A body is found in the woods. Bavaria’s most famous on-screen police officer, Franz Eberhofer, is immediately asked for his expert opinion. “Any idea?” — “Dead, I’d say.”
Sometimes stating the obvious is enough: for example, the fact that Ed Herzog’s film adaptations of Rita Falk’s crime novels have become Bavaria’s most successful movie franchise, having found plenty of fans outside the southern German province as well. Every year, Franz Eberhofer (Sebastian Bezzel) and Rudi Birkenberger (Simon Schwarz) return to solve a case together in the beautiful town of Niederkaltenkirchen, with a bit of sleuthing and, above all, with a good dose of solid Bavarian comedy that always drifts elegantly into profound Austrian humor. Put together, the Eberhofer films are also an episodic buddy movie. One of the two investigators (Birkenberger) is always hoping for a little more love from the other (Eberhofer), but despite their differences they have a wonderful friendship.
Birkenberger and Eberhofer - a real Dream-Team: Simon Schwarz and Sebastian Bezzel at the world premiere of the first Film in 2013: Dampfnudelblues
With the first film in the series, DAMPFNUDELBLUES, Ed Herzog and his team premiered at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN 2013, giving a multitude of characters such clear contours that viewers immediately grew fond of them and looked forward to seeing them again in each new film: Eberhofer’s resolute girlfriend Susi (Lisa Maria Potthoff); his legendary cook of a grandma (Ilse Neubauer); his aging hippie father (Eisi Gulp); his pedantic brother Leopold (Gerhard Wittmann); his once tobacco-snorting, now aerobics-exercising boss (Sigi Zimmerschied); his two buddies, stout-hearted butcher Simmerl (Stephan Zinner) and infidelity-prone Flötzinger (Daniel Christensen). And so on and so forth.
There is hardly a series of films with more striking characters. Hardly one with more running gags. And hardly one with a more cohesive team in front of and behind the camera. Ed Herzog has directed all the films, collaborates on the scripts, and consistently proves himself to be a comedy specialist with an unerring sense of timing and (visual) punchlines. Stefan Betz has been the scriptwriter of the series since the third film, SCHWEINSKOPF AL DENTE. Kerstin Schmidbauer has been the producer from the start. With a few exceptions, the ensemble has remained the same: a team that’s able to hand off to each other precisely and with subtle wit, even in their sleep.
The Eberhofer series proves to be lively and full of comedic zest in the latest installment, KAISERSCHMARRNDRAMA. This time, trouble is brewing in Franz Eberhofer’s idyllic small-town life. Less so because the village’s well-known webcam girl was murdered, a case he investigates in his usual laid-back manner. Now, of all times, Rudi is in a wheelchair following an accident; he settles in on the farm, expecting round-the-clock care from Franz. But what really gets to the village cop are Susi and his brother Leopold, who want to build a duplex right next to the farm, complete with a communal sauna, which also rubs Papa Eberhofer the wrong way. And as if village life weren’t colorful enough already with a motorcycle gang and marijuana meatballs, Franz also discovers that Simmerl and Flötzinger had been regular clients of the murder victim.
The release of KAISERSCHMARRNDRAMA had to be postponed several times due to the pandemic. The film will now officially open in German theaters on August 5. That’s still a way off, so FILMFEST MÜNCHEN, in partnership with Constantin Film, is taking heart and showing the film at the opening of this year’s festival on July 1 on three open-air screens — at the Kino am Olympiasee, Kino, Mond & Sterne, and POPUP SOMMERKINO in the courtyard of the University of Television and Film Munich (HFF) — as well as in three Munich movie theaters: Mathäser Filmpalast, Gloria Filmpalast, and Filmtheater Sendlinger Tor.
Members of the film team will be attending the world premiere of the latest Eberhofer installment. KAISERSCHMARRNDRAMA has been deemed “especially worthwhile” by the German ratings agency FBW, and this film is definitely special: wonderfully funny, but also melancholic and heart-warming. Silliness and drama, all in one. Bring some tissues!
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