The Fan (1982)

The Fan (1982)
  • 1297
  • Unrated
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release year: 1982 ()
  • Running time: 92 min
  • Original Title: Der Fan
  • Voted: 1297

The hero-worship that Simone has for a pop singer is built to a crescendo until she passes out when she finally sees him up-close in a crowd of fans pushing him for autographs. She is later shocked when he lets her know that he does not love her. In an instant, she is caught "in a trance" and feels a murderous urge that is bigger than the both of them.

1Désirée NosbuschSimone
2Bodo Steiger'R'
3Simone BrahmannSekret?rin
4Jonas VischerVater
  • A surprising film by 8

    Désirée Nosbusch stars as Simone, a teenager obsessed with pop star R (Bodo Steiger). She writes him professing her love and waits obsessively for his reply. When none comes, she travels to Munich to confront him in person. They meet and seem to hit it off, but things do not exactly go as anyone would have planned them. This is a cold, somewhat alienating film that I have to say I really enjoyed. All the performances are subdued and quietly driven, and the film pulses with a synth score by Rheingold that also stands in for R's music. It all leads to an inevitable, but still somewhat surprising brutal end.

  • Slow build to a shocking climax! by 9

    Der Fan is a practically unknown horror film; but also a very good one and a film that I would call the definition of a 'sleeper'. The film is halfway between a drama and a horror film with drama taking up the first hour before the horror is unleashed in the final third. Eckhart Schmidt's film draws you into the central character with the slow building opening and successfully lulls his audience into a false sense of security before pulling the rug from under us at the end. The result is very effective and ensures that the horror of the story carries a lot of shock value with it. The film focuses on a schoolgirl named Simone. Simone is a quiet girl, and the reason for that is down her obsession with 'R' - a cheesy eighties pop singer. She's written him a letter in which she declares her undying love and constantly watches the post office for a reply; and is constantly disappointed. She can't concentrate on her schooling and decides to hit the road in order to find her love. She eventually meets him in Munich, but doesn't get the treatment she believes she deserves...

    The film is German and the version I saw was dubbed poorly into English - and that's really the only bad word I have to say about it. The first hour of the film focuses solely on the main character and her obsession for the pop singer and while I can't say I can relate to it from a personal point of view; the way that things are portrayed makes things interesting. The loneliness of the central character always shines through and even though she's more than just a little bit odd, the director does actually succeed in making us feel bad for her plight. The film is slow for the first hour and not a great deal happens although it really isn't boring and all credit has to go to the film for giving the audience an amazing pay-off towards the end. All the patience invested in the film is surely rewarded when the big twist hits and Eckhart Schmidt delivers a totally bizarre conclusion and brings with it a change of pace that is really difficult to forget. I'm not too surprised that this film isn't often rated more highly as it will undoubtedly struggle to find a target audience; but if you like your horror dark and shocking and have a bit of patience - this little flick is well worth checking out!

  • Kraftwerk Kills! by 8

    "Der Fan" is a bone chilling and thought-provoking film about teenage obsession and the gradual descent into social isolation, despair and slow brooding insanity. Simone is a pretty young girl whose entire universe spins around a pop-singer named "R". She talks to him in her mind, fantasizes about their utopist future together, eagerly awaits letters that never come and completely neglects her school work and social life in favor of dreams about him. Simone eventually takes the initiative abandon everything without notice and hitchhikes to Munich in order to meet him at a concert. She finds her beloved "R" and, for a brief period of time, all her dreams come true as he fancies her, albeit guarding a haughty distance. But, of course, now that she finally found him, Simone isn't prepared to share her lover with the rest of the world anymore ? "Der Fan" is an unimaginably slow-paced film and ? please ? don't immediately start to question it's cult reputation upon noticing absolutely nothing significant happens during what appears to be the entire film. Believe you me; it's all just patient and awkwardly uncomfortable building up towards one of the most shocking and revolting climaxes ever. This was an incredibly controversial release back in its home country Germany, and it's not too hard to see why. Without revealing too much about the infamous denouement, I can safely say this girl Simone single-handedly gives a whole new dimension to the term "obsessive groupie". Désirée Nosbusch gives away a hugely impressive performance as Simone and undeniably the other biggest strong point of the film ? apart from the ending of course ? is Rheingold's prototypic 80's electro pop music. If you're familiar with the oeuvre the relatively known 80's band Kraftwork ("The Model", "Autobahn", "Radioactivity"), you know pretty much what to expect. "Der Fan" isn't a movie for all tastes but certainly a curious collector's item for the more avid and open-minded cult fanatic to seek out.

