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Club Las Piranjas

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Film
Original title Club Las Piranjas
Country of production Germany
Original language German
Year of publication 1995
Length 88 minutes
Age rating FSK 0
Staff
Director Ulli Baumann
Script Hape Kerkeling
Doris J. Heinze
Production Rainer Poelmeyer
Music Achim Hagemann
Betti Hagemann
Camera Axel Henschel
Edited by Birgit Levin
Sabine von Berlepsch
Cast
  • Hape Kerkeling: Edwin
  • Angelika Milster: Biggi
  • Judy Winter: Club Director Dr. Renate Wenger
  • Michael Brandner: Karl-Heinz Schadletzki
  • Katharina Schubert: Hildegard Schadletzki
  • Tana Schanzara: Granny
  • Dorothea Walda: Herta Ludwig
  • Hildegard Krekel: Margot Kemper
  • Horst Krause: Kurt Becker
  • Wilhelm Wieben: Airport spokesman

Club Las Piranjas is a 1995 German television comedy film starring Hape Kerkeling and Angelika Milster. It depicts a parody of holidays in a holiday club. The film is a production of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk.

Storyline

“Club Las Piranjas” is a satire on the completely organized package club vacation.

A “promising” promotional video of Club Las Piranjas attracts a wide variety of characters from Germany to the eponymous resort, which is located in undefined “southern-foreign” speaking latitudes far away from any civilization. The filming took place in Hurghada/Egypt at the Hotel Sea Horse.[1]

Edwin (Hape Kerkeling) and Biggi Oxford (Angelika Milster) are the two entertainers of the club and as such responsible for the organisation of the holiday.

The Schadletzki family, i.e. petrol station attendant Karl-Heinz Schadletzki (Michael Brandner) together with his wife Hildegard (Katharina Schubert) and son Oliver (Christoph Ortmann), are planning to spend their summer holiday without Grandma Schadletzki (Tana Schanzara) and her dog Uschi. Grandma loses Uschi the boxer as soon as they arrive at the airport and has the announcer at the airport (Wilhelm Wieben) call him out unsuccessfully, as the dog has already smuggled himself on board as a stowaway.

A mixed German travel group, consisting of the Schadletzki families, the North Hessian pensioner Herta Ludwig (Dorothea Walda) (“My Home is in Kassel”) as well as the department manager Margot Kemper (Hildegard Krekel), who is travelling alone, and the branch manager Kurt Becker (Horst Krause), fly south to spend a few sunny days at the club “Las Piranjas”.

After landing somewhere in the middle of nowhere, the holiday-minded package tourists are received noisily by the two cheerful entertainers Biggi and Edwin. The club, which you finally reach at night after a bus ride of several hours through a moon-like landscape (“the green lung of the south”), looks, as far as you can tell in the glaring light of the spotlights on the barbed wire fence, like a kind of high-security prison that a totalitarian state has erected on a military training ground.

Immediately after their late arrival at the club, the hungry guests are told by the club’s boss Dr. Renate Wenger (Judy Winter) that the kitchen is closed. Furthermore, all guests have to hand in their valuables and identity cards at the reception and receive the “club uniform” as well as the “Piranja Thaler” as in-house currency.

In the course of the film, the guests are confronted with various problems, such as a defective swimming pool, breakfasts on time and after division into food groups, defective toilet flushing and double occupied rooms. However, this proved to be true as there was a booking option of “single as double”. This means that two same-sex single travelers share a common double room. While Biggi and Edwin ignore or gloss over these problems, the club manager Dr. Wenger, who obviously has an alcohol problem, is also not really a contact person for the guests.

Furthermore, there is a compulsory participation in the club events (collecting rubbish together on the beach – keyword “Aktion sauberer Strand”, Brennball to get to know each other, Greek and later Belgian or Persian night – this linguistic confusion originates from the alcohol-related slurring of Dr. Wenger), and Edwin and Biggi are constantly trying to keep the guests together and entertained.

The joint excursion “Land and People”, also called “Sand and People”, ends in the middle of a desolate ruin in the desert.

At some point, the limit of what is reasonable is reached for some of the guests; the first think of escape, but this is successfully thwarted by the boss and her two entertainers, as well as by the camp-like guarding and remote location of the hotel.

The film ends on the plane flying the passengers towards home, piloted by Edwin and Biggi themselves.

Reviews

“Satire on the stress of the prescribed and regimented holiday, full of situations most have suffered firsthand in one way or another.”

Encyclopedia of International Film[2]

Edwin and Biggi

During the film one also learns that during an earlier tour guide job of Biggi a pensioner from Wattenscheid, who later turns out to be an acquaintance of Herta Ludwig, fell into a crater of Vesuvius (“But they couldn’t prove anything”).

Edwin has already worked with Dr. Wenger in a club hotel in Kenya as a tour guide, while the guests Heinz and Gisela Adamek from Gelsenkirchen have disappeared from him. He assumes an insurance fraud. In addition, we learn that Edwin has a child with Dr. Wenger, who is also named Dr. Wenger – Dr. Björn Wenger. He is eight years old and lives in Gelsenkirchen.

Also during this trip one person gets lost. The daughter Simone (about the same age as Oliver) flies back to Germany alone.

Web links

Individual references

  1. http://www.tvforen.de/read.php?3,456575,464492#msg-464492
  2. Club Las Piranjas. In: encyclopedia ofinternational film. Filmdienst, retrieved 18 June 2017. template:LdiF/maintenance/accessused