A medical horror movie from Germany, Anatomy is every bit as slick as its Hollywood equivalents (most notably Coma) but cuts a lot deeper thanks to its connections with a Gothic past. Brilliant medical student Paula Haller (Franka Potente) is accepted into a prestigious summer anatomy course at Heidelberg University and gradually learns that many of her teachers and classmates are members of the Antihippocratic League. This secret society carries out unethical vivisection experiments on live human specimens and has been active in the medical profession since the 16th century with a special peak during the Third Reich. Director-writer Stefan Ruzowitsky plays some distinctive and personal games as the heroine uncovers the conspiracy, then learns that her own family is intimately connected with the League. In gruesome but delicate horror scenes, kidnapped human specimens awake anaesthetised to the sound of easy-listening music as masked students dissect them alive to create the impressive, grotesque and beautifully preserved cutaway specimens used in the anatomy classes. Potente, the star of Run, Lola Run, has a very different role as the serious but passionate heroine and her character is affected by the revelations of the plot in a way that deepens the movie beyond the terrific suspense mechanisms of its lady-in-peril climax, in which Paula's medical knowledge and personal grit enable her to fight back. A great moment has the heroine forced to instruct her non-medical student boyfriend (Sebastian Blomberg) how to administer a simple but crucial intravenous injection to save her life, while the plausible villain turns out to be a renegade even by the standards of his secret society.
On the DVD: An extremely high-quality DVD, this offers a pristine widescreen transfer (1:2.35) of the film (enhanced for 16:9 TVs); soundtracks in German, Spanish and English with optional subtitles in English, German and a dozen other languages; a full-length commentary in German by Ruzovitsky, with English subtitles; a couple of deleted scenes, with director commentary; on-set interviews with the cast and crew and a snippets of behind-the-scenes footage; a music video by co-star Anna Loos, shot on the set of the film; trailers; filmographies; and a neat animated menu. --Kim Newman
2.35 Wide Screen
16:9 Anamorphic Wide Screen
Dolby Digital 5.1 English
Dolby Digital 5.1
Full Length Directors Commentary