Synopsis: Unlike any other horror film you’ll see this year, Der Samurai is a German mind-bender about shape-shifting cross-dressers, bloody decapitations, repressed sexual desires and small town life. But while director Till Kleinert’s film is a surreal mix of dark comedy and eerie creep-out that recalls David Lynch. Jakob is a policeman in a village deep in the woods, where little happens until the arrival of a mysterious wolf that is causing havoc. Working the night shift, Jakob is tracking the wolf…only to discover that the lupine lurker is actually a man clad only in lipstick and a ladies’ slip, and toting a samurai sword that he uses to lop off the heads of the townspeople, including Jakob’s tormentors. Jakob and the transvestite samurai seem to share a bond, and as the night gets darker, events get even weirder. Completely bizarre yet wildly entertaining, Der Samurai is a horror must-see for the adventurous!
Linus de Paoli
Berlin - Germany - 2014
Sitges Film Festival - Spain - 2014
Festival du Nouveau Cinema Montreal - Canada - 2014
“A lot of different interpretations are going to be reached about the film, which is one of the reasons it’s so damn exciting.”
“DER SAMURAI will burn in your brain long after the heads, and the credits, have rolled.”
“The opening scenes of DER SAMURAI carry that pleasurable feeling that can be hard to come by on the current horror scene: The sense of not knowing at all where the story’s going, but that the filmmaker knows just what he’s doing.” - Fangoria
"Der Samurai is an unusual little gem of a film that excites with its own offbeat blend of horror, suspense, and visual elegance."
"Well-made and weird...reminiscent of a cross between Kill Bill and Silence of the Lambs but with a queer sensibility, Der Samurai is everything a horror fan could want, and more. Infused with elements of art-house camp, refined psychological suspense, and schlocky B-movie slasher, Der Samurai is not only a morbidly bizarre queer thriller, but a beautifully violent allegory about the struggle with one’s sexuality, and how the repression of such carnal urges can become altogether consuming. Flourished with a heightened cinematography—which includes shadow-shrouded, gargoyle-like imagery illuminated by fiery, nightmarish colors—the film beautifully captures the psycho-sexual tension of our protagonists through a mythically macabre tableaux. So if you often find yourself looking towards the fringes of film; curiously longing for what lurks beyond the realm of safe cinema and safe horror, then Der Samurai is the film for you."
"Take a seat and prepare to immerse yourself in the fantastical realm of Till Kleinert’s wickedly perverse and whacky imagination...Kleinert’s impressive seventy-five minute debut feature oozes style while bathing in its use of blood-soaked, reclusive metaphors to hammer home its subtext. The Samurai is an exploration of the unconscious mind channeled in the form of a wildly experimental, contemporary slasher romp. This ultra-violent, atmospheric head trip is beautifully shot and is backed by a sensational score. The Samurai’s flashing blade is deeply memorable in the massacre sequence where we witness a group of teenagers sliced and diced from the POV of a fallen Jakob. It is a spectacular flash of anarchy which radiates like a scene from a Nicolas Winding Refn film. The infernal climax is worth the wait and cements Kleinert’s burgeoning reputation as a filmmaker with a unique voice."