fritz lang
The Horror Zine Review

Fritz Lang

A Film by Gordian Maugg

Director: Gordian Maugg
Heino Ferch, Samuel Finzi, Lisa Charlotte Friederich
Studio: Wide House
Language: German (English subtitles)
Release Date: July 2017 (Fantasy Film Festival)
Run Time: 104 minutes



Fritz Lang

A film by Gordon Maugg

Review by Nancy Kilpatrick

An innovative hybrid biopic shot in black and white about Fritz Lang promises to be something worth seeing. And it is.

Most of us know Fritz Lang from his 1927 sci fi silent Metropolis, which focuses on the class divide that haunts humanity still, and is set in a futuristic society of robots and people forced to function like them. Born in Vienna, Lang came from a solid upper middle class family, both parents professionals.  

Seemingly few roadblocks impeded his chosen path. He fought in WW1 and a shell-shock injury resulted in a vision problem in one eye, but that didn't stop this rather ordinary man from pursuing a budding visual medium. But over the length of his career, Lang became notorious, frequently described as a combination genius, ego-maniac and sadist--he reputedly tossed Peter Lorre down a flight of stairs to accentuate his battered look for the movie M.

Worried about the rise of Nazism and concerned about his half-Jewish DNA (his mother, who converted to Catholicism), Lang immigrated to the US, continuing his career in the film noir genre with the movie M (his first talkie). Scarlet Street; The Big Heat, While the City Sleeps followed, with twenty-three films altogether in the Hollywood branch of his oeuvre.   

On the surface, the unfettered life of an educated and cultured man who created extraordinary films in the German Expressionist school of filmmaking would seem to offer little that would inspire a film noir about him. But Gordian Maugg looks beyond the surface and snags tidbits from Lang's life, blending them into a focused story where the famous director researches "The Vampire of Dusseldorf" (Peter Kurten), Germany's blood-drinking and most notorious serial killers.

The film Fritz Lang is creatively and seamlessly woven from the facts of the famous director's life (aided by some fantasizing), footage from the Weimar Republic (that adds authenticity), plus little-known life details (including parallels between the lives of Lang and Kurten), all of which result in a portrait of an intriguing yet troubled man, one attracted to violence, drugs and hate sex while caught in the fever most artists experience in the fiery heat of the creative process. It's an amazing look at a film icon and the serial killer he tracks, including prison interviews with Kurten as research for his first talking film M.
If you enjoy film noir, hunt this one down.

Personally, I'd love to see Maugg tackle F.W. Murnau and Max Schreck of the 1922 silent Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror.








Learn about the film HERE

About the Director

Gordian Maugg


Gordian Maugg was born in Heidelberg, Germany in 1966. He is a German screenwriter, director and producer who studied at The Academy of Fine Arts in Kessel and also Konrad-Wolf Academy for Film and Television in Potsdam. Maugg's specialty is obsession via creating perfectly re-enacted scenes with vintage archival footage. His successful motion picture trilogy, composed of The Olympic Summer (1993), Hans Warns--My 20th Century (2000) and Zeppelin! (2005) was presented at more than 94 international festivals and won two major German film prizes and 22 international awards.

About the Reviewer

Nancy Kilpatrick


About Nancy Kilpatrick

Nancy Kilpatrick is an award-winning writer and editor.

She has published 19 novels, 1 non-fiction book, over 220 short stories and 6 collections of her short fiction, comic books, a graphic novel, and she has edited 15 anthologies. Her work has been translated into 7 languages.

Her writing and editing falls into these genres:

Dark Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Erotic Horror, Sci-Fi.  She writes under her name, and the noms de plume Amarantha Knight and Desirée Knight (Amarantha’s kid sister!)

Nancy has been a 4 time Bram Stoker Award finalist, a 7 time Aurora Award finalist, a 2 time Paris Book Festival winner for anthologies, the ForeWord Reviewers Award silver winner for collections, the winner of the Murder, Mayhem & the Macabre award; The Standing Stone short fiction winner award; Interzon winner; and winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for best mystery story.

She lives with her calico cat Fedex in lovely Montréal. When not writing, she travels planet Earth —the Great Curio Cabinet–in search of cemeteries, ossuaries, catacombs, mummies and Danse Macabre artwork.