Oct 22, 2018

IMDb: Revisiting Melancholie der Engel (2017)
Director: Magnus Blomdahl
Stars: Magnus Blomdahl, Marian Dora

Probably the most fucked up movie I have never seen is Melancholie der Engel is a notoriously dark and disturbing underground film. Marian Dora is the twisted genius behind this horrific art-house film. He only has a few directorial credits, most of which are hot commodities for indie and underground film collectors. Cannibal had a small release from Unearthed Films, and his most recent film (Carcinoma) is highly sought after on the collector market.

The Angels’ Melancholia is the English title of this two hour and forty minute epic descent into depravity, from 2009. It is another film that is widely discussed as the most disturbing of all time. It also has a dark mythology behind the making, that has always been truly intriguing. While I have not seen the film in its entirety, I have read many reviews and discussions about the film’s content. That, of course, does nothing more than make me want to see the whole film even more. I guess, at this point in time, this documentary is the next best thing. In fact, there is another level of disturbance in watching this documentary, because it makes it feel that much more real.


This film centers around filmmaker Magnus Blomdahl and his discussions with Dora himself. Blomdahl approaches the filmmaker and content as a truly interested fan. After meeting, they proceed to go to the real locations on which the original film was shot. At only an hour long, they really manage to pack a lot of interesting content into their travels. While Dora’s face stays blurred out for the entire film, his presence alone gives this documentary an extra haunting quality. He discusses the filming process, illegal activities, and the extreme depression that this film caused in him. His tendency to shy away from the spotlight has always made him an interesting underground figure; however, his commentary on this film really does something psychologically unsettling to the viewer. If you know anything about the background of Lar Von Trier’s film Melancholia, you may notice some similarities with this story.

This story takes an introspective view into the mind of all of those filmmakers responsible for creating the darkest movies of all time. It raises a very interesting question. Is it the films that make these men or do they make the films? It raises some questions about the viewer’s mental state as well. For me, disturbing art-house films are effective when they are saying something about the world around them. It is for this reason that films like Buttgereit’s Schramm and Der Todesking are important to me. Dora’s film, however, has an extra layer of realism that cannot be topped. Throughout this documentary, there are scenes from the original film. Scenes that Dora himself must explain years later. At times he seems like he is also explaining how close he came to retiring from film altogether. Lots of films are surrounded by legend. This one, however, seems to have a darkness behind it that maybe only Dora truly understands. Thanks to Blomdahl though, we all get to at least attempt a bit of understanding. All I have to say is that I would love to see this documentary appear in the special features of a sweet release of the original film. While I don’t know much about film distribution, I could think of a few companies that could probably handle pulling off such a task. Who knows though, Dora may not want this evil unleashed upon the world again.


Originally published November 29th, 2016