Wolfgang and Fiona
Here we have a middle-aged German schlockmeister and a young British actress, the director and star of three mighty unique exploitation flicks. On the digital horror scene Wolfgang Büld and Fiona Horsey were inseparable during the years 2003-06, when it was forecast by some critics that their partnership might single-handedly revitalize British horror cinema (with Büld compared to the iconic horror filmmakers Michael Reeves and Jose Larraz, and Horsey to the Brit scream queens Eileen Daly and Emily Booth).
Wolfgang Büld, for the record, was a longtime director of German comedies and documentaries before he relocated to England to write and direct the SOV British-German co-production PENETRATION ANGST in 2003. Funny, pervy and boasting stylish visuals by cinematographer Uwe Bohrer (of NEKROMANTIK), it’s a memorable film, albeit a profoundly silly one--which is inevitable, I’d say, given that it involves a hot chick (Horsey) who finds herself possessed with a MAN-EATING VAGINA!
The gorgeously leggy, statuesque Ms. Horsey is quite an object, and Büld takes any and every opportunity to include a slow pan up her bare legs, as well as several full frontal nude scenes. But about the story: it has a nerd falling in love with Fiona, even as she bangs her way through a succession of horny men her vagina (which is always imploring her to “feed me!”) ravenously devours. The nerd, meanwhile, enters into an ill-advised romance with one half of a pair of Siamese twins, but the relationship ends disastrously when he unwisely tries to separate them--and ends up killing one by mistake! Horsey, meanwhile, marries a scumbag and takes off in his RV, which gets hijacked by a terrorist gal together with the nerd (don’t ask).
The pic was quite successful on the video market (although its US DVD release of course had the first word of the title omitted), and Büld immediately put into production another similarly styled sex-and-horror fest. It seemed that Mr. Büld, who was well into his fifties, had finally found his true calling as a filmmaker, with PENETRATION ANGST being “the film I always wanted to make--it took me twenty five years and a lot of crap films and TV to get there!”
LOVESICK: SWEET LOVE, a.k.a. THE CHAMBERMAID, appeared in 2004. Here the delectable Fiona plays a chambermaid who’s banging a scumbag druggie while leading on the mega-dweeb hotel manager (Paul Conway, who was also in PENETRATION ANGST) who employs her--as she proclaims at one point, “it’s amazing what kind of men I attract!”
Conway spies Fiona and the druggie in action and flies into a jealous rage, injecting her with hospital tranquilizers so he can rape her while she’s unconscious. Fiona catches on to what’s happening and in retaliation taunts and torments Conway in every way she can. He in turn devises a most horrific revenge involving drugs, chains, forced incarceration and corpses.
Büld’s sexually-charged exploration of unhealthy relationships often recalls the Roman Polanski’s BITTER MOON, although that would be giving this lively but hopelessly dopey exploiter far more credit than it deserves. LOVESICK: SWEET LOVE is quirky and freakishly compelling without question, but suffers from inconsistent characterizations and a narrative that, unlike that of PENETRATION ANGST, is never as perverse as it thinks it is.
A third Büld/Horsey collaboration appeared in the form of 2006’s TWISTED SISTERS. It offers more of the same, with Fiona here playing twin sisters: the contented suburbanite Jennifer and the psychotic murderess Norah. The latter makes life difficult for her sis by killing a man she picks up at a bar and pinning the murder on the unsuspecting Jennifer. It seems Norah was interned for many years in an insane asylum but got let out, and now she wants to take over Jen’s life. Jennifer attempts to flee to the country but Norah follows, and wastes no time in subduing Jen and taking her place. The first thing she does is have sex with Jen’s hubbie--in plain view of Jennifer!
Wolfgang Büld’s jittery visuals are fairly distinctive: he favors roving handheld camerawork and frequent cutaways, and, as always, evinces quite an eye for freaky and perverse imagery. As for Fiona H., who’s in nearly every scene, she once again demonstrates a mighty commanding screen presence, and looks even better than she did in the previous films.
After these three films, which may not be especially “good” but are at least quite watchable (something that can’t be said for too many other SOV British horror flicks), it seemed Wolfgang Büld and Fiona Horsey were on the cusp of cinematic immortality. Many future Büld films were said to be in the pipeline, including an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s SALOME with Fiona in the title role. Yet for whatever reason Büld and his company Dark Black Films fell silent for a full decade, while Horsey relocated to Barcelona, where she appeared in a handful of Spanish language TV episodes and a feature (2012’s THE CRACK).
But there’s good news on the horizon! It seems Wolfgang Büld and Fiona Horsey have reunited for a currently-in-production horror film entitled DIRTY WHITE LIES, which based on the plot summaries I’ve read will contain more of Büld’s quirky mixture of perversion and gore. I’ll confess I’m not entirely confident that this new film will fully deliver on its promises, but the presence of Fiona definitely gives me hope!