A news reporter and his crew travel around Berlin covering stories of violence and death. When the stories start coming up short, they decide that instead of waiting for the stories to come to them that they will make the stories. Journalist integrity goes out the window as they set out to create the perfect news story featuring death.
I don't remember what lead to us talking about it but Ronny had mentioned the movie "Berlin Snuff" and asked if I had it or if I had seen it. At the time I hadn't seen it but I wasn't surprised to find it when I went digging through my collection as I have the innate ability of collecting random titles, not to mention at one point I went on a bender and collected anything that had 'snuff' in the title. (Not sure why as I tend to hate faux-snuff.) I'm sure "Berlin Snuff" being SOV and German also played into me adding it into my collection.
Anyway t hat's neither here nor there though; I decided to watch it and review "Berlin Snuff" since I was going through short films and I'm glad I did since this was actually a pretty good little movie. Now off the bat, "Berlin Snuff" doesn't have English subtitles so I could only watch and enjoy the movie at face value since I had no idea what characters were saying.
"Berlin Snuff" is about a news reporter and along with his camera-man and boom operator (who also happens to be his friends), go out and cover stories of violence, murder, and death. Their desire to get the big story or the perfect story causes them to stage some of the events that they record. They go so far as to give a junkie some drugs as they watch him slice open his arm and pore the drugs directly into his wound. Though the men become obsessed with killing and finally take things to an extreme when they come across a cult and decide to slaughter the group for one of their news stories.
As I said, I watched the movie without subtitles and this is what I could pick up. A lot of people say that you don't need subtitles to watch a movie like this and that isn't entirely true. It's obvious that "Berlin Snuff" was meant to be comedic in the way some of the scenes play out; i.e. a guy getting beat by two punks while they do a report on him getting beat. You can also tell in generall that there is humor to the movie's tone/attitude and that it wasn't meant to be entirely serious. How comedic though, I can't tell. Simply watching "Berlin Snuff", it seems like a silly movie but it could have very well had a serious nature and feature some social commentary about the news-media's obsession with violence. Not knowing how silly or how serious the movie doesn't affect the movie, but it would be nice to know. Curse this language barrier!
With that being said, if you're looking for a shock or perhaps a gory title, you're better off looking else where. "Berlin Snuff" is apparently going for entertainment and not much else. Sure it features a baby being cut up with an electric carving knife, and a guy getting his eyes squished out of his head. But these types of scenes are few and far between as most of the movie features talking with an occasional death scene, which are almost always silly and schlocky. It's hard to say who I'd recommend this to - perhaps German aficionados. In part, due to the fact that there is hardly any blood and guts for the gore fiends, and it's just a silly and amusingly-entertaining short film that isn't as shocking as the synopsis might make you think. Actually it's not shocking at all.