Directed by: Olaf Ittenbach
Written by: Olaf Ittenbach
Stars: Olaf Ittenbach, Andrea Arbter, André Stryi... read more

Year: 1989
Genrer: Gore, Horror
Run time: 1h 25min
My rating: 3 out of 5

When I was in middle school I wanted to make my own splatter movie. I was inspired by watching Peter Jackson's "Bad Taste" in a very early age, and of course, the concept had been much more amateurish in response to an 18mm film camera that reacts in grainy pixels when the light's published in the wrong place. And the actors would be familiar with friends, family and cheap material. This description also fits well in how Olaf Ittenbach's debut movie Black Past has been produced, albeit a bit better than what my childhood dream had looked like if it ever became true, which I now, 22 years later, never think will happen.

This is as homemade as the splatter sequence that always appeared in the captions of an old rented VHS-tape between the 80-90s (Something that was recorded to provoke our parents of course) and Black Past could might as well have been one of these clips.

Black Past is about Thommy, the teenager who defies his family - he is intoxicated with alcohol as soon as something goes wrong in daily life. At school he has become interested in Petra, the most difficult girl in class, and after a few tries he succeeds in winning her heart. When Thommy invites Petra, she soon comes in contact with a mirror hanging on the wall in his boyroom. What she doesn't know is that the mirror contains a hellova curse and sends demons from another dimension. She gets obsessed and goes out of the house and gets hit by a car. Thommy takes care of Petra's death and circumventes a deep depression. But something is revealing and Thommy gets delusions and constantly dreaming of how Petra returns to life to kill him.

The plot is very simple structured and could have been made a thousand times better with the flair Ittenbach experienced today. Much of the dialogue doesn't feel lively and energetic as I wish - which in turn leads to excessive sleeping moments. The deliberately bad comedy is doing extra badly when you notice how disappointment is expressed. But this is after all an amateur movie at high school level - so you should not expect anything special from the prescribed performance.

The clothes, the hairstyles and the music really screams from the 80's. I don't understand that people really dressed so ruthlessly? It's probably that part of the movie that's most humorous because Olaf Ittenbach has one of the most ridiculous mullets I've ever seen and the synth-hairstyles from that time can't be compared to today's equipment. But what gave Olaf Ittenbach his big name in the underground world is that he takes such an enormous natural talent in special-effects. Black Past is a gold mine and contains substantially more bloodshed and gut than Peter Jackson's "Bad Taste" did three years earlier.

Black Past isn't the kind of movie you view in terms of its action and script. Black Past is the movie you admire because of the deep bizarre entertainment violence that works as well as placing fireworks in the hand of a child - You get excited and just want more!


Produced by: Olaf Ittenbach, Michael Müller, André Stryi
Cinematography by: Michael Müller
Editing by: Brigitte Armbrüster
Special Effects by: Olaf Ittenbach
Music by: Martin Lutz, Thomas Reitmair
Country: Germany
Language: German
Color: Color

Distributor: Njuta Films Entertainment