Another Kind of German Horror Ban

It’s getting terribly tricky to make horror films in Germany these days.

Fresh on the heels of enacting new restrictions that have resulted in the banning of extreme films such as Hostel, the courts are now having a go at a 2006 film released in Germany as Rohtenburg.

The movie, also known as Grimm Love, currently is working the film festival circuit, with a recent showing at the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

“Aha,” I hear you say. “It’s a gay-themed film, hence the problem. Bloody closed-minded Europeans.”

Not so fast. The problem is much more interesting.

According to the Frankfurt Regional Court, Rohtenburg, which is about a man who kills and eats a voluntary victim, appears based on the real-life 2001 crime of German Armin Meiwes, who courted his victim online. (Damned Internet!) According to Meiwes, the movie (you’re going to love this) infringed upon his “personality rights,” since the picture is so-clearly about him.

The usual sturm und drang about censorship and killers’ rights aside, I must admit that I probably never would’ve heard of this film had it not been for this bit of legal music hall. What’s more, I never would’ve known that our Felicity, Keri Russell, has actually wound up in a proper horror film – a German one, no less. Thank you, German legal system. Now I’m gonna have to go out and see this movie for sure!


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