Trailerama Classic: Das Schlangenei (The Serpent’s Egg)

We don’t remember the David Carradine obituaries mentioning his one foray with Ingmar Bergman. Nor do Bergman hagiographies dwell very long on his late-’70s look at Weimar decadence. It’s considered a low-point from the time when the dour Swede, living as a tax exile in West Germany, entered an unholy alliance with Dino De Laurentiis. Carradine plays a Jewish acrobat whose nocturnal sojourns bring him too close to Berlin’s rotting core and Liv Ullman’s underarm fuzz. Dave Kehr says Bergman “comes very close to camp,” while the Time Out Film Guide warns “Bergman’s paranoia runs dementedly and tediously out of control.” In other words, essential viewing. The sloppy look suggests even Sven Nykvist has his off days.

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