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The Forgotten: Krank!

The cinematic world of Robert Reinert is an overheated madhouse. His Nerven (Nerves, 1919) anticipates Caligari by a year, but feels as if the expressionist classic's angular, hand-painted house of cards has been exploded and scattered on the winds into the real, three-dimensional world. It also feels as if it's set in the "very nervous little community" that opens Jerry Lewis's The Ladies Man.

But maybe Reinert was the man for his time: there are reports of audience members being hospitalized, and one woman wandered into the street in her nightgown, screaming, "Now I am going to die! Now I am going to die!" Whether this was caused by seeing the film is unprovable, but she apparently thought it was, which is in itself suggestive of the film's power. One is reminded of the horror movie slogan proposed in the Dudley Moore comedy Crazy People: "This film will fuck you up for life!

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