‘Snowman’s Land,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


Casually brutal, drily (but only intermittently) funny and frequently just plain strange, the German “Snowman’s Land” is a gloomy comedy that’s funnier in theory than in practice.

Walter (Jurgen Rissman) is a hired killer who kills the wrong man by mistake – and so is banished by his boss, who tells him to take a vacation until he hears differently.

He runs into a pal, who offers him a fill-in job: The buddy was supposed to go into the northern mountains to do some killing for a guy named Berger (Reiner Schone). Walter can go in his place. En route, he comes across another hitman colleague, Micky (Thomas Wodianka), who is also off to help Berger.

The road is snowy and cold, so much so that Walter’s rattly old car slides off the road. He and Micky wind up hoofing it to their destination: a mountaintop fortress that could be a luxury hotel or, perhaps, a mental institution.

But the place is mostly empty: Berger is off hunting boar, leaving his woman, Sybille (Eva-Katrin Hermann), home alone. Sybille, however, is off for a spree in town – and leaves Micky and Walter behind, saying, “Don’t touch anything.”

When she returns a few days later, she comes bearing tales of crazed, Ecstasy-fueled orgies – then lures Micky off for a reenactment that ends up with her dead (through no fault of Micky’s). Convinced that Berger will kill them both if he finds Sybille’s corpse, they dispose of it – but still wind up on the wrong end of Berger’s gun.

This review continues on my website.

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