You certainly have to wait for your fix of Adrian Hoven in Satan's Brew – though it will be worth it. He is so knowing and ironic – and as we often see him, he is playing a doctor.
Kurt Raab and Adrian Hoven
In Satansbraten (1976) Hoven appears to deliver the bad news about Luise — that she is dead; but he also arrives armed with two medical orderlies, especially strong ones for carrying away the grief stricken writer played by Kurt Raab. As with Andree, the last two of Kranz’s followers leave him suffering when they see him displaying perfectly normal expressions of grief or upset – on the grounds that Kranz has always preached that he was above such piteous mortal feelings, and so Kranz is deep in a moral and physical flap, and the only way is down.
‘No true German behaves like that,’ says one of the young men ominously. But to them Walther Kranz is dead and they care only to spit after him.
The hospital orderlies know to drag Kranz to a statue of Mary and Christ that is set up in the hospital and here the doctor and Kranz reveal themselves to be two of a kind, kindred spirits in fact. The doctor is also most pleased that Kranz is writing again. This gives Kranz the chance once more to another pitch the hideous artistic fantasy that is No Celebration for the Fuhrer’s Dead Dog – and as with the rest of the public, the doctor is thrilled with the title, as if it were genius enough in itself – and once more, Kranz skips away.
A German Trailer for Satansbraten, Adrian Hoven as The Doctor
Satan’s Brew was more radical a film than many expected, and is stupidly funny. By the end, when Luise has died, and the murder is solved, and Krantz has been beaten up, and his admirers have left him, the fake blood in the subsequent shoot out tells us that we are right back at the beginning again – a typical Fassbinder dirty trick. Nobody has been hurt and everyone gets up and dusts themselves down.
The despair levels in Satansbraten however transcend the norm which means that the boundaries of good taste are kicked over and trampled. After all, it is easy to admire this movie 30 years after Fassbinder has died, but in his lifetime, the kind of critical regard he should have received did not come, meaning that from time to time he let himself rage. The narrative is reckless and undisciplined, probably because that was all Fassbinder thought his alienated audience deserved at that time. It’s funny now, but it might have been terrifying in 1976.