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Schtonk! Review

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★★★★★

Schtonk! covers much the same ground as the equally rambling and unsatisfactory Jonathan Pryce-Alexei Sayle TV serial about the forgery of the Hitler Diaries.

Götz George plays a seedy German journo with the officially funny name of Hermann Willie, a dyed-moustache gigolo who has bought Hermann Goring's yacht and spends much of his time poking the Field Marshall's middle-aged Nazi niece. He bumps into Uwe Ochsenknecht, who has the even funnier name of Fritz Knobel, a mad forger who dashes off nudes of Eva Braun allegedly painted by Der Fuhrer, and somehow winds up commissioning up to 50 exercise books filled with Hitler's meanderings about the state of his bowels.

Lots of money descends on the crooks, sternly regimented farcical plot developments try to wring humour from the situation, and it all ends in the expected tears. Shot unusually in widescreen, this resembles a 70s German sex film without quite so many sex scenes. Hideous characters with too much make-up get into hot water and make funny faces in an attempt to wring laughs from situations that emerge as rather pathetic.

Added to the general feeling of Teutonic gloom is the fact that no matter how much the film skits the Hitler cult, it fails to mention that the Nazis were human scum, while Dietl's leaden touch misses by a mile the deft approach of The Nasty Girl, which was funny and trenchant with similar material.