An amateur amongst underground amateurs slowly improving his exploitation skills, and a more modern and extreme German version of Joe D'Amato.
Bethmann directs pornography but usually mixes it with splatter, violent perversions, exploitation and other extreme favorites of underground
cinema. He also directs some tamer exploitation and women-in-prison flicks. His favorite theme seems to be the exploitation, torture, stabbing
and abuse of women. He doesn't try to disguise shock and exploitation cinema as art or fancy celluloid, but goes all-out for the sleaze and gore,
catering exclusively and repetitively to this niche. Often releases his movie in two versions, a tamer version and a hardcore version.
For once, Bethmann tries to develop something other than dull & grimy splatter and porn, and directs a haunted-house movie, taking his time with the setup leading to some
spooky atmosphere and scares. Granted, there is nothing original here, and some elements or scenes were copied from Grudge and Evil Dead, but at least it develops a story.
He also makes the serious mistake of having his actress narrate all of her thoughts, intentions, what we see with our own eyes and even the ghost's intentions, thus both
insulting the audience and ruining the potential atmosphere in several scenes. The story involves a paraplegic girl drawn to a haunted house while researching country-folk,
a Nazi-related history, and, eventually, two thieves that try to hide in the same house (one of them a deranged pervert). There are only a couple of splatter scenes, with
an extended nasty eye-gouging courtesy of Ittenbach. Bethmann commits the ultimate nepotism, casting himself as the boyfriend just so he can boink the actress, and only
manages to get in the way of the slightly more competent actors this time. Just barely of interest, but it's a step in the right direction.
Help me I am Dead
Classified as splatter-porn but the porn isn't hardcore enough, the sex isn't interesting enough to be erotic, the splatter effects are
sparse and mediocre, and the plot is paper thin. Thugs and a dominatrix are running around kidnapping women, forcing them into prostitution,
selling, raping, torturing and killing them. One model (actually a porn star whose acting talents involve grinning while getting raped)
gets raped and seeks bloody revenge on everyone she encounters. This is enough to fill two and half hours with things like blowing heads
off, punching through a man's guts, biting off a penis, and sex with a decapitated head.
Angel of Death
A sequel in name only. Bethmann does the cliched Women in Prison genre but with porn, gore, bad acting and cheesy action. A girl is raped,
then imprisoned unfairly in an island prison ruled by a sadistic warden and guards, etc etc. Her father hires a group of mercenaries to bring the
institution down. Nudity, escapes, lots of lesbian sex, sadism, forests, traps, spiders. There are only two very extreme splatter scenes
courtesy of Ittenbach, one involving penis pliers, teeth pulling, and scalping. I'd like to say he delivers on the porn but most of it is lesbian
and he also throws in gay porn and ugly nudity. For hungry fans of WIP only.
Angel of Death 2
Actually a sequel to the previous "Island of the Demons" which plunged new depths of boredom and lack of gore.
This time we are treated to a confusing mess of perverted Hentai-like porn and amateurish splatter effects. Various groups of people are attacked
by demonic forces which rape them with tentacles, trap them on a magical island, use a power-drill to make holes in various body organs,
tear flesh, spit acid in their face, and possess them with bad dentures. Messy editing, gritty filming, endless splatter and gore
that gets boring quickly, and non-existent acting by people that never heard of the concept of running away.
Damonenbrut (Demon Terror)
Relatively an improvement for Bethmann. A woman who was kidnapped, raped and abused a few years back finds herself in a worse situation, kidnapped by a
twisted Norman Bates with a taste for necrophilia, sadistic sexual games and nasty murder. The acting isn't painful this time, and a couple of scenes
are actually effectively sadistic and twisted instead of being boring. Twisted hardcore (mostly lesbian) porn-splatter that should deliver to fans of the genre
but doesn't offer anything beyond that.
An idiotic horror sequel with more typical Bethmann bucket-loads of lesbian exploitation and sleaze, also released in a more hardcore version with the same
running time. The sister, her lesbian lover and various other people visit the strangely popular Exitus house where all the nastiness occured, and encounter
various horrors involving dead people, necrophilia, sadistic wackos, and torture. Just another excuse to show lots of grungy lesbian erotica and one or two
nasty gory games, with the plot and characterizations making no sense whatsoever.
Exitus II: House of Pain
Bethmann's first effort is raw, horribly amateurish and dull as dishwater. An evil spirit possesses first a pumpkin then other people,
causing some gory deaths. In between we get to see some gratuitous women in underwear and long padded scenes where characters do nothing
interesting until the next death. Even the deaths and gore are sparse and boring.
Dance of the Pumpkinhead
This is getting tiringly repetitive; Bethmann truly deserves to be D'Amato's successor. Another women in prison porn-splatter film by Bethmann
with hardly any plot, featuring women on an island prison being abused for 2 hours featuring a sadistic female warden, a female doctor with a
conscience, several sadistic male rapist guards and the victims. It's 3/4 hardcore grungy & warty porn, 1/4 torture, and one extremely nasty
and over-the-top splatter scene towards the end, courtesy of Ittenbach, featuring some fat guy who goes on an endless stabbing spree on a girl's
various body parts.
K3 - Prison of Hell
Bethmann gets his hands on some money and puts all his favorite elements together for a very long splatter-porn movie with relatively
good production values. A woman kills her cheating husband but learns even more hate for other women in prison while the female guards
abuse and torture her. So after she is released she writes a Sadean diary about torture, sex, pain and death while ordering prostitutes
to her house for some sex and very nasty murders. Features hardcore porn (almost all lesbian), nasty splatter like drilling genitalia, acid,
electrocution, decapitation, etc. and lots of ugly people doing ugly things. Of course the people this kind of movie caters to will run to
get this dull and ugly release anyways, but you've been warned.
Trashy home-made splatter doesn't get more crappy and inept than this. Bethmann's first attempts at splatter combined into a full length movie, basically
resulting in a sequence of kill-scenes that look a bunch of kids practicing for the real thing rather than any kind of movie. There's a killer that keeps
coming back to life, several weapons, a random zombie, and a dozen victims, probably all of Bethmann's bored friends willing to go to the local woods to
get 'massacred'. The kills involve lots of dismembering or carving up, often by a motorized hedge trimmer, as well as some scalping and a nail to the eye.
But, as you can imagine, the effects are never remotely convincing and the slow-motion makes sure you see exactly how badly they act out their kills.
Weststadt Massacre 1-3, The