Poor, staid, local government official Von Bohm cracks up when he enters the bordello, actually goes mad, first at the sight of the brothel which he finds unbelievable; and then when he sees Lola. While he believes the town is safe and sleepy, he discovers the oppositethat everyone has really been living it up in these garish late night haunt; by the time he sees Lola singing Caprifischer, his laughter has already turned to tears.

Lola is carried in by two men, one of whom is Udo Kier. To be fair this is a legendary role in itself, as the dance that is about to unfold is also legendary. As Lola goes mad, and her dance increases in intensity, Udo and male partner can be seen tango-ing past in the background.

It’s one for the spotters, among whom I number myself; but Udo Kier is there in splendid form, right at the start, combing his hair in the toilet as the drama unfolds. There is in that second scene in Lola an immense amount going on between Schuckert, Esslin and the mayor in that toilet; and Udo Kier adds a gorgeous calm to it all, an outsider who yet seems to know everything that is unfolding. He may be the most expressive item of scenery in the film, but whatever he adds here, it is vital. Udo kier makes the scene edgy, busy, colourful and real, while also adding a tiny element of mystery.

For many I know, it may however just be a case of shouting at the screen: “It’s Udo!”

Who knows the Fassbinder logic when it comes to the cameo casting of friends and former colleagues? Because there are some like Udo, who just simply need to appear, and no more. Tracing Udo Kier through the films of Fassbinder is perilous; for example he is not credited anywhere with being in this film, although he certainly is. Most of his appearances (maybe even all of his appearances)in Fassbinder are uncredited, leading one to suspect long-standing in jokes.

Udo Kier is great as Gast in my favourite Fassbinder film THE THIRD GENERATION, but the fact is that due to his choice of genre (or fate’s choice for him) – because he is in horror films, he has made many and many are available.

Finding vintage Kier is also hit or miss; I’d love to see The Salzburg Connection which also features Anna Karina, and of course any film called Spermula has to be on every cult film fan’s list.

The plot of Spermula is worth relating: The planet Spermula is facing destruction and the Spermulites plan to relocate to Earth. To do this, their leader Big Mother has come up with a plan: she transforms Spermulites into women and demands they suck out men's semen, thus making men tired and lazy from sexual exhaustion and unable to procreate. One of the Spermulites is transformed into a man, Werner (Udo Kier), instead of a woman, and introduces the Spermulites to sexual intercourse. 

Perhaps material like this has tarred Udo Kier in the eyes of the producers and studios who might otherwise hire him; I can’t think of any other reason.  He is versatile, charismatic, funny, fit and possessed of fabulous character.  The mere fact that Udo Kier walks the earth is mere pleasure enough for me to get to sleep at night, and I don’t care what sleazy trash he has appeared in over the years, he’s still one of the best.