Nacktschnecken [Slugs is the correct translation, but literally it means “naked snails”]
Director: Michael Glawogger
Writer: Michael Glawogger, Michael Ostrowski
Cast: Michael Ostrowski, Raimund Wallisch, Pia Hierzegger, Iva Lukic, Sophia Laggner, Georg Friedrich, Mike Supancic, Brigitte Kren, Christoph Grissemann, Andreas Kiendl, Detlev Buck
Seen on: 14.8.2016
Johann (Raimund Wallisch), Max (Michael Ostrowski) and Mao (Pia Hierzegger) are constantly looking for opportunities to make a little money. While Johann works as a postman, Max simply dreams and Mao occasionally sells drugs. Through that work she meets Schorsch (Georg Friedrich) who tells her that the easiest way to make some money is to shoot a porn film. Inspired by that, Johann, Max and Mao jump at the chance. They find two women (Iva Lukic, Sophia Laggner) willing to participate, grab a camera and get going. But maybe shooting a porn isn’t quite as easy as they imagined.
Nacktschnecken is a fun film without much pretense at anything else than wanting to be fun. While I couldn’t go along with it all the time, I did enjoy it most of the time.
Nacktschnecken has many hallmarks of a stoner comedy which is not exactly my thing. Although I have to admit that it’s one of the stoner comedies that appeals to me more than the average. On the one hand that’s because even unstoned I can find at least some of their inane stoned conversations actually funny, and on the other hand it’s because the film doesn’t rely solely on that part to make it funny – there’s also the porn parody (and I like porn parodies).
Even more importantly, I liked the characters, above all Mao and her pragmatism. It is unfortunate that she has to be the only adult between the central three, since it once again casts the woman among men in the role of supervising adult, but that’s not Mao’s fault. Also particularly enjoyable are Schorsch and his boss Harry (Detlev Buck) – they are real scene stealers (and I’m not just saying that because Georg Friedrich is the best), although I feel there is latent homophobia in the way Harry is portrayed (the predatory gay man who doesn’t accept that Schorsch isn’t into him and constantly pressures him).
Basically, for every two bits that I enjoyed there was one bit that was problematic for me and that soured the thing a little bit. Much is outweighed by the fact, though, that Nacktschnecken is such a quintessentially Austrian film – from the unhampered dialects to the frank sense of humor that is at once philosophical and really stupid. I can’t imagine this film working if it was set in another country.
But that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t appeal outside of Austria or has to appeal to every Austrian. This Austrian liked much about the film in any case, but I just didn’t absolutely love it.
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