Kondom Des Grauens (1996)
Main cast: Udo Samel (Luigi Mackeroni), Peter Lohmeyer (Sam Hanks), Marc Richter (Billy), Leonard Lansink (Babette/Bob Miller), Iris Berben (Frau Dr Riffleson), Henning Schlüter (Robinson), Ron Williams (Chief of Police), and Ralf Wolter (Professor Boris Smirnoff)
Director: Martin Walz


This cute comedy horror movie is released in the English-speaking world as Killer Condom: The Rubber That Rubs You Out, which should tell you what to expect from this movie. It's a spoof of typical Godfather-type movies as well as Little Shop Of Horror-type movies and throughout everything, our bad boy hero's romance with a male hustler provides an unexpectedly tender and human element to the whole farce playing around them.

There's a killer condom in town. Or maybe there's more than one of them. This movie literally bites from the first scene when a lecherous college professor tries to blackmail a female student into having sex with him in return for a passing grade in a hotel called appropriately enough Quicky. However, once he puts on a condom, it grows teeth and bites off his penis. Oh, and yes, there are upclose zooms onto amputated penises in this movie, which may make some guys watching this movie feel squeamish even if they are clearly fake in a cartoonish manner, heh. Once the horrified parents of this student are summoned to be told by the cops that their innocent countrified daughter has bitten off her professor's penis, the fun just keeps going and never stops coming.

This movie is set in New York City but nobody is even trying to be authentic in this movie, so New York City is now populated entirely by German-speaking people who even look and dress like Germans. Our hero, Luigi Mackeroni is, despite his last name, hung like a horse while looking like Bob Hoskins. However, despite his physical appearance, Luigi acts like he's a tall strapping Sam Spade hunk and I have to love a man with a healthy sense of confidence to carry off the airs like he does. Luigi is a detective with the NYPD but he acts more like a vigilante, knowing and even being intimate with the seedier folks in town too much for his superior Sam Hanks' liking.

While investigating the case of the lecherous Professor's munched-off salami, Luigi gets sidetracked when he sees an angelic-looking hustler, Billy. Being a lech himself, Luigi wastes no time getting Billy into one of Quicky's many rooms but alas, Luigi gets the unlucky number in the Bobbit lottery and in a scene that has me laughing hysterically while my husband groans and covers his eyes, poor Luigi ends up losing one of his testicles to a naughty condom. "Nobody bites off a Mackeroni's jewels and gets away with it. Nobody and nothing!" he announces and goes on a one-man vigilante show to destroy those killer condoms even when everyone else thinks that he's gone crazy.

There isn't anything particularly new or original in this spoof but there are however plenty of very funny lines as well as ridiculous scenes to laugh out loud to. Udo Kier is simply a hoot as he plays Luigi Mackeroni with deadpan earnestness that contrasts most wonderfully with the over-the-top farce playing around him. While there are plenty of adult jokes and situations here, they are humorous rather than sexually explicit. Apart from the killer condoms running around, there are also a humorous subplot involving Luigi, Billy, and Luigi's kind-of ex, Bob "Call Me Babette" Miller. Babette was once Luigi's partner but after a one night stand with Luigi has decided to embrace the woman inside him and is now a crossdressing off-key singer and dominatrix at Quicky. Babette still thinks he loves Luigi while Luigi can't even remember whether the sex was good (actually, he can't even remember the sex, heh) and dear Babette has some of the best lines in this movie that drives me into fits of giggles like I'm a ten-year old girl hearing dirty jokes for the first time. On the other hand, Luigi's relationship with Billy, while far from deep, is pretty romantic, especially when it has the normally cool and stoic Luigi starting to feel uncomfortable emotions in his heart for the first time.

Unfortunately, Kondom Des Grauens eventually degenerates into an anti-religion and even misogynistic scree that can be a bitter pill to swallow in its last half hour. It's probably a good thing that this movie is pretty hard to take seriously and therefore those trite and unnecessary polemics can be easily brushed aside without much thought other than perhaps sometimes a gay-right message can be made much better and more palatable without resorting to tedious and unthinking religion bashing.

If you're not squeamish about homosexual bawdy humor, the wonderfully absurd Kondom Des Grauens boasts of a wonderful lead character and plenty of laugh-out-loud funny lines and scenes that can do some good in chasing the blues away. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

Rating: 88


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