Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz, The
Reviewed by Arno Mikli
Rating: 6.5 Beans
t first, this film sounds like it would make great viewing. It is a comedy featuring the cast of Hogan's Heroes, and Elke Sommer thrown in for good measure. Alas, it is a major dud.
There are several reasons for this evaluation.The main problem is the woefully bad script. It concerns itself, more or less, with the story of how a East German athlete called Paula Schultz (Elke Sommer) escapes from East Germany to West Berlin. Naturally, the East German authorities (played by the Hogans Heroes baddies) do their best (or rather, their worst) to stop her. Equally naturally, she has some good guys from the western side (played by the Hogan's heroes goodies) coming in to bat for her.
It is the way in which the above drama is scripted that is the problem. The same old jokes are played to death. For instance, Elke Sommer loses her clothes with grat regularity, though we never get to see any private bits of her anatomy ....a situation that can get quite offensive for those who do not like to see such things, and a source of frustration for those who do. Gags involving men dressed up as women are also carried out with monotonous repetitiveness
Reality problems also abound. For example, the East German authorities are portrayed as being just a few degrees above total idiocy, whilst the West German authorities are shown to be non-existant. (Hogan and co play Americans coming to her rescue). This reviewer would like to believe that this is some kind of political statement (and he is no lover of Communism). However, it is far more likely that it represents sheer recklessness on the part of the scriptwriters, perhaps influenced by too many Hogan's Heroes scripts. Another problem lies in the way that the good guys are able to walk from West to East with an ease more reminiscent of 1998 Berlin than 1968 Berlin.
Other problems involve forgettable songs and a misleading title. Nowhere in the film do we encounters any dreams, though it could be argued that the film itself is a long wicked nightmare.
Perhaps the most telling thing about this film's badness is that this reviewer saw this film 17 years ago,but he can still recall it in some detail, and great disaffection, today. He is thus in a position to recommend it only to hysterically staunch Hogan's Heroes fans and bad movie buffs.