The Raspberry Reich

If Jean-Luc Godard at his most Maoist had felt compelled to make adult movies, he might have cooked up something like pop-art punk-porn auteur Bruce LaBruce's slab of revolutionary raunch. Using Godard's MADE IN U.S.A (1966), LA CHINOISE and TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER (both 1967) as models, and Germany's notorious left-wing Red Army Faction terror...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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If Jean-Luc Godard at his most Maoist had felt compelled to make adult movies, he might have cooked up something like pop-art punk-porn auteur Bruce LaBruce's slab of revolutionary raunch. Using Godard's MADE IN U.S.A (1966), LA CHINOISE and TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER (both 1967) as models, and Germany's notorious left-wing Red Army Faction terror group as inspiration, LaBruce gives us the Raspberry Reich, an all-male guerilla cell led by fiery queen-bee Gundrun (Susanne Sachsse). To commemorate the 1977 kidnapping of German industrialist Hanns-Martin Schleyer by members of the RAF, and hoping to trigger her own "German Autumn," Gundrun orders Holger (Joeffrey), Andreas (Dean Stathis), Helmut (Gerrit) and, er, Clyde (Anton Z. Risan) — LaBruce named most of his characters after members of the Baader-Meinhof Gang — to abduct Patrick Schmidt (Andreas Rupprecht), the handsome son of one of Germany's wealthiest businessmen. The ransom: one million Euros to every food bank in Berlin and the release of all prisoners still being held for RAF activities. While she waits for the boys to return with their "own little Patty Hearst," Gundrun has sex with her boyfriend, Holger (Daniel Batscher), in the elevator of her building (the bedroom is counterrevolutionary, don't you know) while comrade Che (Daniel Fettig) has sex with himself and a small arsenal of weapons. What Gundrun and the others don't know is that Patrick has been disinherited for being gay and is Clyde's lover — a complication that will seriously threaten Gundrun's revolution. For the time being, however, the future looks bright. With Patrick in captivity, Gundrun can concentrate on the Raspberry Reich's real mission: triggering the homosexual intifada. The film is very silly, a bit tedious and if you cut out all the sex and sloganeering, the whole thing would run about 15 minutes. Using Godard's techniques (intertitles, rapid-fire edits and extradiegetic gunshots to punctuate scenes), this is revolution as kitsch: all style and rhetoric laid over a great soundtrack. It's also as graphic as any pornographic film and the acting is about as bad; a willingness to have sex on camera seems to preclude most other talents. Sachsse, however, is an exception: She's a hoot and a half, whether choreographing gay orgies, hectoring the rest of the cell with Reich and Marcuse, barking out SLA slogans or declaring, "The revolution is my boyfriend!" in her heavy Germanic shriek.

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  • Released: 2004
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: If Jean-Luc Godard at his most Maoist had felt compelled to make adult movies, he might have cooked up something like pop-art punk-porn auteur Bruce LaBruce's slab of revolutionary raunch. Using Godard's MADE IN U.S.A (1966), LA CHINOISE and TWO OR THREE T… (more)

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