Hail Premutos! Premutos who? The very first fallen angel, of course. Forget all about Lucifer, here it’s only Premutos that matters, ready to conquer the world of the living and the dead by spreading death, carnage and insanity (as if the world wasn’t insane enough already). But in order to reach into present time, the son of Premotus must clear his path throughout the human history. And in order to do so he has to be constantly reincarnated. Sounds rather stressful.
The plot here is all over the fucking place, scattered over various time periods, so I will do my best to cut it as minimal as possible so it doesn’t get as long as The Satanic Bible. Here we go: We start in year 1023 in the middle of a gory battle-field in India, where the son of Premutos gets reincarnated through a skeleton that transforms back to life. As the skeleton transforms into a human in the cheesiest low-budget style possible, Premutos Jr. rises from the ground, holding two severed heads. Some hand-drawn lightning sparks from his blood-soaked body, ready to raise Hell, but his stay gets reduced to not more than fifteen seconds before he gets stabbed to death. Oof! Better luck next time.
We take a huge leap to year 1942 and the place is on a graveyard somewhere in Germany where the old farmer Rudolf digs up a scroll, or whatever. Since the town folks are being suspicious after bodies are being missing from the graves, a mob breaks into his house to kill him. In the basement they are met by the sight of dead bodies, just in time to rise as zombies and cause mayhem. One of them gets his dick bitten off. Fun stuff. But to cut it short (non pun intended), Rudolf buries the manifest that reveals the black magic of Premutos. He then attempts to bring his wife (I guess,) back to life, only to his disappointment as her head suddenly explodes like a melon put in a microwave, just like that. No time to mourn as the mob bursts through the door to finally kill Rudolph. Rest in peace.
Then we’re in the present time, in mid 90s Germany where we meet the young man Matthias (Olaf Ittenbach). He’s a clumsy tard that always fails to impress his love-interest next door. Calling him mentally inept feels wrong since everyone seems that way, probably due to the bad and goofy acting. However, he’s the last and seemingly final reincarnation to open the gate for Premutos to enter the modern world. He’s of course unnaware until he has nightmares and flashbacks from his many earlier lives, from various scenarios as he goes more and more insane. We see him as a farmer in a plague-infested Bavarian Forest in 1293 where he meets the old hag from Resident Evil Village telling him that Premutos will come, as she’s holding a severed head and laughs hysterically. In another flashback he’s a soldier from WW 2. He transforms into a werewolf-like creature. Then we jump back to present time where we finally get introduced to the film’s hero or anti-hero: Matthias’ stepdad Walter (Christopher Stacey) – a jolly, bubbly guy who looks like a caricature of a hillbilly straight from the heartlands of ‘Merica in love with his rifle. He adds a lot of the fun factor. But anyway, today it’s his birthday and tonight, to quote 45 Grave: it’s partytime! But first, he digs a hole in the garden to plant a flower, because why not, only to find the book we saw earlier. And just to add gas on the fire, he gives it to Matthias.
Nothing goes wrong from here on, and Walter has the birthday party of his life, all wrapped up with a fifteen minutes finale with a non-stop splatter orgy with the almost impossible attempt to outdo the gore-meter of Peter Jackson’s Braindead.
Premutos – The Fallen Angel is regarded as Olaf Ittenbach’s best film, his magnum opus and the only film that someone would bring up with a good conscience if you were asked to recommend only one film from his still growing filmography. I haven’t seen a quarter of his resume yet as we speak, so I can’t really subjectively confirm. But still, Premutos is a fun package of a low-budget gorefest that blends inspirations from Peter Jackson, Sam Raimi and Andreas Schnaas.
Based on the remastered Blu-ray version there’s a lot of decent visuals here. The flashback scenes are quite competently shot with flexible camera work, and a sense of sober cinematography on set and fitting spots for locations, which is a rare element in a film like this. Although it’s overall completely B-Movie chaos, it shows that the director had more ambitions than to only focus on the gore and bodycounts. The present-day scenes however are dull and flat where we see Matthias on a local football match, getting his nutsack destroyed after being hit with the ball. Yeah, shit happens. And there’s some other boring filler-scenes here that doesn’t add much, but they’re minimal.
The birthday party scenes, before Hölle gets real, are fun, though, where it’s clear that the actors had a blast and were probably getting drunk for real while the camera was rolling. One of the guests is the doppelganger of Sam Hyde, by the way. Just take a look at the dude with the round glasses on the seventh screenshot down below and convince me otherwise. Anyway – they get so drunk that they start to puke and … grab their fresh spew and throw it at each other. Fun times!
But of course, we’re mainly here for the gore, and it sure delivers. Just like the Hell scene from The Burning Moon we get a non-stop batshit carnage that goes on for over fifteen minutes. Some effects are really great, some are straight-out cartoonish and cheap, but overall a perfect dessert for gorehounds, if you weren’t pleased already. Body parts get ripped off left and right, torsos cut in half with a chainsaw and much more. Whether the film did outdo Braindead or not, I would bet that Olaf Ittenbach at least outdid himself with Premutos.
The film was released on Blu-ray later this year by Unearthed Films. It contains a fully restored version, which looks great, with the original German dialogues. A new, animated opening is also added. We also get a bonus-disc with the soundtrack and a vintage VHS version with pure bonkers Zombie ’90: Extreme Pestilence-style dubbing for those who want more so-bad-it’s-good experience.
Writer and director: Olaf Ittenbach
Original title: Premutos – Der gefallene Engel
Also known as: Premutos – Lord of the Living Dead
Country & year: Germany, 1997
Actors: André Stryi, Christopher Stacey, Ella Wellmann, Anke Fabré, Fidelis Atuma, Olaf Ittenbach, Heike Münstermann, Ingrid Fischer, Frank Jerome, Susanne Grüter, Ronald Fuhrmann, Renate Sigllechner