Like every other teenager in school Simone has a crush on a rock star. When her idol, the lead singer ‘R’, comes to town to make a television appearance Simone is gripped by a trance-like state, leaving school, friends and parents behind her – she must meet him. However, when Simone comes to realise the shallow nature of the ‘glamorous’ music industry and of ‘R’ himself, she plans a calculated, ritualistic and bloody revenge on her obsession.
One minute into the movie (literally) and you it’s a message that’s hammered home very easily. Desiree Nosbusch plays the young Simone in the 1982’s Der Fan. It’s a German movie that shows off teenage obsession in a very dangerous light.
Simone may look like your everyday teenage girl but there is nothing everyday about her. Unlike other movies that deal with obsession there is no “slow burn” to her insanity, and she is insane. She’s fucking nuts.
How crazed is Simone? Crazy enough to assault a postman for not giving her “R”‘s response to her love letter. Nuts. The line between innocent naïve girl and crazed chick is never really blurred in my mind. The girl is sick.
Now who is “R”? He’s a German pop star with that Techno sound of the early 80’s. The skinny twig just stands there and sings with lifeless mannequins around him. Remember that fake group “Autobahn” that was in the Big Lebowski? (It’s really hard not to say ?We believe in nothing Lebowski.? Every time you see him) that’s the kind of music he sings.
And that is the object of her affection, her obsession.
During the entire movie we hear Simone’s thoughts, narrating her struggle as it were. She agonizes over “R” not responding to any of her letter. Theorizing that maybe “R”‘s secretary destroys her letters to keep R and her apart. She even has nightmares of that. Friends and family are nothing to her. Do notes from school bug her? HA! She loves “R” and “R” alone. She eventually meets “R” and it’s not the passion fest she expected. He plays the cold, in effectuate opposite to her love crazed self. He is a rock star after all and women to him are a dime a dozen. Unfortunately Simone doesn’t see herself as one of those dimes. And unfortunately for “R” a story like this can end one way.
The ending itself isn’t really a shocker. However what is shocking is what she did. I’ve only seen that type of stuff in Giallo films… that and Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2 (You’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it). The movie is artsy but it’s very subtle. There is this sterile vibe to it, an odd sense of detached humanity. Maybe it’s the “Germaness” (I can’t think of a better word for it) of the movie or the ear this movie was shot (or a bit of both). But it does have a certain haunting presence. It is an attractive visual piece that brings you into Simone’s world ?yet it’s bland and simple.
I can’t give away too much but if you ever get the chance to see this movie go see it (I’m doing my little review off of my R2 DVD. I don’t know if this movie will be released here.) See it to see a close-up example of teenage obsessive mania, see it for the nudity (Good to see there is a Bushville in Germany), you can see it for the violence or you can see it for the keen German Techno, *shudder*.
I promise you that song will haunt you with its repetitiveness.
The movie has a bit of a cult following. Some people really love it and give it a five out of five, while others aren’t as giving.
I’m in the later camp and will give it a 3/5. While I’m not gushing over it I am still recommending it. So sit back with a boot of Bitburger in your hand and enjoy this movie about a girl and her doomed idol.
Bloody Disgusting, by Lester Romero