In today’s BMBR Guest Review, we welcome Bad Movies Reddit community supremo DarthSlug to shine a light on the German version of ‘Kill Squad’, which judging by the title you can probably tell isn’t a romantic comedy staring Gerard Butler.
Once upon a time in germany
Young me wasn’t much into movies. My mother wouldn’t let me watch most of the stuff I wanted to see and the movies I was allowed to watch didn’t interest me. One of the few things I liked however, were the stupid Bud Spencer and Terrence Hill movies. Those movies were, at least in the German dubs, hilarious and over the top, but little did I know that 20 years later they would still be full of surprises.
It all started 1972, with Rainer Brandt who wrote the German dub for the British show The Persuaders in a language, which he later called ‘Schnodderdeutsch’.
This was meant to be a combination of the way people speak when they are drunk, and how teens spoke at the time. The TV station he worked for thought the dub was a joke, but as there wasn’t enough time to change it they simply started airing it the way it was. Within a year the show became a huge hit and Brandt started his own dubbing company called Brandtfilm.
With his own company, he started dubbing movies like those of Spencer and Hill, which became such a success that Brandt even bought the rights for their older films – redubbing them and bringing them back to the cinema. But whilst those dubs were funny, they still felt like a typical movie even though a bit more stupid and over the top. But just occasionally, Brandt went experimental. He bought the rights to lesser known movies, like in this case Kill Squad – a direct-to-video brawler with Cameron Mitchell, which would have never been released in Germany if not for Brandt. But now, let’s finally get to the movie itself!
Cameron Mitchell calls for rape!
We start by watching a husband and wife being attacked by Cameron Mitchell and his crew. The husband punches them a bit, but Cameron just…well…shoots him, before attempting to rape his wife.
Here we meet our hero Larry, who we’ll simply call Frodo.
He gives some dude a rejection letter, because they apparently sold him crappy tools. As we live in a universe in which EVERYONE knows kung fu, they shout at each other and everyone starts fighting Frodo. He obviously kicks their asses and our boss of the place shoots himself in the foot, because he is dumb.
We cut to the next scene with Joe, the guy shot by Cameron Mitchel, sitting in a wheelchair and talking to Frodo. Months have passed and there is no clue about who is responsible for the prior shenanigans, so he wants Frodo to assemble the squad, which seems to owe him. What do they owe him?
Flashback to Vietnam! We see a few Asians shouting “Umame” with a group of 8 prisoners. One of them is killed and Joe is forced to walk through a minefield. The others start to escape and start killing the Asians, whilst a mine below Joe explodes. So why do they owe him? No fucking clue.
Assemble the squad!
Frodo begins assembling the squad in what you could call a montage, if it wasn’t for every scene being pretty much the same with just a different recruit. Frodo goes to meet someone who may or may not be called Arnold. Arnold attacks a car and some dudes because they owe him a dollar. Arnold also knows where the next recruit is, so off they go.
Next we meet K.C, who is a pimp.
He talks to two of his hookers, who are called salt and peppa, because, you know, one is white and one is black. Some other pimp won’t allow them to work on his “corner”, so K.C begins punching him. After the fight Frodo appears and recruits him, and K.C knows where the next dude is. Did I say already that we get these introductions for everyone of the squad? No? Well now I did.
Next we meet a gardener Tommy, which I will call Bruce, since he is asian and knows kung fu.
As he’s finished his work for the day he wants to be paid his $23.50. His boss doesn’t want to pay, so obviously we get a fight. There is something special about this scene, because even the girls here can fight. He obviously kicks everyone’s ass and gets his 23 bucks and fiddy cents. Frodo appears, again, recruits him, and then off we go again!
Dude #4, called Pete, gets thrown off a roof but somehow survives. The bad guys apparently pushed him because he gets paid by the hour and actually works, while these dudes just want to have work for months, by barely working at all. Obvious reason for attempted murder. So they fight.
Let’s get to our last guy, who is called Arthur.
He’s pretty much stealing money of some guys, as they invested in his idea of pet bugs. I don’t know who the fuck would pay for scorpions and centipedes being flown in from Mexico, but who even cares anymore. It is just a reason for our next fight. He kicks ass and the squad assembles.
