Good Old Friends Image

Good Old Friends

By Bradley Gibson | September 22, 2022

In co-directors Mikael Schallock and Peter Kondra’s dark thriller Good Old Friends, three college buddies meet in Berlin to party and reminisce about school and all the fun they had way back in the day (five years earlier). So much has changed since they’ve seen each other they seem like strangers trying to remember each other and themselves from another time. Mike (Mikael Schallock) flies in from the U.S. to see his friends, who are too busy or hungover to meet him at the airport. Peter (Peter Kondra) is anxious about work, and Marc (Andrej Vickers) is recovering from a bender the night before, sleeping it off on his sofa.

Perhaps the desire to recapture glory days clouded a realistic expectation of what it would be like to get back together. But the tension in the group dynamic does not stop the wild party from getting off the ground, so Mike, Peter, and Marc proceed to break out booze and cocaine and get absolutely interplanetary over the course of the first evening. It’s all fun and games until there’s a mishap in the kitchen that leaves one dead and the other two desperate to find a way to dispose of the body. What had already been a wild night turns into a bizarre run around Berlin all night trying to find the right place to leave a body. The soul of the city shines through this madness, twinkling like a Christmas ornament while the desperate men drive through their own personal hell.

The performances throughout Good Old Friends are unsettling. None of the three seem comfortable in their skin, and their interactions are stilted and weird. The actors bring this aspect to life believably, lending an overall creepy vibe to what should be a light-hearted reunion party. It’s an excellent decision on the part of the filmmakers.

“…a mishap in the kitchen that leaves one dead and the other two desperate to find a way to dispose of the body.”

Kondra’s script highlights a deep lack of sympathy for others in all of the leads. For guys who were best friends in school a few short years ago, none of them seem to give a s**t about the others at all. Peter sees the party as an inconvenient drag on his work. For Marc, it’s just another chance to get high. Mike is just here to visit Berlin on vacation from his stressful life in the States.

Oddly, there’s a lack of any attempt by the two uninjured people to seek medical help for a dying friend. If you die in Berlin, freund, you get rolled up in a carpet and stuck in the back window of a ridiculously cheerful yellow VW Beetle. The getting reacquainted, heartfelt conversations only come between the two remaining men as they drive the night away.

The absurdity of Good Old Friends is also its delight. The film is darkly German in a unique way. Plus, there’s good creepy fun rolling through the night trying to find a place to deposit the mortal remains of your old college pal.

For screening information, visit the Good Old Friends Facebook page.

Good Old Friends (2022)

Directed: Peter Kondra, Mikael Schallock

Written: Peter Kondra

Starring: Peter Kondra, Mikael Schallock, Andrej Vickers, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Good Old Friends Image

"…darkly German in a unique way."

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