Geissel des Fleisches (Torment of Flesh)


Following the prog rock Holy Grail of Klockwerk Orange's Abrakadabra and the buried treasure of Austrian early rock & roll with Schnitzelbeat Vol. 1: I Love You Baby!, Digatone has unearthed a cinematic pearl with the previously-unreleased soundtrack to a 1965 sexploitation crime movie. When you think of Austrian films the only ones that come to mind are The Sound of Music or The Third Man with Anton Karas' zither score as the only Austrian theme that received worldwide recognition. An almost completely unknown composer and producer is the Viennese Gerhard Heinz, even though his compositions can be found across a broad spectrum of productions from film, radio shows, commercials to theatrical productions. Heinz wrote the scores for 136 movies in his long career and while most were for softcore Bavarian porn, he also wrote for a number of crime and exploitation films including for Jess Franco. For The Fruit Is Ripe, he even received platinum status in Hong Kong. Gerhard Heinz was a stylistic chameleon writing songs from "easy cheesy sleazy" to beat, space-disco, African voodoo drums and oompa-oompa, or whatever was required to suit a particular film. The soundtrack to Geissel des Fleisches, filmed in 1965 under the direction of the Austrian cinema visionary Eddy Saller, was the first score that Gerhard Heinz recorded in his own studio in Vienna. Inspired by a real murder of a ballerina in the Vienna State Opera, Saller produced a sex and crime drama that was both radical and unique for the time. Recently, the court case from the actual crime that Saller used for the basis of his story had its 50th anniversary. The main actor Herbert Fux, that later made a career in exploitation movies, played a credible role as a crazy psychopath misogynist murderer that lurks around the dark underground bars of Vienna until he is trapped by a policewoman. The overall message the movie portrays is that the lowering standards and morality of society had driven such characters to commit these crimes. Until recently this film score has been widely ignored, but now it is acknowledged by critics to be a historic and valuable piece of work, although it is still widely unknown by a wider audience. The soundtrack to Geissel des Fleisches is previously-unreleased and is the first episode in a collaboration with the still healthy and active 87 year-old Gerhard Heinz. Digatone is a reissue label which specializes in discovering and putting out interesting and rare Austrian music. Access to the multitude of Heinz's treasures will bring about a series of exciting releases.