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Tenderness Of The Wolves (1973)
Movie Review by The Spastic Cannibal

Tenderness Of The Wolves (1973) It's definitely odd watching a film like "Tenderness of the Wolves" and knowing that Ulli Lommel actually made respectable and cinematically competent films at one point. If you've seen anything fairly recent from the German film maker, you would find tedious, low-budget serial killer riff-raff released straight-to-DVD by the half-dozen yearly! Now I DO dig his older stuff, but at this point, I feel it would be best if Mr. Lommel was beaten with a shovel and fed to sharks...

Anyhoo, "Tenderness of the Wolves" is a pretty classy, yet highly uncomfortable serial killer film from the young, THEN auteur, based on the crimes of Fritz Haarmann - a German con-artist and black marketeer who gained police trust as an "inside" man as far as infiltrating criminal organizations. Still, the crafty thief enjoyed luring young run away boys back to his apartment by enticing them with offers of money and food. He would kill them by biting their necks, dismember them, and sell their meat to restaurants. The unusable parts would be dumped in a river.

The film, while not all that violent, blatantly depicts Haarmann's homosexual behavior, deceitful criminal exploits, and behind-closed-doors sadism very well. The setting is amazing - showing Germany at it's economic low point and the acting is top-notch. Kurt Raab (who also wrote the film) is as sleazy and unlikable as you could ever hope for a portrayal of such a psychotic madman to be. Highly recommended.

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