Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
The Gospel According to Klaus KinskiA look at All I Need is Love: A Memoir, the nightmare autobiography of Klaus Kinski...from the safety of my suburban home. By Lou Goncey

The book is a light blue. Yellow letters spell out 'KINSKI' boldly across the top, red letters spell out 'ALL I NEED IS LOVE' less boldly across the bottom. A charcoal self-portrait of Klaus adorns the space in between -- stark eyes and nose, a suggested face, fat red, lips.

I flip open the book to a random page. Page 180. Klaus is talking about his adventures with two lesbians, an actress and a hairdresser. He wants the hairdresser. They are in his bedroom suite. The actress masturbates while Klaus dances with and fondles the hairdresser. His current lover shows up at the front door. He delays her long enough for the lesbians to dress.

Another random selection. Page 65. "Each time I touch her, she tears herself away from me. After two hours of this, I rip her blouse off with one swipe. Her tits force themselves into my mouth. We tug at each other's clothes, stumble, stumble, fall onto the floor, pant, gasp, scream as if our lives depended on shredding our clothes."

"Naked, we crouch in front of each other, bite each other. Hit each other. Our bodies. Our faces. Our genitals. Attack each other dangerously. Painfully."

"She throws herself onto her belly, her ass juts up, her cheeks gape wide, as I shove my twitching cock into her hot, wet cunt."

Sex is very important to Klaus. In many ways, it can be seen as the prime motivator in his life. If you happen to be a big fan of prose pornography, get this book.

Kinski has lived a hellish life. As a child, he starved and stole for his family. He deserted from the army. He has been in old-fashioned insane asylums. He has worked in the jungles with Werner Herzog. If you are a big fan of hellish lifestyles, get this book.

Everytime I try to sit down and write this review, I get hung up. I pick up the book in order to find a tasty tidbit, and I find myself an hour later, completely lost in it. The review format is not the correct technique for discussing this book. The ultimate compliment I can pay it is by saying that the only way to truly appreciate this book is to sit down and actually read it.

All I Need is Love is written in the present tense. Klaus rarely gives any temporal references -- everything exists in a perpetual present. Good slams into evil, success into failure. Day by day is the way life is to be lived, impulses are everything.

The book is divided into five sections, five acts. The first chapter is Early Klaus. It covers his life up to his discovery of sex and his outrageous desire for it. On page 8, we discover the Kinski Kreed, as stated unsaid to his mother. "What I really want to say is: You can count on the fact that I won't give up. Never. That nothing and no one will ever force me to my knees. That one day I will repay your brave love. That I will see to it that you don't have to labor like a slave anymore. That one day I will make so much money by my own wits that I'll even be able to buy you a winter coat, mittens, and warm shoes. And that you will drink as much real coffee and eat as many rolls with real honey as you desire." The chapter details his first sexual encounters with his sister to the point where his entire life revolves around the sex act.

Chapter Two deals with his short career in the military, his first theatre experiences and successes, his entrance into an insane asylum, his loss of everything, and his face off with death (my favorite part of the book). Klaus has a throat infection which is constantly expanding. Soon he will suffocate to death. With no money for the necessary operation and treatment he gets the embassy to loan him the money. Now he must wait for the doctor's appointment. But the agony is too much. In desperation, he sticks a knife down his throat -- and ruptures the infection! He pukes out a squirt of green pus and walks away with the money!

The third chapter deals with his comeback, his whoring in movies just for the money, his marriage to Biggi and the birth of Natassja -- and to the eventual, and I suppose inevitable, breakup of this marriage due to Klaus's woman-chasing ways. This chapter is chock full of whacked sexual encounters for those people who are reading the book for that noble purpose.

Chapter Five deals with his marriage to Minhoi and the birth of Ninhoi, Kinski's son whom the book is dedicated to. The chapter contains the first of the infamous Herzog bashings and ends with the breakup of Klaus and Minhoi.

The conclusion of the memoir deals with Later Kinski. He's a wreck and continues to make movies simply for the money. He constantly tries to get Minhoi back. The last lines of the book are, "I call Minhoi from Manuas in the Brazilian jungle. She hangs up on me. Herzog comes to the airport to embrace me. I feel sick."

I don't feel sick, I feel elated. They usually say that fiction is real life with all the boring parts taken out. This is not necessary with Klaus Kinski. All I Need is Love is a truly remarkable book. The Gonster highly recommends it, including the required adjustments to one's lifestyle in order to live more like Klaus. If you should come across a copy of the book, buy it instantly -- it's a collector's item. Due to a contract dispute (rumors abound that Kinski had already sold his exclusive autobiography to an Italian publisher a long time ago) the book was recalled by Random House, its publisher.

I would like to believe that it was actually pulled due to the highly offensive nature. And I don't think I'm wrong. Happy reading!

[Editor's Note: Kinski's autobiography was recently reissued under the title Uncut. An informed source told us that the book is the complete manuscript Kinski wrote, and was translated by the top German translator. In addition, the cover portrait shown above was actually created by Kinski's wife Minhoi.]

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