The important hunt for clues
Our crew now runs to a farm, looking for some dude named Vergil. A big guy shows up, calls Frodo an N-word. We have a fight and everyone gets punched and kicked until they find a mini boss. They fight him and he ends up accidentally shot.
The squad splits up with half of them looking for a guy named Jesse James. But first we get an intermission with the big guy, now named Jake, who is now working for Cameron. Back to Arnold, Bruce and Arthur, who punch guys in an attempt to find information, except a sniper kills Bruce. They should probably have done that sooner.
Cut to Frodo, K.C and Pete, as they found Jesse James and want to ask him questions There is a fight and they get the information from Jesse, after which he is killed by yet another sniper. The sniper also kills Pete. This is seriously like a videogame, as they just walk from stage 1 to 10.
Do I really need to talk much more about this? It is always the same bullshit anyway. We have a fight, we get information and one of the squad dies. So let’s just cut the crap. They find Cameron, he says that he only was hired and…the sniper kills him. Frodo thinks he is the only one left, so he meets up with Joe. But Arthur apparently still lives. Joe reveals that he is the sniper and trying to kill everyone, because…bullshit. Well, he killed his wife, because she wanted to leave him and everything they had was hers. But why does he want to kill his squad? Because this idiot apparently thinks that they forced him to walk through land-mines. And so they fight. Frodo kills Joe…
…mostly due to Joe’s own stupidity. Arthur of course survives, and so he walks with Frodo into the sunset.
Back to Germany: A comparison!
Let’s get back to the German version and see why it is so special to me. I will try to explain this by comparing the original dialogue of the movie with the German version. I will translate it, but probably can’t get everything right, since this is downright crazy. As it would be way too much work if I were to do this for every scene I will cover just one instead, but this should be more than enough to get the point across. So let’s take a look at when Frodo meets Jake (Frodo’s text is in brown and Jake’s in green):
Dialogue in English:
“Excuse me please, but I’m looking for a gentleman named Virgil.”
“A gentleman named Virgil… who are you and what do you want?”
“My business is with Virgil!… Holy Shit!”
“You got business with one of our partners, you got business with all of us!”
“I said I have business with just one bastard here and that’s Virgil!”
“What you say n*****?!”
Dialogue in German:
“Entschuldigung Nachbar. Ich such nen Pferdeburschen der Virgil heißt, ist der hier bekannt?”
“Lass mal heftig nachdenken. Virgil?… Wer bist du Flitzpiepe und was willst du von ihm?”
“Ach… Ich hab Redeverbot. Ist ne Sache zwischen mir und Virgil!… Ach du Rübezahl du dicker!”
“Ich glaub ich muss dir ein paar Märchenfiguren in die Wolle schneiden, so kess wie du bist!”
“Ich merk schon, du willst mir nen gebrauchten Lutscher ans Hemd kleben, du Bratenbengel!”
“Ich werd dir die Locken glatt bügeln!”
“Excuse me neighbor. I am looking for a horseboy called Virgil. Do you know him?”
“Let me think about that. Virgil? Who are you brat and what do you want from him?”
“Well… I’ve got a ban on talking. It’s a thing between me and Virgil! [Jake stands up] Aw man Rübezahl, you big guy! [Rübezahl is a folklore mountain spirit and a giant]”
“I think I’ve got to cut some fairy-tale figures into your wool, as breezy as you are!”
“I see! You want to stick a used lolly to my shirt! You little rascal!”
“I will flatten your curls!”
As you can see, the dialogue of the German version is absolutely bonkers and stays that way for the whole movie. From a film about absolutely badass motherfuckers, we go to weird talking dudes throwing the worst insults of all time around (and no, Germans don’t talks that way).
Can’t we finally end this bullshit?
All good things must come to and end, as they say, so now is the time to say goodbye to the glorious Kill Squad. So would I recommend this movie? And if so, would I recommend the original version or the German version? The answer is both. I think the original is a fun movie, as it really is just scene after scene of fighting waves of guys, and then finally a boss. But the German version is so much more enjoyable, and the ridiculous insults make it seem even more like a videogame. Seeing as there are two separate versions, then there will be two separate ratings. But either way, make sure to see Kill Squad.