Had this man been Germany's leader, Judge George Hatch thinks WWII might never have occurred.
One of my first reviews for DVD Verdict was for an extremely bad movie that paid homage to (or simply ripped off) Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily? trope. New dialogue was looped over a sci-fi stinker from the 1950s, and the director tried to make it contemporary, socially relevant, and funny. It failed in all three categories. But a few brief clips that came from another source caught my attention. They were part of a short film called Titler, with songs written and performed by Greg Roman and directed by Jonathan Bekemeier.
This Titler character sports the notorious Hitler mustache and bangs but has a penchant for wearing tasteful black evening gowns and very un-PC fur stoles, both accented with well-worn combat boots. "He re-imagines light-hearted Broadway show tunes and turns them into erotic odes to homosexuality, through a series of off-beat songs whose lyrics shed some light on his demented psyche."
By reading just a few of the lyrics, you will lose the impact of Greg Roman's inspired and hilarious performance, but here's a glimpse at each song. On this DVD, they are presented intentionally out of sequence in order to best condense the mood swings of Titler's tortured soul and his search for identity.
• "Nummer 05"
We raised him right
• "Nummer 27"
• "Nummer 09"
• "Nummer 35"
Dogs do it, squirrels do,
Apparently, Titler has a kinky bisexual side because the next two songs are love notes to an overweight woman and another in a wheelchair.
• "Nummer 17"
She's got beautiful hair, and a real pretty face
• "Nummer 69"
Diane Chutkowski, Diane Chutkowski,
• "Nummer 31"
I hate myself; I wish I was dead
• "Nummer 41"
There's not a second wasted in this gut-busting short. The songs neatly segue into the sounds of machine fire, storm troopers marching, dogs barking, nose-diving Luftwaffe, frantic telegraph beeps, and a rant by der Fuhrer himself. Greg Roman throws himself into the role of Titler, and he's guaranteed to make you forget Charlie Chaplin's "Adenoid Hynkel" in The Great Dictator—at least for six minutes. If you're having some friends over for dinner and a movie in your home theater, hit them with this short before the main feature—perhaps, Schindler's List.
Running about the same time, Titler is much funnier than the "Springtime for Hitler" number in Mel Brooks's The Producers, and it's now available on DVD, along with other shorts of your choice from Picture Park. The full-screen transfer, shot in sepia for an interesting, antiquated look, is excellent. And the Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo brings out every note of Titler's musical angst. Titler has won several awards, including Honorable Mentions at Sundance and The New England Film and Video Festival. It also earned "Judges Special Recognition" at MicroCineFest.
This judge sees no reason to disagree. Not guilty!
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