It’s time for another European black humor comedy and this time it comes from Austria! Come Sweet Death is a strange movie that may seem outdated and made on a small budget, but only from a perspective of an avid commercial movie watcher. We rely on these things as signs that the movie in question is a quickly scraped-together trash looking for profit. When it comes to this movie, that statement couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Based on a novel, cleverly written and with a great cast, this is one of those odd movies that you will either hate or love. Sure, some of the jokes will not be funny and the pacing is all wrong, but Come Sweet Death is a movie with a soul. And while Scorsese’s Bringing Out the Dead starring Nicolas Cage features a somewhat similar story, it’s a much darker movie than this one.
Simon Brenner is not a lucky guy. After being fired from the police force (he slept with the wife of his boss), his newly opened private investigation business is not doing well. Sure, the drinking and the drugs are in the mix, but they are not helping at the moment. However, Simon manages to get a job as an emergency medical technician. Of course, the trouble is never too far away from Simon…
The creative camera angles and the cinematography reminded me of French comedies. They pull you further into the story and contribute immensely to the atmosphere. Another thing I liked about Come Sweet Death is the unapologetic realism oozing from every scene. Well, almost every, because they sometimes just go nuts. This breaking of the atmosphere and general vibe is something that I find redundant in this type of movie. You have to be really careful and delicate when it comes to these things. Otherwise, the whole thing is going to seem strung-out and incoherent.
Perhaps this combined with a bit of hectic storytelling are two of the movie’s biggest flaws. However, the rewards are here in the form of brutal realism and organic black humor. It’s shame that we will not pick up all the subtlety that comes with the benefits of understanding German. However, I guess that’s just part of the charm of these European movies. So if you’re looking for something different and are willing to dig around to get it, check this movie out.
Director: Wolfgang Murnberger
Writer: Wolf Haas, Josef Hader, Wolfgang Murnberger
Cast: Josef Hader, Simon Schwarz, Barbara Rudnik, Michael Schönborn, Karl Markovics, Reinhard Nowak
Fun Facts: Author Wolf Haas appears in the epilogue as a new colleague of Brenner.