Anatomy AKA Anatomie 2000 Movie A surgeon operating on his victim

Anatomy [2000]

I was there Gandalf, I was there 24 years ago, standing in a video store and renting this strange-looking DVD. The cover was quite graphic and the plot even more brutal, promising a cool little horror movie. I remember that I liked it, and with that in mind, I decided to revisit it last night. Anatomy AKA Anatomie is a visually impressive, refreshing, and distinctly visceral German slasher. It’s about Paula, a young medical student, who stumbles upon a dark secret society after enrolling in a prestigious Heidelberg university. So, you can expect the usual student romance fun along with a bit of investigating and murder on the side.

While all of this sounds a bit familiar, I assure you that there will be plenty of authentic stuff here. Starting with a bizarre opening sequence featuring someone using a scalpel to caress a nude dead female body. And then he cuts into it. This is a sign that there will be some pretty macabre and disturbing imagery here. And the fact that it’s all in the open and under bright lights makes it seem even more impactful. The next thing you’re going to notice is how clumsy, heavy-handed, and just plain old weird the humor is. I don’t know if they were trying to be meta or what but the end result is quite bizarre. In fact, it’s so bizarrely not funny that it’s basically unintentionally funny.

And if you’re feeling nostalgic about the early 2000s, you’re sure to enjoy this one. You can notice the same heavy-handedness in the script where characters feel compelled to say out loud their thoughts, motivations, and things they’re about to do. And yet none of this bothered me so much as it bothers me in American slasher movies. I don’t know why. It could be the language barrier or the atmosphere but whatever it was, it saved this fucking movie. As always, I highly recommend you watch Anatomie with the original German audio, without any dubbing. Naturlich, ya, ya, eine kleine wurst gegen. Just kidding Germans, ya know I love you. Oddly enough, this is not the only Deutsch movie I watched when I was younger.

I distinctly remember a coming-of-age teen sex comedy Madchen Madchen AKA Girls on Top that was quite good. And I especially remember watching a certain scene with a bicycle. What horny teen mind remembers I guess stays with you. However, you didn’t come here to hear me talk about my past but about this movie. Anatomy is directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, who made a quite good Hollywood debut with Deadfall starring Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, and Charlie Hunham. While we’re dropping names, I’m sure you’re going to recognize Franka Potente who plays the lead role in Anatomy. 

Best known as Marie from The Bourne franchise, I remember her as Lola from another cool German flick, Run, Lola, Run! Well, I guess I watched quite a few German movies. The rest of the cast did a good job with their stereotypical characters. We have the sexually uninhibited vixen, shy nerd, smooth fuckboy, and creepy fuckboy doing stuff students from all over the world do. This brings us to another positive aspect of this movie and that’s the setting. Most of the story takes place in the scene of Heidelberg, a quaint little town underneath the Alp mountains. Although, if I’m being honest, most of the movie takes place in the morgue.

Yes, Anatomy, as its title suggests is not a movie for the squeamish. There will be quite a few brutally graphic scenes showing human bodies without skin, muscles, or even heads. You should know that all the cadavers you’re going to be watching are not real cadavers. They’re models created by a talented practical effects team led by Joachim Grüninger and Birger Laube. In fact, they’re so accurate and convincing, that any university would be happy to have them. However, the inspiration for the whole background story in the movie Anatomy AKA Anatomie came from a very real event. The Body Worlds is a macabre and stunning exhibition in which you can see human and animal bodies preserved through the process of Plastination

It’s everything you think it is and more. I’m rather curious but I’m also not sure if I would be sick after seeing a real person with most of their tissue and muscles on display. Luckily, I don’t have to think about that much since these exhibitions are quite rare. However, if you would like to check them out, there’s one in Florida, where else, and one in Las Vegas that are currently open to the public. The tickets are surprisingly cheap as one ticket for adults is just $32. That’s for this Bodies: The Exhibition show that’s currently being held in Las Vegas.

Well, I think this is the last thing that was on your mind when you were starting to read this movie recommendation. Such are the ways of the Rabbit. One minute you’re trying to find a good movie to watch, the next one you think you found a good German slasher and you eventually end up booking tickets to Las Vegas to see a bunch of corpses doing stuff. Finally, before I leave, I must add that 2000 was the year of “European Secret Society medical students movies”. The French movie The Crimson Rivers, starring Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel, features a similar story. And 2001’s From Hell ain’t far either. 

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky

Writers: Peter Engelmann, Stefan Ruzowitzky

Cast: Franka Potente, Benno Fürmann, Anna Loos, Sebastian Blomberg, Traugott Buhre, Oliver Wnuk

Fun Facts: The song you can hear while Gretchen and Phil are trying to have sex in the morgue is actually sang by Anna Loos, the actress who plays Gretchen. She’s not the only singer who appears in this movie as Sabrina Setlur also plays a minor role in the beginning of the movie.


IMDb Link:

YouTube player