Ulli Lommel has had a long career in the cinema. He started appearing in films during the early 60's. He starred in Fassbinder's directorial feature film debut "Love is Colder than Death" in 1969. The two would collaborate on several other films such as "Chinese Roulette, Effi Briest, The American Soldier, Whity, Beware of the Holy Whore, Satan's Brew, Rio de Mortes, Shadow of Angels, Haytabo and Tenderness of the Wolves". Lommel would become a filmmaker as well directing the award wining "Tenderness of the Wolves," Haytabo, Adolf and Marlene before moving to New York City. Whilst in America, Lommel befriended Andy Warhol who produced and appeared in "Blank Generation" and "Cocaine Cowboys". His next film "The Boogeyman" would become an independent film hit. Along with his collaborator actress/writer/producer and Standard Oil heiress Suzanna Love they released Boogeyman II, BrainWaves, The Devonsville Terror, Olivia, Revenge of the Stolen Stars and Strangers in Paradise.
Over the years, he would make either direct-to-video features and movies that received little or no release. Lommel would make a come back of sorts during the mid 2000's with his DTV films that featured serial killers. These "reality" horror releases were shot on video and were cheaply made and produced. Besides serving no more than video store filler, some of the films have a strange and kitschy vibe to them and to me seem like nothing more than a satire on the commercialism and beautification of violence, serial killer worship and parodies of movies in general. In keeping with his Fassbinder roots, Lommel has created an acting company of his own featuring actresses such as Elissa Dowling, Cassandra Church, Jaquelyn Aurora, Victoria Ullmann and Danielle Petty. People have criticized his cookie cutter style of filmmaking, cheap production values and hammy acting. I happen to think they';re interesting. The only problem I have with them is that they're too padded out.
Besides being a director, Ulli Lommel is an excellent actor. I think that his best performance is his role of Kolbe in the movie "Chinese Roulette". Never has an actor convey so much through emotions, gestures and body movement. His role as the emasculated paramour is tops. I really hope to see his unreleased back catalog of films one day and more of his earlier work. Lommel, a misunderstood filmmaker or a DTV hack? You decide.