02 May, 2009


Face to face with Jack the Ripper...

Kinski's first Arthouse triumph...

The soft-spoken, deadly Tigrero (Klaus Kinski) meets Silence (Jean-Louis Trintignant) in Sergio Corbucci's Spaghetti Western masterwork.

Dr. Sturges (Klaus Kinski, far right) makes a disturbing discovery...

Dr. Orloff in Jess Franco's JACK THE RIPPER (1976): "I was able to sense that he was almost as terrified as his victim."
Don Lope de Aguirre in AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD (1972): Kinski won international acclaim as the mad imperialist leading a search into the heart of darkness of a South American rain forest.
Dr. Sturges in LA MORTE HA SORRISO ALL' ASSASSINO (1973): Kinski's baffled examination of Ewa Aulin is an example of how he was a master of mute simplicity. An almost wordless performance in a supporting role, he nonetheless steals the show in Joe D'Amato's non linear Gothic masterwork.
Dr. Francis Clay in SLAUGHTER HOTEL (1971): KK is quite amusing (and seems crazier than the actual killer) as the chain smoking psychiatrist who falls in love with target-for-murder Margaret Lee in the midst of a bloody massacre by a maniac with an array of medieval weapons.
Lorenz Voss in DER RACHER (1960): Kinski's first appearance in an Edgar Wallace inspired "Krimi" is another example of a fascinatingly minimalist performance which is nonetheless hypnotic. As the "frustrated genius" Lorenz Voss, Kinski's incremental gestures and fear frozen gaze would become the template for numerous future prime suspects in subsequent Krimi roles.
Tigrero in THE GREAT SILENCE (1968): "All according to the law..."
The Marquis De Sade in JUSTINE (1969): Kinski's "Divine Marquis" is a wordless, theater-of-cruelty-style tour de force, squirming in frustration, furiously writing out his fantasies, in a cell crowded with his taunting "victims" in Jess Franco's big budget [for him], star-studded adaptation of Sade's infamous novel.
Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald in FITZCARRALDO (1982): Another Werner Herzog imperialist attempts to bring Opera to the Amazon.

Keeping this list down to 10 was very difficult considering the richness of the acting career of Klaus Kinski (1926-1991).

(C) Robert Monell, 2009

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Nzoog Wahlrfhehen said...

I would like to add his Dan Hogan from Vari's SHOOT THE LIVING AND PRAY FOR THE DEAD and his Hagen in Fidani's PER UNA BARA PIENA DI DOLLARI.

Robert Monell said...

would like to add his Dan Hogan from Vari's SHOOT THE LIVING AND PRAY FOR THE DEAD and his Hagen in Fidani's PER UNA BARA PIENA DI DOLLARI.

Interesting choices. I'll have to rewatch the former and haven't seen the latter. I also thought of the "scalper" in THE FIGHTING FISTS OF SHANGHAI JOE.

scott said...

No listing for WOYZECK???

Robert Monell said...


Another great KK performance.