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The Killer Condom

The Killer Condom" may not fit everyone's idea of a good time, but this smoothly lensed, gleefully bad-taste Euro cross between "Police Squad" and "Sledge Hammer!" will wring a few laughs out of anyone looking for a non-correct evening out. Parody about a hard-boiled cop hunting down a hoard of member-chomping prophylactics in New York, the pic is a natural latenight fest item and could even have an offshore career as a curiosity item on homevideo. Like the 1994 German smash hit "Der bewegte Mann," the film is based on comics by cult cartoonist Ralf Koenig, and there's enough crossing of gender lines here to keep a sexologist busy for weeks. Movie's overall tone, however, is angled toward mainstream, largely heterosexual auds.

With:
Luigi Mackeroni ..... Udo Samel Sam Hanks ..... Peter Lohmeyer Billy ..... Marc Richter Babette ..... Leonard Lansink Dr. Riffleson ..... Iris Berben Robinson ..... Henning Schlueter Police chief ..... Ron Williams Prof. Smirnoff ..... Ralf Wolter Dick McGouvern ..... Georg-Martin Bode

Gruff, bestubbled N.Y. cop Luigi Mackeroni (Udo Samel), who can drink a glass of whiskey without taking a cigarette out of his mouth, is called in to investigate a case where male organs are mysteriously being bitten off in the seedy Hotel Quickie. Using a room there for some R&R with male prostitute Billy (Marc Richter), Mackeroni narrowly avoids the same fate when a condom attacks his nether regions and makes off with one of his testicles.

Back at his apartment, Mackeroni later kills one of the condoms (which sport a Jaws-like row of teeth) and traces their provenance to a supplier in Queens. Panic hits the city when presidential candidate Dick McGouvern (Georg-Martin Bode) loses his first name, and Mackeroni meanwhile suspects a kidnapped scientist, Professor Smirnoff (Ralf Wolter), of being involved in the condom manufacturing. The cops go undercover into N.Y.’s S&M gay scene for more clues.

The comedy isn’t pitched much higher than a “Carry On” movie, and absolutely no account is taken of possible offensiveness to sexual minorities. But thanks to surprisingly slick production values, a no-holds-barred hard-nosed perf by Samel (complete with film noir voiceover) and a busy, character-filled plot, the whole confection manages not to run out of gas by the second reel. Movie gags pop up here and there, but in general the approach is more professional than sophomoric.

Film smoothly blends Big Apple exteriors with interiors shot at Babelsberg Studios, near Berlin. Special effects are by none other than Joerg Buttgereit, Germany’s low-budget sickmeister, with H.R. Giger credited as artistic consultant. Print caught was the subtitled, rather than dubbed, version.

The Killer Condom

German

Production: An Ascot Filmverleih release (in Germany) of an Ascot Filmproduktion/ECCO Film production. (International sales: Elite Film, Zurich.) Produced by Ralph S. Dietrich, Harald Reichebner. Directed by Martin Walz. Screenplay, Ralf Koenig, Walz, Mario Kramp, based on the comics by Koenig.

Crew: Camera (Fuji Kine color), Alexander Honisch; editor, Simone Klier; music, Emil Viklicky; art direction, Agi Ariunsaichan Dawaachu; costume design, Anja Niehaus; sound (Dolby SR), Jochen Hergersberg; special effects, Joerg Buttgereit; artistic consultant, H.R. Giger. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (New German Films), Feb. 19, 1997. (Also in Rotterdam Film Festival.) Running time: 107 MIN.

With: Luigi Mackeroni ..... Udo Samel Sam Hanks ..... Peter Lohmeyer Billy ..... Marc Richter Babette ..... Leonard Lansink Dr. Riffleson ..... Iris Berben Robinson ..... Henning Schlueter Police chief ..... Ron Williams Prof. Smirnoff ..... Ralf Wolter Dick McGouvern ..... Georg-Martin Bode

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