CUT OFF (aka Abgeschnitten)
Written and director by Christian Alvart
Following the success of 2005’s serial killer puzzle movie, ANTIBODIES, German director, Christian Alvart, has flourished in both TV and film. CUT OFF is a return to that murky, murderous storytelling world. The central narrative concerns fastidious pathologist who stumbles upon a clue in a corpse that sends him on a race against time to save his teenage daughter from a psychopath.
Leading man Moritz Bleibtreu (RUN LOLA RUN) excels as Paul Herzfeld, the failed, estranged father who naturally dives head first into frantic man mode, but who learns to keep his cool and solve the seemingly impossible mystery.
The action ticks along at a rapid rate and the twists and turns cleverly give you just enough to place you at the centre...
Herzfeld’s desperate search is heightened by circumstances that find him teamed him up with a squeamish janitor, a comic book illustrator being stalked by a crazy ex-boyfriend and a bumbling intern he fired from his lab just minutes before his world caved in. You’ve seen novices land planes with instructions from air traffic control. Well CUT OFF might be the first film to feature remote pathology examinations. Adapted from the novel Abgeschnitten by two of Germany’s top pathologists - Sebastian Fitzek & Michael Tsokos – CUT OFF possesses levels of authority, realism and specificity that’s rarely seen on the big screen when tackling post mortems for legal purposes. Through the drama you feel like you’ve really learned to appreciate the reverence and machinations of the profession without ever thinking you’re being lectured on the subject or descending into boring procedural. Central to Herzfeld’s dilemma is the absolute rule of law that under pins his work with dead bodies versus his personal desire to follow the path of least resistant. An instinct, and hypocrisy that comes back to haunt him. In addition to the expertise on display, CUT OFF features perhaps the best use of GPS technology to escape an impossible situation.
The action ticks along at a rapid rate and the twists and turns cleverly give you just enough to place you at the centre of Herzfeld’s increasingly worse situation, but never too much that you know more than him.