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Review: One Hundred Years of Evil (2010)

One Hundred Years of Evil (2010)

Directed by: Erik Eger, Magnus Oliv | 80 minutes | comedy, adventure, history, mockumentary | Actors: Jon Rekdal, Jordi Almeida, Alexander Bareis, Tobias Bengtsson, Lucy Bermingham, Michael Boland, Edward Breene, James Dickson, Jason Dirnberger, Kathleen Dobbs, Russel Drew, Erik Eger, Julián Elizalde, Drummond Erskine, Kate Feerick, Patrick Fernicola, Guil Fisher, Jack Frankel, Hector Gonzales, Karen Lynn Gorney

Echoing famous mockumentaries in which fictional events are presented as fact in a documentary, Erik Eger and Magnus Oliv created ‘One Hundred Years Of Evil’ around the fact: did Hitler survive World War II and escape to America?

While the story could have made for a fascinating film, it seems that Eger and Oliv couldn’t decide whether to deliver a deeply satirical look, with material that would leave anyone in doubt, or a bland comedy. The result – a mix of both – misses the point, because the different forms get in each other’s way, and the people who are questioned in the film act so clearly – but don’t do this very convincingly. Also lead investigator Skule is not credible for a moment, but actor Jon Rekdal is not comical enough to use this to his advantage. Thus, the film comes in a difficult package, because the whole story relies on Skule and his belief in the bizarre theory. Where the other components have not been worked out well, it is Rekdal’s performance that makes ‘One Hundred Years of Evil’ definitively fail. What remains then are some nice finds that the research team makes in America: did Hitler conceive the concept of the soap opera on television? Was he the founder of the failed fast food chain McBratwurst? These are questions that – even in their context – don’t really want to be fun.

For example, ‘One Hundred Years Of Evil’ as a whole is hardly worth the effort, and it is nothing compared to the successful exercises in the genre, such as Woody Allen’s ‘Zelig’. The film gets stuck too much in its interesting plot, weak actors and doesn’t want to develop further. Here and there the screenplay is sloppy, and in other places the film is completely wrong. No, not a successful exercise, this failed attempt by Eger and Oliv to make two genres in one. ‘One Hundred Years Of Evil’ is hardly entertaining.

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