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Kottan ermittelt - Nachttankstelle

episode 4

Austria 1978
produced by
Wolfgang Ainberger (executive) for Satel/ORF
directed by Peter Patzak
starring Franz Buchrieser, Walter Davy, Curt A. Tichy, Bibiane Zeller, Birgit Machalissa, Florian Böhm, Harald von Koeppelle, Peter Vogel, Rudolf Knor, Ulli Maier, Georg Schuchter, Christiane Rücker, Franz Blauensteiner, Konrad Becker, Luise Prasser, Erne Seder, Walter Mittler, Gerhard Fischer, Helma Gautier, Franz Suhrada, Linda Koch, Nicola Filippelli, Margit Gara, Claus Machalica, Peter Patzak, Peter Vilnai, Chris Lohner, Heinz Wanitschek, Hans Kraemmer, Heinz Wustinger, Traute Furthner
written by Helmut Zenker

TV series
Kottan ermittelt, Kottan (Franz Buchrieser)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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One night, Mrs. Eppler's (Luise Prasser) gas station is robbed, and after the forensics have finished their work, the gas station attendant Harald (Konrad Eppler) is killed. Kottan (Franz Buchrieser) and his assistants Schremser (Walter Davy) and Schrammel (Curt A. Tichy) investigate, and soon come up with several trails, like Harald being a heroin addict, and he has actually only staged the robbery with a friend from school (Gerhard Fischer). But none of these trails lead to the murder. And then a second murder occurs, a prostitute who used to hang out at the café attached to the gas station ...

Meanwhile, Harald's girlfriend Lissy (Ulli Maier) thinks she has it all figured, it must have been Harald's brother Rudi, her ex who's still in love with her. She even finds the murder weapon in the trunk of his car. But instead of going to the police, she gets back together with Rudi, and doesn't believe him when he tells her he didn't do it. Quite the contrary, she pretty much forces him to get rid of the murder weapon. It's not long though before Rudi goes to the police and confesses to have gotten rid of the murder weapon, but insists not having had anything to do with either murder - and he's let go. He tells Lissy about a photo he has seen of his dead brother that leads her to Austeder (Georg Schuster), another friend of Harald's from school, and she pays him a visit and makes him confess everything - with Kottan listening in of course.

In a subplot, Kottan's superior Pilch (Harald von Koeppelle) falls out of a window trying to catch a fly, and in a piece of ironic casting he's replaced by former Kottan Peter Vogel.


This episode continues the last episode's move away from semi-comedic crime drama and towards full-blown anarchic comedy with many sight gags and running gags, its self-irony (going so far as to Kottan calling to the TV station when an episode of Kottan ermittelt plays on the TV), genre parody, tendency towards slapstick, even musical interludes (that would become a much bigger part in later episodes though) - and for all of this, the actual plot of the episode seems to take backseat ... but not to the episode's fault as even if it might seem slightly episodic, it's silly in a good way, where even stale jokes come off as fresh because of their on-your-nose approach. And while the cast are all clearly in on the joke, they play it straight, making this one pretty fun entertainment.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD