Johnny Flash | Chicago Reader

Johnny Flash

A rather affectless (and feckless) low-budget comedy by experimental filmmaker Werner Nekes about a no-talent rock singer (Helge Schneider—the Johnny Flash of the title), which might be enjoyed if one is in a sufficiently giggly mood. Set in Mulheim (in the Ruhr district), the movie features one actor, Andreas Kunze, in multiple parts ranging from theater manager to music store clerk to delivery man to doctor to the hero's mother; there are also some occasional flashes of Nekes's avant-garde background: successive takes of the same shot, jump cuts, achronological double exposures. A healthy contempt for both the rock scene and narrative film in general seems to lurk behind this curiosity item; unfortunately, Nekes is no Frank Tashlin, and his technique lacks even the dry wit of a Luc Moullet; the film does, however, feature the breasts of Heike Melba-Fendel (as a glitzy TV impresario) whenever it gets a chance.

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