  • Girl Power! by 7

    I knew the music to this film for many years before I finally saw the film itself. I had discovered the hypnotic soundtrack by Rheingold on a second-hand LP and have had it on heavy rotation for many years. It's one of the best albums I know.

    The music is certainly one of boons which helped to put this movie into another class and make it a classic. Hypnotically slowly, it follows the development of a teenybopping waif's obsession with a pop star spiraling out of control. It's one of those movies which you kind of have to see in a cinema because on TV you'd zap away after 10 minutes. But it richly rewards your for its slower moments.

    Apparently there was a lot of controversy around lead actress Désirée Nosbusch's nudity scenes, which are admittedly surprisingly crass. But they are not exploitative and absolutely gel in with the movie. Kind of ironic that immediately after this scene there is one of extreme violence which went practically unnoticed by the public. A nice society we're living in.

    It's very respectable that the director fought to keep these scenes in, as they are essential to the escalation of the story. They are actually a good example of how those scenes should be done realistically but without becoming pornographic or voyeuristic. It's a big fat shame that this controversy tainted the reception and popularity of this great movie.

    And by the way, other than is often stated, the affair between star and fan doesn't end with the star "dropping" her after a night of carnality. It's not a case of "find'um, furp'um and flee". R. merely returns to his reality whereas Simone stays locked in her fantasy world.

    Some tidbits about this movie: R. is actually played by the singer of the band Rheingold, Bodo Staiger, which furnished the soundtrack. The actress playing the fan, Désirée Nosbusch, was at the time already a popular "VJane" (i. e. hostess of a music show like the one that is shown in the movie). And the host of the TV show which Simone watches with her parents at the beginning of the movie is played by Joachim "Blacky" Fuchsberger, who in real life was the most popular TV host in Germany at the time.

  • Worth it for the final third. by 8

    The deeply affecting performance by Desiree Nosbusch is the core of what first seems to be a pretty standard tale of youthful obsession. Teenager Simone (Nosbusch) fantasizes about getting together with "R" (Bodo Staiger), the pop singer whom she idolizes. She chucks it all to go on a journey to Munich to meet up with him. To her great joy, he is very nice to her at first. BUT, when he plans on abandoning her after getting what he wants from her, the already disturbed Simone snaps, and spends a great deal of time devising a way for him to always be with her.

    We've all seen stories about unhinged admirers of entertainers who get homicidal when faced with a harsh dose of reality. But whatever "Der Fan" lacks in original premise, it is able to compensate with its sensitive treatment of the memorable title character. It's easy to sympathize with Simone until that final third when she utilizes her alone time with "R" to show just how far she can go. It's a doozy of a third act, largely because writer / director Eckhart Schmidt dares to take his time: he makes things very violent (but not overtly gory) and atmospheric, with the electronic score by Rheingold serving as the perfect accompaniment. A true exploitation-thriller, this features extensive sex and nudity, and yet titillation is not all that Schmidt has on his mind. He gets subtle, nuanced performances out of his main cast, and his film definitely works its way under the viewers' skin.

    Eight out of 10.

1Bernd Heinlcinematographer
3Eckhart Schmidtdirector
4Patricia Rommeleditor
5Barbara Moorseproducer
6Martin Moszkowiczproducer