The Kingdom II (Directors Suite/ Madman)


We’re back for the second installment of Lars Von Trier’s darkly comic surreal ghost story set in a strange and scary Danish Hospital. This time they’ve gone straight for the jugular, wasting no time and piling on the action to ludicrous levels. Where the 1st series quietly set about creating parallel subplots and gently milking a subtle form of dark humour, the second series is out of control. And better for it. Who wants subtlety when you can have zombies and voodoo rituals, satanic rites, strange mutant babies with enormous malformed limbs and the head of Udo Kier (My Own Private Idaho), or a demon that is all Udo Kier? A lot of the humour is frenzied slapstick, yet there are also unexpected touching emotional moments. That’s always been the thing about Von Trier. You know he is attempting to provoke and manipulate you, yet he is so damn conniving that he manages to suck you in and make you emotionally experience his world – no matter how ridiculous. Everything is coming to a head in these four episodes, the spirits are gathering, the hospital is crumbling and bizarre forces are at work, as the patient with a connection to the spiritual world Mrs Drusse and her beer loving porter son attempt to uncover the secrets of the Kingdom. This is the way TV should be, breakneck pacing, hilarious, stupid, scary and with some of the strangest plot ideas this side of Twin Peaks. You have never seen anything like this.

“I think we really painted ourselves into a corner by the end,” offers an incredibly pained Von Trier who literally groans through the short selected commentary. “Maybe we should give the tapes a ritual burial where the chapel once lay… Thank God life has moved on.” But don’ listen to him; all he can see are the faults. There’ also a stupid music video he directed for the main theme and some trailers to his other films.

-Bob Baker Fish


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.

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