Gib Gas – Ich will Spass, aka Hangin’ Out (1983)

While this German rock flick is best remembered for featuring MTV video favorite Nena in her acting debut, the film takes its title from a hit song by her co-star Markus Mörl, which translates as “Step on the Gas – I Want Fun.”

The film was crafted as a multimedia showcase to launch the music careers of both singers in their native Germany. But after Nena’s “99 Luft Balloons” (which isn’t featured in the film) became a freak international hit (in both of its German and English versions) courtesy of its video, the film was quickly dubbed into English and retitled as Hangin’ Out — a title which also carried over into its Spanish and Japanese dubs.

Japanese one-sheet courtesy of Worthpoint.

The film, which featured six tunes from Nena’s eponymous band, became the 13th most successful film in Germany that year. However, to hear Nena — who has long since derided the film — tell it, the film had an opposite effect on her career: instead of the film launching her career, it was the MTV success of her career that made the film successful.

And while Nena, along with fellow Germans Falco (“Der Kommissar“) and Trio (“Da Da Da” and “Boom Boom“) where able to find international success beyond the Euroasia continent, Marcus failed to expand his career beyond Germany’s borders. He did, however, score a Top Five hit with “Kleine Taschenlampe brenn,” (“Small Flashlight Burning”), which is featured in the film and consider a German pop music classic. The film also features another one of his chart hits, “Feuerwehrmann,” which you can listen to in this clip from the film.

So, what’s the film about? It’s a simple love story.

Tina (Nena) is tired of school and life in her Barvarian village and won’t give fellow student Robby (Markus Mörl) the time of day. Instead she falls for Tino (Enny Gerber, in his only film role), a red silk jacket wearing, motor scooter riding ne’er do well who works at the local carnival. When Tino leaves town and breaks Tina’s heart, she convinces Robby to hit the road and track down Tino — which leads Tina and Robby to eventually fall in love.

While there’s several clips from the film available on You Tube (some blocked from U.S. playback), we found this English language vignette on You Tube — as you can see, the film awkwardly transitions from English language dialog to German language vocals (and here’s several trailers and clips to sample). There’s no online rips or VHS copies available online of the English language dub released under the Hangin’ Out title, but we located a copy of the German language version of the film on Russia’s version of You Tube,

Nena’s only acted in front of the camera two more times: the German films Tagediebe (Day Thieves; 1985) and Der Usichtbare (The Invisible; 1987). Curiosity seekers of all things Nena can watch Der Usichtbare and this promotional video of the song “Memorija” from Tagediebe, courtesy of You Tube.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

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