Call me kooky, but I’ve got issues with the idea of being eaten; and I guess I always assumed that everyone else did too, but as it turns out, not so much…
Based on actual events, Grimm Love (as in Brothers Grimm…as in German…yeah, it’s dumb) is the story of two very lonely, deeply disturbed men with very particular desires. What desires; you may ask. Well, the first man, Oliver, desperately wanted to eat someone. The second, Simon, yearned desperately to be eaten.
Yeah, you did just read that right.
When I first read about this movie, I told myself I was NOT gonna watch it…that lasted about an hour once I found out it was streaming on Netflix. I couldn’t get it out of my head or eat for 2 days afterwards. And no, it wasn’t because of the gore, I’ve seen far gorier films about cannibals, it was more the concept of a human being willingly (even joyfully) choosing to become…well, meat. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it; I still can’t actually.
But enough about my psychological traumas…
Starring Thomas Kretschmann as the cannibal and Thomas Huber as the meal (couldn’t help it), Grimm Love is an about average little movie which benefits greatly from excellent casting, as both men are morbidly captivating in their performances. The standout here being Huber who, despite having a beautiful and loving boyfriend and seemingly good life, projects such deep, unbearable sadness it’s often uncomfortable to even look at him; and in one very…uhhh biting scene, he releases a scream so real and primal my skin crawled (believe me, you’ll know it when you hear it).
There is also a parallel story-line set in the near future, starring Kerri Russell as a graduate student obsessed with the story of the cannibal and victim, and who yearns to discover all she can about the strange events that occurred. Although I do like Kerri Russel, I found the back and forth to be distracting since that part of the film didn’t really seem to have much of a purpose. Still, she does deliver the pivotal line in the film; “Oliver Hartwin wanted to eat someone. Simon Grombeck wanted to be eaten. They were a perfect match.” I guess that’s supposed to be romantic-ish…
Otherwise though, I think the movie would have fared just as well without Russel’s character…but, oh well, she’s pretty and it was nice to look at something other than Huber’s sad face or Kretschmann eating all the fucking time. I don’t know how he did it, but he was even chewing like someone enjoying a man steak. Oh and did I mention the time he made lunch and brought it to work, wherein he generously proceeds to share it with his unsuspecting co-workers…Yuck.
In case you’re wondering about the true story part, the movie is based on the case of German cannibal Armin Meiwes (smiley below) and his victim Bernd-Jürgen Brandes (glasses guy). Just like in the movie, the two met on a cannibalism chat room, and after exchanging some very icky (that is the only word that fits) and extremely weird sexy-cannibal e-mails, they met in person and a few hours later Brandes was dead and in pieces in Meiwes’ freezer.
Fun Fact: Brandes was not the first person to offer themselves up to satisfy Meiwes’ appetite, BUT all the previous men (and there were a few) had decided against it (sometimes while suspended from meat hooks) and asked to be let go. Interestingly enough, the would be killer let them go without question, as he was only interested in killing/eating a willing victim.
Funner Fact: Apparently the cannibal ate over 40 pounds of his”meat” over the course of 18 months…like I said, icky.
The movie stays faithful to the actual events, except for the names, and as such it is really not an easy movie to watch and even less easy to understand. Both characters are portrayed as strange, wounded creatures whose fragile minds cracked under the weight of their circumstances. Oliver had a controlling, mentally abusive mother and absolutely no one else; so he created a world where he had a little brother which he then ate, and in doing so would never be alone again. Simon, on the other hand, blamed himself for his mother’s severe depression and subsequent suicide, the catalyst of which was his mother’s discovery that 9 year old Simon might be gay. Oliver may have wanted someone inside him, someone that would keep him from being alone forever, but Simon, as penance for his perceived sins, wanted only to disappear completely.
Sad really…and unbelievably fucked up…but mostly sad.
So, can I recommend Grimm Love? Well, if you want to watch a sad movie about something horrible, then sure…otherwise, nope, not at all. Entertainment-wise, this movie is not even a little bit enjoyable…it’s not bad (like badly written/acted/directed or anything) and it is fascinating (morbidly so) but apart from pulling the viewer head first into this very unique and very grotesque case, the movie is no fun whatsoever.
And yeah, I get that it’s a “horror” film and horror is not strictly supposed to be fun (although the best ones always are) but this movie is just sooooo fucking depressing. These guys were just so sad and so very messed up, that I can’t imagine deriving any form of pleasure from this story…and the unstable Greek woman in me just wants to slap everyone involved and commit them to a nuthouse (yes yes asylum/sanitarium blah blah blah).
So be warned my darlings, horror lies within Grimm Love, but the kind that is far too real to suit my tastes…and obviously that was a bad choice of words.