Raspberry Reich

Ladymol's Review

Itís probably best to come to this movie with no knowledge of it or expectations about it. Itís so weird, that itís hard to classify. Is it porn? Iíd say not, because it has a plot and is clearly made with another agenda than titivation. The sex scenes are stronger than youíll find in most so-called soft porn. Erections, masturbation, some finger work, penetration are all shown, however, they are mixed with such a bizarre cinematography that you are sucked in (sorry) by the premise of the movie: revolution can only be achieved by sexual freedom.

Gudrun is a would-be revolutionary. She chants text from the Red Army Faction, the Bader Mienhoff gang and other such worthies. Sheís possibly the most irritating character Iíve ever watched in any movie, however (thatís a big however, by the way), she has one huge redeeming feature: she believes that all the straight men in her gang should free themselves with homosexual experiences. I have to say that I agreed with her wholeheartedly on that one. So, almost at the point of a gun she forces first her boyfriend, then the other men to prove that they are committed to the revolution.† There are some incredibly sexy moments in this movie, watching these men kiss and experiment. Some of them are genuinely gorgeous, and itís an amazing privilege to see such explicit man-on-man action in a ďrealĒ movie.

I donít think this film is for everyone. Itís often in weird colours; banners displaying revolutionary slogans slowly scroll across the screen. It looks as if itís been made by revolutionary students on Eóand that I think is its genius. Thatís exactly what itís supposed to look likeóas if Gudrun and her gang made the movie themselves.

Whatever. If you want great, hot, explicit, funny and sexy man on man action, then this movie is for you. Iím just annoyed that some of our favourites like Big Eden, Latter Days, Gone but Not Forgotten couldnít have had just a bit of the sex action shown here. Great movies then and great sex. I guess with gay films, you just canít have it allóyet.

Cerisaye's Review

A satirical porn movie about a bunch of terrorist kidnappers like the Baader-Meinhof gang, set in Berlin, is definitely bizarre. Given blanket international condemnation of terrorism itís also brave or foolhardy.† Iím still not sure it works, but this crazy film is a not-to-be-missed experience. A socio-political black comedy with a scatter-gun approach, thatís offensive, funny and very sexy. Iíve never seen anything like it.

Itís porn, even the cut version, so donít watch unless youíre into explicit sex well above softcore standard- I want to see the hardcore edition.† Boredom is never a problem with so much pleasant distraction on offer.† Apparently straight male film critics balked at explicit images of men sucking & fucking, fingering & rimming.† Pictures of Tony Blair and George Bush cover erections, and the eroticism of guns is fetishised in an incredible sequence showing gang member Che making love to his weapon.

Actually, I had to watch the whole thing twice because the first time was a bit overwhelming. Couldnít believe my eyes, actually.

The very low budget shows, though itís amazing what ingenuity will stretch to. Director LaBruce makes the point that avoiding corporate money gives freedom from interference worth more than extra cash:† there is no way such a shocking film couldíve been made in the mainstream.† The effort is worth supporting.† Iíd rather see challenging films like this than boring star vehicle blockbusters that cost gazillions.

The men are porn stars chosen for look and performance not acting ability but that makes for great sex scenes, a wise move by a director who knows his market.† Sets look good, with blown up posters of celebrity revolutionaries as effective back-drops, though I found the flashing red credits too much, and the camera work is dizzying.† I liked the soundtrack too.

Gudrun, the rhetoric spouting sexual revolutionary dominatrix, is totally over-the-top. Itís an amazing performance. Marxist-type slogans flash regularly across the screen: the revolution is my boyfriend, heterosexuality is the opiate of the masses, Madonna is counter-revolutionary, etc.† Gudrun urges her supposedly straight male followers to have sex with each other, for the revolution.† She calls this very laudable policy Ďthe homosexual intifadaí.† It backfires when love overcomes activist zeal and the guys pair off.† Much more fun than Gudrunís militant theorising.

The group kidnaps the son of a rich industrialist, snatching him off the street and stuffing him into a car boot.† They donít know heís been disowned by his father since coming out as gay.† Heís having a fling with one of the gang, camp Clyde whoís so useless he handcuffs himself to the hostage.

Itís daft but it made me think about 70s idealism when nothing was sacred. Gudrun tries to change the world, fighting the apathy of our selfish, materialistic age.† Political commentary has never been so entertaining. Our freedoms have been curtailed since September 11th in a climate that treats dissent as unpatriotic.† The sexual revolution isnít over, not so long as people are treated as second class citizens because they choose same-sex partners.†

It's far from perfect, but I loved the film.† Worth watching for the sexy bits if nothing else. Highly recommended.

Note: This film comes in two versions: the censored one we've reviewed here (believe it or not), and the "uncut one" that is only available in Region 1. We'll add a review to that, too, so you can see where the difference lies.

Buy Raspberry Reich [2004] from Amazon here