involved in making this film. I thought this was one of those "10 friends over a couple of weekends" sort of things, and it's a bit depressing that it isn't.

But cops can be killed, too.