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Blue (Eric Paul Chapman), an injured American, finds himself locked
inside a windowless room with two compatriots, Red (Maureen O'Malley) and
White (Terry McNavage). These two are injured as well, and neither of the
three have any idea who they are (other than Americans) or how they got
here. But Red and White have the advantage over Blue that they have a
vague idea what's going on: They need to obey the Uncle Sam doll (voiced
by David Hundertmark), placed very prominently in the room, have to do
their German lessons, and have to finish a complex jigsaw puzzle. Then
they are rewarded with things like bingo night or bedtime stories. Now
Blue is not impressed by all of this, and is determined to find out what's
going on on one hand, on the other rebel against the system, which seems
to be some method of Nazi indoctrination. It's more than hard to persuade
White and especially Red to help him in his quest, but eventually their
curiosity gets the better of them. That said, all their efforts to uncover
clues result in very little, nor do their attempts to escape lead to
anywhere, really. And when the reveal finally does happen, it's not what
anyone could have dreamed of ...
Basically, this is a rather
delicious mindfuck of a movie: It's a film that manages to build up its
story in a structured way and still leave one guessing throughout, that
way really putting the audience into the characters' shoes. And while
there are superficial parallels to films like Saw,
Kultur Shock! goes much further in creating its own world and
neglecting genre conventions (and that's besides ditching the other
movie's torture porn approach). Plus, the movie also succeeds in getting
maximum output out of (on paper) very modest means, boiled down to just
three people in one scarcely furnished room and probably no more than a
dozen props - and yet, the story the movie tells is compelling and also
other-worldly to a degree. And of course, the cast really manage to pull
of their roles to keep the viewer both engaged and entertained.
worth a look, provided you're in for something a little different.