Ever wonder what the German film industry thinks of the United States?
If exporting Flashback to us is any indication, they're off my
Christmas card list.




Directed by Bernd Schaarmann
Writing credits: Bernd Schaarmann

Martin Armknecht
Nicole R. Beutler
Peter Davor
Thomas Hackenberg
Klaus Lehmann

Filmed apparently in Germany, we start with the most deranged opening sequence I've ever seen.

girl and her terminally horny boyfriend share a little friendly banter
on a train ride. The boy calls her a tease. Of course, she immediately
disproves him by collapsing to her back on the train seat. The train
goes through a tunnel (LOVE the ironic symbolism!) and the next thing
we know- somehow, the boyfriend is dead and the girl's about to take a
sickle to the neck.

Can you believe this for even the vaguest
of moments? Someone managed to not only enter a train car but also kill
a person silently enough for no one to notice.

Unfathomably, we
cut to a family on vacation, a man, his daughter Jeanette, and his
lovely and very French wife, Michelle. The power goes off in the night,
and Michelle goes to sleep. When she wakes up to the power coming back
on, she goes off to her mother's room. And boy, is there trouble down
there. Our sickle killer is in the room, her father dead on the floor,
her mother bare inches from dying herself. Jeanette sprints for the
door, and is only seconds from dying .

Jeanette wakes up, nearly
ten years older, being psychoanalyzed. Somehow, she's in the middle of
a mental institution and about to be released. Released, in fact, to be
a private French tutor. She's is being stalked once again by the
Crossdressing Sickle Killer.

You know, the more I talk about it-
the more ludicrous it sounds. A crossdressing, sickle-toting serial
killer who can appear and disappear in the space of seconds. A demon
who has total disregard for the laws of physics? It's like Jason, but
somehow repulsive. I don't know how they do it in Germany, but over
here in the States we like our killers to be huge, manly, and very,
very insane! Well...I guess one out of three isn't all that bad.

hey...since we've got sort of a substandard villain anyway, we might as
well give him a real softball in terms of victims. And indeed, we have
a serious cakewalk for a serial killer...Jeanette, our French tutor,
and three rich, spoiled teenagers almost alone in a house--with a

And these kids are serious horror lightweights.
They're watching a movie with a killer that looks strangely like the
Predator sans helmet, complete with movable mouth parts, and they're
jumping in their seats every fifteen seconds. Screaming, throwing
popcorn...all except for the eldest girl in our story...she's busily
talking on a cell phone to her friend, also in the theatre, about the
movie! It's like watching a German Paris Hilton knockoff.

when they actually get STALKED by a serial killer, the killer won't
even need to get his sickle dirty. They'll all die of fright after he
knocks on the windowglass in a thunderstorm.

And in fact, the
Crossdressing Sickle Killer almost kills the four of them off without
even raising his blade. He stands out in the middle of the road, and as
the kids drive by, they swerve to avoid him and nearly flip their Jeep.

the best friend from the theatre? Turns out this little charmer's name
is Ella. Ella isn't the brightest bulb in the display case...she goes
wandering on her own through what looks like a graveyard with only her
tiny little dog Xavier for protection. Of course, the walking cotton
ball doesn't last very long against the Crossdressing Sickle Killer.
And Ella's next.

And the police force doesn't make things any
harder for the Crossdressing Sickle Killer. I swear, MAYBERRY has a
better police force than this place. The local cops, which consist of
guys who make Chuck and Bobby from the Ernest movies look competent,
gloss over every suspicious thing they drive past, run across, or that
occurs in their neighborhood. The Crossdressing Sickle Killer could
kill a guy right on top of their newest box of donuts, and they would
arrest the corpse for damaging the donuts!

You know, if Jason
were over there, he'd have ripped apart half the country and made the
Crossdressing Sickle Killer hold his machete with his own crossdressing
small intestine in, oh, let's make it a conservative estimate
here...say, three hours?

Jeanette goes positively daffy as a
result of a practical joke, and she begins her own little murder spree
by introducing a cat to a blender. And then, the truly bizarre twist
ending kicks into high gear. I won't tell you about it, but you should
probably see it.

It defies explanation.

And WHO did the
film editing? The characters' mouths don't even sync with their
dialogue! I haven't seen a dub this obvious since my last feverish bout
with Sailor Moon.

You don't get much in the way of extras--just some audio options and a set of trailers for clicking on the Lion's Gate logo.

is quite possibly the best party horror film released in the last
several years. Fans of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 will love
this--it's positively terrific mistie fodder. It is one of the most
unintentionally FUNNY movies I've seen in a long time. Making fun of it
is almost overkill--the movie's very existance is self-deprecation

Flashback will stand for quite some time to come as the bloodiest comedy with minor horrific elements since Dead Alive.