Saturday, 19 November 2016

Liebesgrüße aus der Lederhose 2 (4 Stars)

This is a sequel to "Liebesgrüße aus der Lederhose", made a year later in 1974. Once more we're treated to a German erotic comedy with dancing Bavarians, but this time the action steps up a notch: we also have singing monks with cowbells!

I have to apologise for the relatively poor quality of the screenshots. The German erotic comedies of the 1970's haven't been well preserved. At the time they were made they were considered throwaway articles. Nobody realised that 30 years later they would reach cult status.

There's something about this film that might confuse people who watch it today. Characters are thrown into the film who obviously have a back story, but no explanations are made. At least, no explanations are made in the film. You can rely on me and my blog to tell you what's happening. The director Franz Marischka was responsible for two film series in the 1970's. The Bavarian Lederhose films that I'm watching at the moment are one of them. The other is the "Lass jucken, Kumpel" series, set in the German industrial area commonly called the Ruhrpott. The series was about the erotic adventures of a group of coal miners and their neighbours in their industrial community. This film is a crossover between the two series, picking up from the events of "Lass jucken, Kumpel 3".

In case you're wondering what it means, "Lass jucken" is central German slang meaning "Hurry up" or "Do it now", so the title of the film series means "Hurry up, mate" or "Hurry up, mates". ("Kumpel" can be singular or plural). In the context of the films this expression is ambiguous. It's something miners say to one another when they're at work, but it's also what a housewife says to her lover if she wants him to finish fast before her husband gets home from work.

The film begins with Erika Keller (played by Ulrike Butz), a single mother who lives with her father, the owner of a small bar visited by the miners after work. She had the baby in "Lass jucken, Kumpel 3", and the father is an Italian, Lucky, played by the famous Italian actor Rinaldo Talamonti. Erika is planning to marry Lucky, but her father doesn't approve of her marrying a foreigner, so he sends her on holiday to Bavaria, hoping she will find a new man who will change her mind.

Ulrike Butz is beautiful, isn't she? At least she used to be beautiful. She died too young.

The village wasn't named in the first film, but this time it's openly called Pfronten. That's probably because so many people asked where the first film was made. Back in the 1970's there was no Internet or IMDB to check filming locations. The two rival hotel owners Sepp and Michl are still in business. Michl has the same hotel as in the first film, but Sepp has now moved into a farm and is offering holidays on the farm. Of course, he still offers extra services that involve climbing into women's bedrooms at night.

A potential problem is that the actor Franz Helminger appears in both film series, as Michl in the Lederhosen films and as Erika's father in the Lass Jucken films. This is used as an opportunity for a joke. When Erika meets Michl she says he looks like her father, to which he replies, "Your father and I are cousins. That means I'm your uncle". That's what he says, anyway. I'm not sure what I'd call my father's cousin, but probably not uncle.

Based on the evidence of this film, Bavarians don't even take their Lederhosen off when they're having sex. I could never do that. I'd be too scared of doing myself permanent harm if I got caught in the zip.

The film is a hilarious comedy for the first 75 minutes. Then it suddenly slams on the brakes and becomes a serious drama for the last 15 minutes. It becomes a different film. I think Franz Marischka got his plots in a twist with his crosssover film. Lucky arrives in Pfronten, and he's devastated when he hears that Erika has been unfaithful to him.

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