It is 1915 and in the British trenches Thomas is ready to learn the lighter side of chemical warfare. Pumping 3 million cubic feet of mustard gas at the Hun backfires on the Brits as the wind changes and blows it right back in their stupid faces. Asphyxia, vomiting and scorched orifices are the price they pay for their folly and Thomas gets some sap killed by being a little bitch in the subsequent German pummelling.
On the plus side a minor shrapnel wound lands him in the Madame Curie Hospital for War Criminals where he flirts with somewhat decent x-ray assistant Joanna (Erika Karkuszewska). She gives it up pretty easily and he gets some of that fabled Polak quim so all in all it’s safe to say that he’s finished ahead. During a ceasefire to stitch up the mutilated a Kraut helps him drag the body of the guy he got killed onto the big pile they’ll be burning that night. It’s a marvellous visual restatement of the common humanity they all share. Tommy is very grateful and after much contemplation decides not to kill him.
What a little bitch. Completely predictably the moment he gets back to the trenches he’s getting shelled and shot at – he really is a magnet for that kind of thing. He finds solace in his little book of birdies. Why can’t man be like the birds, he wonders – soaring in the sky, fucking in trees and shitting on statues without a care? He vows to one day join his feathered brethren in flight and if he steps on a German landmine he’ll be achieving that goal quicker than anticipated.
Why can’t man be like the birds, he wonders – soaring in the sky, fucking in trees and shitting on statues without a care?
Over in Poland on the Eastern front. Michael the Kraut fights filthy Russians nose-to-nose – bayoneting Boris, Sergei and, yes, Vladimir. He may be freezing his balls off, risking his life daily and mutilating strangers surrounded by disease, vermin and horrors beyond imagining but he does get four days leave. Every whorehouse in Gdansk girds itself but Michael goes home like a little bitch to get some of that sweet Katie pussy. I dunno, man. Michael is turning out to be a terrible disappointment.
Yeah so war is sad but pussy is pussy. They’d have big old bushes in those days. Imagine it. Jesus Christ.
The verdict: Punishing for everyone, mainly the viewers.
Marks out of 10: 5