Snowflake Blu-ray Review: A Blood-Soaked, Twisted Delight

Two men, Javid (Reza Brojerdi) and Tan (Erkan Acar), sit in a kebab shop arguing over the quality of the food. They seem to have made a bet on whether or not the meat could be made to taste better by a different style of cooking. Their language is graphic and saucy. The argument causes them to lose their appetite so they get up to leave, grabbing a gun and a chainsaw from the table. The camera pans up revealing the restaurant floor littered with bodies. Outside, they steal a car and head into the night. The narrator explains this is Germany in the near future where anarchy reigns and crime pays. Its like if The Purge never ended and only the strong survive.

Later, the two are sitting in the car. One sleeps while the other casually looks around. He finds a script and starts reading. What he reads is the scene they just lived out – David and Tan eating in a kabob shop arguing over the food quality, using the same graphic, saucy language. How could that be? Was someone listening to them and writing it down? How did it get in the car without them noticing? They look around the car some more and find a business card belonging to a dentist, the cars owner and go to ask some serious questions.

Somewhere else in town, Eliana (Xenia Assenza) is mourning the murder of her parents. She vows revenge despite the warnings against it from her bodyguard Carson (David Masterson), but when she notes that he didn’t do such a great job protecting her parents, he vows to help. He first takes her to his father (David Gang), a crazy old man who thinks he’s God. After some initial protests, he too agrees to help them avenge, proclaiming that God works in mysterious ways. He gives them the names of three people who will help them find and kill Eliana’s parents. Along the way, they meet a couple of cannibals, a blood-soaked angel, a hitman who works only with cybernetic robots, and another man positioning himself to be the next Hitler.

Meanwhile, Javid and Tan meet up with this dentist/screenwriter, Arend (Alexander Schulbert), who knows exactly what they are going to say and when they are going to say it, as he’s already written this script (and in an added layer of meta-commentary the movie’s actual screenwriter is named Arend). He gives them the full screenplay whereupon they can read their entire future including full scenes of them reading the screenplay and their own bloody end.

If that sounds like a rejected Quentin Tarantino script, well, that’s because it kind of is. Snowflake has the look and feel of all those late ’90s movies when everybody was ripping off Tarantino. Except where those movies were never very good, Snowflake is actually a lot of fun. That’s because directors Adolfo J. Kolmerer and William James understand that Tarantino films aren’t all just cool dialogue and style. They get that his films care about telling a good story with interesting characters.

The two separate stories that make up the film eventually come together in a mostly satisfying way. Films as meta-textual as Snowflake usually end with disastrous results because the filmmakers are unable to draw its various storylines together in a way that makes sense both as commentary and an actual story, but here they manage to pull it all together in a way that really works.

It still feels a little Tarantino-lite, like they grew up watching Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction and and not much else. It’s not quite as clever as it thinks it is, but it is still lots of fun to watch. Made on a shoestring budget (the cast were not paid at all) over a series of months (whenever the cast and crew could find the time) yet it looks like a pricey Hollywood movie. I’ll definitely be looking to see what they do next.

Artsploitation brings Snowflake to Blu-ray with a nice-looking transfer that again makes this low-budget, German horror film look like a million Euros. Extras include the film’s trailer plus a nice behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film that really digs into how amazing it is that a group of inexperienced filmmakers with no money made such a well-produced and really quite entertaining film.

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Mat Brewster

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