Friday Afternoon Movie: M

Christ, again? Seriously, you knew your boss was crazy but this is just getting ridiculous. I mean, how many pictures of fucking Spiderman does one man need, really? They never publish more than two or three anyway. Bet the bastard probably jerks off to ’em at home. Asshole. Well screw him, you’ve got better things to do than indulge his weird fetishes. It’s time for the FAM.

For your enjoyment we present M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder or simply M as it was known here, Fritz Lang’s story of a murderer terrorizing Berlin. Considered by Lang to be his finest film (a sentiment I echo; Metropolis being a masterpiece of design but a mess of everything else) it helped to launch the career of Peter Lorre, previously known as a comedic actor, who would go on to be typecast as a villain for years afterwards. Many have suggested that the film was inspired by the case of Peter Kürten, “The Vampire of Düsseldorf” the serial killer and rapist who preyed on the citizens of Düsseldorf from February to November of 1929, a claim that Lang steadfastly denied.

This is a movie that always comes up when I discuss the current resurgence of so-called “torture porn”, films created by hacks with no idea how to direct a film. The opening scene of M is a tour de force of subtlety, the image of a balloon, entangled in telephone lines infinitely more effective than anything seen in the tenth installment of Saw or anything even remotely related to Eli Roth. They really don’t make them like this anymore.

4 Responses to “Friday Afternoon Movie: M”

  1. toro Says:

    Thank you for mentioning this movie.
    I’ve just watch it and it is rock solid. The entire movie is a tour de force.

  2. kbeeb Says:

    I agree that modern torture-porn is incredibly overrated, but let’s not forget our diamonds in the rough. Takashi Miike, at the top of his game, can provide an incredible subtlety and depth that rivals many of the great classics.

  3. Mer Says:

    Poor Peter Lorre. He was so perfect in this movie, he never escaped the role. But thank goodness he (and Lang) escaped Nazi Germany.

    Have you ever noticed how incredible the sound design and editing is in this movie? It’s only half talkie…

    Kbeeb, I thrill to what Miike’s able to pull off; Audition is easily one of the most horrifying movies I’ve seen in the last 15 years. But rival to Fritz Lang? I dunno about that… I think Ross is right… they just don’t make ’em like this anymore. I don’t think they could.

  4. Nick Says:

    This is one of my favorite movies. Every time I see it I both discover something new and get the chills all over again.