Berlin Crawling: 10 Halloween Horror Films

by James Glazebrook

Happy Halloween! While the Germans don’t traditionally celebrate All Hallow’s Eve, we’ve unearthed a whole cryptful of Berlin-based horror films to while away the witching hours. Scroll down for zombies, demons, masked killers, sexy vampires and sadistic neo-Nazis, all slacking and hacking their way across the Haupstadt. 

Urban Explorer (2011)

The only way this sub-Hostel torture porn could only be more gimmicky is if it featured teenage vampires doing parkour. Capitalising on the buzz around urban exploring, and Berlin as the ultimate “urbex” destination, it does little to help the local tourist board by reinforcing dangerous German stereotypes. On their quest to discover Hitler’s bunker, a group of tourists fall victim to a sadistic neo-Nazi. (Because Germans = Nazis.) But I imagine this film is a far more terrifying viewing experience for native Berliners, due to its horrifyingly accurate portrayal of invading douchebag Touris. The best part? Spotting our local U-Bahn station at the end.

Demons (1985)

The U-Bahn is the starting point for Demons, co-written and produced by Italian master Dario Argento. A university student is pursued by a mysterious masked man who, instead of attacking her, offers her tickets to a horror film screening at a newly-renovated West Berlin cinema. Once there, art imitates art as the captive audience becomes prey for the Dèmoni of the original Italian title. Cue gore, gore and yet more gore, backed by a soundtrack featuring longtime Argento collaborator (and Goblin member) Claudio Simonetti, German metal mainstays Scorpions and Accept, Billy Idol and, um, Mötley Crüe.

Yellow the Movie

Yellow (2012)

A masked man also looms large in this short film inspired by Argento, and his fellow directors from the Giallo genre. Crowdfunded and shot in Berlin earlier this year, Yellow combines the slicked-streets, neon aesthetic of Michael Mann and Drive with old school Italian bloodletting. It oozes class, from the stunning opening sequence of Berlin from above, to the neo-Italo soundtrack from Antoni Maiovvi, to the poster illustrated by Graham Humphreys (Evil Dead). Currently doing the rounds at the world’s top horror film festivals, as well as Social Media Week here in Berlin, this is worth seeing the first chance you get.

Der Teufel von Rudow

Der Teufel von Rudow (2004)

Another indie production, The Devil of Rudow does little to mask its budget limitations. A hokey romp through a southern suburb of Berlin, this is an old-fashioned scare story slightly updated with modern hole-in-hand technology, a butt-kicking female lead and knowing gags: “It’s quiet… almost too quiet!” A must-miss.


Nekromantik (1987)

How’s this for an elevator pitch? “A street sweeper who cleans up after grisly accidents brings home a full corpse for him and his wife to enjoy sexually, but is dismayed to see that his wife prefers the corpse over him.” My favourite part of that IMDB synopsis is the term “full corpse”, although film watchdogs would disagree, having banned the film from almost every country in the world. Arguably a serious social commentary, but undeniably grisly and transgressive, Nekromantik has become something of a cult classic.

Anatomy 2 Franka Potente

Anatomy 2 (2003)

Anyone who’s seen Run Lola Run or the Bourne trilogy could be forgiven for thinking of Franke Potente as a credible, bankable German actress. But not anyone who’s seen the medical horror Anatomie or its Berlin-based sequel. Potente revises her role as a medical student-slash-investigator of creepy goings-on, to uncover a secret society performing human experiments with bionic muscles, with horrific-slash-hilarious consequences.

We Are The Night

We Are The Night (2010)

Franka Potente was originally down to direct this sexy vampire thriller with the tagline “Immortal. Insatiable.” However, in the ten years it took to make it, writer Dennis Gansel took over director duties, finally releasing Wir Sind die Nacht after his (excellent) 2008 film The Wave – into a receptive, post-Twilight world. As far as teen trash goes, this looks eminently watchable, not least for some stunning shots of abandoned Berlin, including Spreepark and Teufelsburg.


Rammbock: The Berlin Undead (2010)

[REC] meets Shaun of the Dead. “Hide and seek. With zombies.” Whatever description you choose for this enjoyable siege movie won’t be as deep as director Marvin Kren’s: “I am more interested by stories with a pessimistic point of view of our society, and zombie movies always depict a world that is bad. It’s never been our intention to just do a film about the living dead; instead, we were more intrigued by the way people in Germany and Europe would react to that scenario. My generation would never take weapons and react like Americans would do; it’s not part of our culture. We would most probably panic at first and then try to find a way to escape alive out of this bad situation.” (Fangoria)


Asudem (2007)

What. The. Freak. This über-low-budget fantasy shot in desaturated near-black-and-white tells the surreal story of a woman pursued through the woods (or is that Görlitzer Park?), after consuming some magic mushrooms. And something about Satan experiencing a heavenly vision. Oh, and the title is “Medusa” backwards. Seriously, WTF.


Possession (1981)

Last but not least, the most critically-acclaimed film in this list, Andrzej Żuławski’s Possession. An agonising portrayal of a dying relationship, that slowly spirals into occult happenings and Cronenburg-esque body horror, it features a hysterical, Cannes award-winning performance from Isabelle Adjani and some of Sam Neill’s hammiest moments. A deeply unsettling watch, Possession is worth sticking with if only for a glimpse at early 80s Berlin, especially the apartment location on a street divided by the Wall. Warning: this trailer contains mad spoilers.

