×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Anatomy

Boasting a gutsy performance from sturdy young German star Franka Potente ("Run Lola Run"), "Anatomy" is creepy, sometimes gruesome, widescreen fun that pushes all the right buttons. Out-performing "Scream" at the local B.O. and the biggest German pic of the year so far, this is natural latenight/fantasy fest fare that could become a cult item on half-inch and possibly even theatrically. Sony is gingerly opening it Stateside in eight cities on Sept. 8.

With:
With: Franka Potente, Benno Fuermann, Anna Loos, Holger Speckhahn, Sebastian Blomberg, Traugott Buhre, Rudiger Vogler.

Boasting a gutsy performance from sturdy young German star Franka Potente (“Run Lola Run”), “Anatomy” is creepy, sometimes gruesome, widescreen fun that pushes all the right buttons. Out-performing “Scream” at the local B.O. and the biggest German pic of the year so far, this is natural latenight/fantasy fest fare that could become a cult item on half-inch and possibly even theatrically. Sony is gingerly opening it Stateside in eight cities on Sept. 8.

Thanks to writer-director Stefan Ruzowitzky’s cool direction, as well as Potente’s offbeat appeal, film is the best of the recent crop of Teuton horrors, including Michael Karen’s slick sendup of U.S. slasher pics, “Flashback: A Murderous Vacation,” and the English-lingo, Amanda Plummer starrer, “7 Days to Live.” Surprise here is Ruzowitzky’s involvement, as the Austrian director previously carved a name on the fest circuit with the very different rural comedy “The Inheritors,” his sophomore outing.

“Anatomy” is the first feature kick-started by the production unit of distrib Col TriStar’s German operation. Its success has encouraged further investment by the major, at a time when others in Germany, bruised by some releases, have started to question the wisdom of supporting local fare.

Potente plays Paula Henning, an ambitious, focused med student from Munich who gets a place in an elite summer course on anatomy at a college in Heidelberg that has a peerless collection of plasticized specimens. Her horny roommate, Gretchen (Anna Loos), who likes to get her jollies on metal dissecting tables, takes a shine to handsome, steely-eyed Hein (Benno Fuermann). Paula, however, is all work, despite the admiration of fellow student Caspar (Sebastian Blomberg).

The daughter of a doctor (Rudiger Vogler, in a small but key role), Paula attracts the attention of the college’s renowned head, Prof. Grombek (Traugott Buhre). She also comes to suspect that Grombek is head of a secret society, the Anti-Hippocratics, which is cutting up corpses in unauthorized ways. When first Gretchen and then Grombek are discovered missing, Paula finds herself next on the menu.

Ruzowitzky stirs everything from incipient Nazism to mad-doctor horror refs into the script but prevents the mix toppling over into sendup by straight playing from the cast. Peter von Haller’s widescreen lensing contrasts the dreamy, rural exteriors of historic Heidelberg with the cool, metallic interiors of the research facility (created in a Munich studio).

Tension unfortunately slackens in the final reels, lacks a big enough climax and too obviously setup a sequel, but, for most of the way, pic is highly entertaining. Fuermann, good in the recent “Friends,” makes a suitably hunky co-star for offbeat looker Potente. Thesps have since reteamed for Tom Tykwer’s “The Princess and the Warrior,” set to bow at Venice.

Anatomy

Germany

Production: A Sony Pictures release (in U.S.)/Columbia TriStar release (foreign) of a Deutsche Columbia Pictures Filmproduktion/Claussen & Woebke Filmproduktion production. (International sales: Col TriStar, Culver City/Berlin.) Produced by Jakob Claussen, Thomas Woebke, Andrea Willson. Directed, written by Stefan Ruzowitzky.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Peter von Haller; editor, Ueli Christen; music, Marius Ruhland; production designer, Ingrid Henn; sound (Dolby Digital/SDDS), William Franck. Reviewed on videocassette, London, July 29, 2000. (In Edinburgh Film Festival - Late Night Romps.) Running time: 99 MIN.

With: With: Franka Potente, Benno Fuermann, Anna Loos, Holger Speckhahn, Sebastian Blomberg, Traugott Buhre, Rudiger Vogler.

More Film

  • Vice Media

    Vice Media Taps Joe Simon as Chief Technology Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joe Simon has been tapped as chief technology officer at Vice Media. The newly created role will include oversight of data analytics, engineering, information technology, media operations, media technology, post production, and systems management. Prior to Vice, Simon spent three years as Encompass Digital Media’s chief operating officer. Previously he held the chief technology officer [...]

  • Michael B Jordan denzel washington

    Michael B. Jordan to Star in Denzel Washington's 'Journal for Jordan'

    Michael B. Jordan is in talks to star in Sony’s “Journal for Jordan,” a drama that will be directed by Denzel Washington. The movie, penned by “Mudbound” screenwriter VirgiL Williams, is based on the true story of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Dana Canedy’s love affair with First Sergeant Charles Monroe King. King kept a journal [...]

  • Sylvester Stallone

    Sylvester Stallone's Superhero Drama 'Samaritan' Lands at MGM

    MGM is developing the superhero drama “Samaritan” with Sylvester Stallone attached to star and produce through his Balboa Productions. The studio has acquired Bragi F. Schut’s script, which centers on a boy learning that a missing superhero, who vanished 20 years earlier after a battle, may still be alive. MGM will develop “Samaritan” with Stallone [...]

  • Kendrick Lamar

    Oscars: Kendrick Lamar and SZA Will Not Perform 'Black Panther' Song (EXCLUSIVE)

    Despite the Academy’s efforts to secure Kendrick Lamar and SZA for a performance of the Oscar-nominated song “All the Stars” from “Black Panther” on the upcoming Oscars telecast, the duo will not be a part of the show, Variety has learned. The reason, according to a source close to the situation, is logistics and timing. [...]

  • Oscars Spa Treatments

    Area Spas Offer Red Carpet Treatments in Time for Oscars

    From a shopping session with a celebrity stylist to a covert airport pickup, these hotels and spas are offering even more curated packages for the ultimate VIP Oscar experience. For the Jetsetter Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills’ Doheny Suite Experience package allows travelers to evade the paparazzi with an underground or curbside [...]

  • Rocketman

    See Taron Egerton Transform Into Elton John in New ‘Rocketman’ Trailer

    A new trailer for “Rocketman,” the Elton John “fantasy musical” in theaters May 31, was released today. As the singer, actor Taron Egerton (“Eddie the Eagle”) performs “Tiny Dancer” and is seen honing his talent at home, rising to fame and grappling with the pitfalls that superstardom can bring. The film also stars Jamie Bell (as John’s [...]

  • Matthew McConaughey White Boy Rick

    STX Buys Matthew McConaughey's Crime Drama 'Bush' for U.S.

    STXfilms has picked up U.S. rights to Matthew McConaughey’s British crime drama “Bush,” with Guy Ritchie directing and producing, for $7 million. The project, formerly known as “Toff Guys,” also stars Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, and Michelle Dockery. The deal was in the works in Berlin and has just been completed. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content