Color, 2017, 121 mins. 14 secs.
Directed by Adolfo J. Kolmerer & William James
Starring Reza Brojerdi, Erkan Acar, Xenia Assenza, David Masterson, Gedeon Burkhard, Alexander Schubert, David Gant
Artsploitation Films (Blu-ray & DVD) (US R0 HD/NTSC), Capelight (Blu-ray & DVD) (Germany R0 HD/PAL) / WS (2.35:1)

A Snowflakefilm clearly Snowflakedesigned to become a cult hit as quickly as possible, this unclassifiable German film (originally titled Schneeflöckchen) might best be described as an supernatural crime twist on Adaptation and Stranger Than Fiction. If that sounds odd, it's nothing compared to the experience of actually watching this freewheeling genre bender shot for peanuts (and in a mixture of German and English) featuring enough ideas to fuel a dozen other movies.

First seen arguing over the quality of their kebab and pita lunch while bloodied dead bodies lie on the floor, Tan (Acar) and Javid (Brojerdi) are on a homicidal spree in a burnt-own shell of Berlin following the destruction of their families at the hands of a government official named Winter, whose named is now emblazoned on the chainsaw they carry around town. Meanwhile their latest slaughter has set off Eliana (Assenza) on her own mission for revenge against them since they offed her parents, including bounty hunters and her disapproving bodyguard Carson (Masterson)... but when the pair stumbles across a screenplay that seems to not only mirror their every move but anticipate what's the come, it's down a rabbit hole into a surreal world of angels, superheros, and a battle against fate itself.

SnowflakeClearly a labor of love, this is quite an achievement given how very little money was available without any outside funding to pay the cast and Snowflakecrew. It was conceived and shot over a very lengthy period, but you certainly can't tell from the polished result. That's largely due to the imagination on display here, which takes an already challenging idea of characters bouncing against an author in the same world writing their story (previously used to different but excellent effect on TV's Supernatural) and goes completely crazy with it. It's not the easiest film to describe or recommend to friends, but give it a shot... you might be very surprised.

Shot on HD video with a prosumer Canon camera, Snowflake has a crisp, sleek digital look that's tailor made for Blu-ray even if the flat, glossy appearance can sometimes seem a bit at odds with the grittier nature of the material. (It would've been interesting to see how this would have turned out in a format like 16mm.) The first Blu-ray released in Germany retains the structure of some Snowflakescenes in German and others in English (with optional English subtitles where applicable), with extras (not English friendly) including a commentary (with co-director Kolmerer, assistant director and editor William James and screenwriter Arend Remmers, who's a character Snowflakeplayed by someone else in the film), a German trailer, premiere coverage, EPK featurette, "2 Years - On the Set" documentary, and "5-Year Odyssey" featurette. A bit more stripped-down, the U.S. release from Artsploitation features the English trailer and the "2 Years" making-of documentary (58m53s), basically a chronological assemblage of raw footage from the shoot all the way to the end of shooting with everyone apparently having a great time on the set. As expected, the transfer looks immaculate throughout; audio options (German/English hybrid) are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0, with optional English subtitles (for the German scenes) and English SDH subtitles for the entire film.

Reviewed on January 15, 2019.