“Angst” is a 1983 Austrian crime thriller/horror film based on a real story of mass murderer Werner Kniesek, who murdered a family of three while on parole.
Directed by Gerald Kargl. Erwin Leder, who is known for his role as Chief Mechanic Johann in “Das Boot” (1982), played the role of K., the killer. 87 minutes.
In 1973, Werner Kniesek was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for shooting a 73-year-old woman. In January 1980, a few weeks before his release, he was paroled from the Garsten Prison for three days to seek work. During the days, he broke into the villa of the Altreiter family in St. Pölten, and tortured and murdered 26-year-old Walter in a wheelchair, his 55-year-old mother Gertrude, and 24-year-old sister Ingrid.
The film is loosely based of the St. Pölten murders by Werner Kniesek, and it focuses on the inner world of the criminal, who is driven by a sadistic urge to murder.
It features eccentric camera work by Zbigniew Rybczyński, including unnaturally stabilized POV shots, extreme close-ups, and ultrahigh-angle shots.
Dark electronic music in the Berlin school style by Klaus Schulze was used as the soundtrack, and the film was edited to fit the soundtrack.
The screening of the film was canceled only a week after the release for extreme violence in Austria, and then it was banned all over Europe.
Though “Angst” had almost never been seen for a long time, it was released on Blu-ray in France in 2012. In 2015, it was released on Blu-ray, DVD, and digitally in the United States.
In Japan, it was released as a rental VHS video in 1988, screened in theaters in 2020, and released on Blu-ray and DVD in 2021.