Have you seen any of these horrorshows? Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below.

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Preview: Social Media Week Berlin 2012

by James Glazebrook

I’m excited about Social Media Week Berlin (24th – 28th September), for three good reasons: 1) social media is both my job and my private life – and the reason I can’t always tell the difference between the two; 2) this year’s schedule is full of even more awesome than last year’s (read my highlights here); 3) oh, and I was part of the Advisory Board responsible for putting it all together (see my biog and moody photo here). Here are my personal picks of what is shaping up to be a very special week here in Berlin. All events are free, and open to the public (although you do need to register), so I’ll see you down there!


Social Media Week Official Opening Party @ Fluxbau (event info)
A no-brainer this one, with free drinks (the Nokia-sponsored Social Bar will give away beer, wine or long drinks, depending on which of three hashtags is most popular at the time), views of the Spree and a performance by an Italian band touring all the European Social Media Weeks: Gardens of Alibis woooooo. Friday’s closing party should be something special too – silent disco, anyone?


Network Awesome @ Naherholung Sternchen (event info)
No more information on this yet, but if it’s half as awesome as Network Awesome’s cleverly curated YouTube videos, it should be Fucking Awesome. Par example, here’s a collection of their head-bangingest, mind-fuckingest heavy metal videos:

Yellow – The Movie Screening @ Naherholung Sternchen (event info)
The cast and crew of this neo-Gallo horror shot right here in Berlin will explain how crowdfunding made it happen, before screening the gruesome short film itself. The movie’s been shown at Film 4 Fright Fest in London and other festivals, and is already picking up rave reviews. I’ll be down the front, hiding behind my box of popcorn.

Yellow movie poster


Collaborative Consumption @ Naherholung Sternchen (event info)
People from companies such as Gidsy and Wimdu put their heads together to address the important business of using technology and human ingenuity to develop new ways of sharing, lending and exchanging time, skills and resources.

Beer Tasting @ Naherholung Sternchen (event info)
Need I say more?

I Wanna Dance with Somebody… in Chicago! @ Naherholung Sternchen (event info)
Berlin’s own Paulo Reachi (Tresor) goes up against a Chicago DJ as their sets are simultaneously broadcast in both cities. To get you warmed up, here’s a playlist from Reachi’s Airdrop Records, including the likes of Soul Clap.


Berlapthlon – The Berlin based Heptathlon @ Naherholung Sternchen (event info)
I’ll be taking a break from the day’s hardcore gaming/business content for the appallingly-named, but fun-sounding Berlapthlon. Don’t know if I’ll be taking part in what sounds like a silly sporting event to rival the Slowlympics, but I’ll certainly be there to witness the following activities:

1) Chess (10 minutes)
2) Table tennis
3) Find and eat a vegan currywurst
4) Swim in a lake
5) Bottle opening
6) Bottle collection
7) Get into Berghain


Tod und Social Media / Talking Death @ Design Akademie Berlin (event info / event info)
Both are in German, but I might test my language skills at the closing, and potentially most interesting, sessions of Social Media Week 2012. The first is a talk by Jörg Eisfeld-Reschke of ikosom.de, who is then joined by a journalist, founder and an academic for a discussion about what happens to us – on Facebook – after we die. After all that Deutsch and death, I’m going to need a drink!

For the full Berlin schedule, go to SocialMediaWeek.org. If you were curious about what’s happening ALL OVER THE WORLD on Social Media Week, check out these curated guides:

Social Impact
Jobs & Job Seeking
D-I-Y and Arts
Global Curator Don Tapscott’s Guide
SMW Founders Ultimate Guide

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Berlin Horror Story: Yellow the Movie

by James Glazebrook

Behind the scenes of Yellow the movie

We love horror, and we love Berlin, so we were thrilled to hear that director Ryan Haysom has chosen the German capital as the location of his new short film Yellow. We’ve been watching (through our fingers) as Haysom and his talented team film, and crowd-fund, what promises to be a creepy, shocking horror noir. Scroll down to see the first of a series of skin-crawling trailers and to read the director’s synopsis, or visit Yellow – The Movie for a behind-the-scenes peek at this Giallo update. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Yellow is a 15 minute + short film, written and directed by Italian horror fan Ryan Haysom.

It is a horror noir set very loosely in the 1980′s, it takes place in the capital of Germany, Berlin. The film follows a reclusive man as he obsesses over finding a serial killer who is slaying women across the city. The film deals with themes of sexual obsession and identity, what is reality, are we awake or asleep?

Yellow is also a Giallo film – the peculiar thriller horror genre that exploded in 1970s Italy. I love everything about the Italian horror genre, and the key Giallo films that have influenced Yellow are, Dario Argento’s Profondo Rosso, Aldo Lado’s Who Saw Her Die, Lucio Fulci’s The New York Ripper, and Sergio Martino’s Torso. The original Gialli are not the only films that have influenced the production, and I will be doing small posts on the key films that have moulded the look of Yellow.

The film is already partly financed, we have shot roughly 3 minutes of the film already, and we’re going to be looking at you for the rest of the financing. If you love horror, and want to see a new Giallo film made, then this is your chance to get your black leather gloves on!

Check out Yellow – The Movie for news on how you can help with the financing of this film. It all begins soon!

Thanks, Team Yellow x

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