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Film / Die wilden Kerle

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Die Wilden Kerle (lit: "the wild guys") are a German movie series (based on the children's book series Die Wilden Fussball Kerle, which became The Wild Soccer Bunch in the Cultural Translation in America) from the Turn of the Millennium about a team of boys (and Vanessa) who like to play football (soccer, for Americans).

There are no less than six movies about them:

  1. "Alles ist gut, solange du wild bist!": The team has a problem: A bunch of older bullies, led by "Fat Michi", have occupied the place where they use to play football. A match (naturally) shall decide who gets the right for the place. Fortunately, former football pro Willi is there to train the boys.
  2. They need money for an upgrade of their sports field for a match vs. the national team, and Vanessa has fallen in love with the cool skater boy Gonzo and is missing for an important match.
  3. "Die Attacke der Biestigen Biester": The bunch is challenged for the title of "wildest team in the world" - by an all-girls team, of all things.
  4. "Der Angriff der Silberlichten": The team has to do a freestyle soccer contest against the "wolves of Ragnarök". Then, the "Silberlichten" team lead by the girl Horizon appears. And she tries to seduce the boys...
  5. "Hinter dem Horizont": After Leon has disappeared, the team looks for him and crosses the borders of reality, it seems. They discover a castle inhabited by vampires, who challenge them to a "Soccer 3D" match.

The later movies in particular weren't exactly huge hits among the critics, but they still were commercially successful.


  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Vanessa's heart goes yonder whenever Leon is not around. Too bad it always has to be Leon's close friends...
  • Absentee Actor:
    • After the first film, Jojo was subjected to Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, while coach Willi was Put on a Bus (though The Bus Came Back at the sixth).
    • Fabi was replaced in the second film by Deniz due to real life issues. He returned in the third as an antagonist, but vanished the film series right after, with the only presumable reason being that he decided to stay with his Amazon Brigade instead of returning to the team.
    • Juli (who was recast after the first installment) disappears after the third film.
    • Marlon didn't appear in the fifth, though he returned for the sixth.
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    • Horizon didn't return after the fourth film, despite being implied she would join the team like Klette did.
    • The sixth film is a given case, as it is more of a Passing the Torch spinoff, but it subverts this by having seven of the members of the team (and coach Willi) make appearances.
  • Adapted Out: Out of the title team, Felix, Rocce and Annika never appeared in the film franchise, while Deniz only did in the second (and just in order to replace Fabi).
  • Americanization: The American version is set in Chicago. Leon became Kevin, Vanessa became Zoe, and so on.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Nerv, appearing in #3. His nickname even is derived from "nerven" (to get on someone's nerves). Later, he gets Rescued from the Scrappy Heap (in-universe) though.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Nerv, the Canon Foreigner introduced in the third film.
  • Badasses Wear Bandanas: Vanessa wears one.
  • Broken Pedestal: Willi in the first movie, when they learn (from fat Michi, of all people) that Willi wasn't a pro as he claimed.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Rocce, the half-Brazilian.
  • Catchphrase: "Alles ist gut, solange du wild bist!" ("Everything's cool, as long as you're wild!")
  • Canon Foreigner: The third and fourth film introduced new members for the team in Nerv and Klette.
  • Composite Character:
    • In the second film, Deniz fulfils the role of Fabi as Leon's best friend. Ironically, the third episode would reverse the situation of the books, as Fabi acts as its antagonist, while in the books Deniz was the one who played against the team in the fifth chapter.
    • The animated series does this to pretty much everyone in order to reduce the cast. Deniz again stands in for Fabi (and now has the same issues with his soccer-pro daddy like Rocce), Markus has the stoicism of Maxi, Marlon has Maxi's "world's hardest shooting", and Jojo is aged down to fulfil Joschka's role.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Willi disappeared after the first movie. Other members of the team were Put on a Bus. Sometimes, The Bus Came Back.
  • Cool Bike: For a gag, in the bike scenes they added sound effects of motorbikes. And in #4, they get real bikes.
  • Covered in Gunge: Vanessa in #4, after deliberately losing in the freestyle soccer contest.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: When Leon disappears in #5, Raban and Joschka get the idea that he was abducted by vampires.
  • David vs. Goliath: The bunch consisting of 10 year olds against a team of physically threatening teenage bullies.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Each and everyone of the "Wilden Kerle" has their own book.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Unbesiegbare Sieger, Biestige Biester (two of their opponents).
  • Distaff Counterpart: Die biestigen Biester.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male:
    • Vanessa abuses Leon throughout the series, but Leon seems to be happy with this. In #3, she accuses him of being a betrayer since he left the bunch; but fails to remember that she'd done so in #2. She'd even told Gonzo, with whom she fled away, all the secrets of the bunch.
    • She abuses Leon verbally throughout #3 but tries to seduce a much older man in front of his eyes, still, Leon and Vanessa are the most popular pairing in the fandom of the movies.
    • To add salt to the wound, she accuses Leon of having been smitten by Horizon in #4, while all Leon did was challenging her to play soccer.
    • In #5, she betrays Leon with Darkside but Leon immediately forgives her. All in all, all the bunch seems to be falling for her but she only enjoys torturing Leon.
  • Dub Name Change: In Spain, the third film's all-girl enemy team, originally known as the "The Beastly Beasts", was renamed as "The Vampiresses".
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Inverted. The first movies were about mundane topics, but the later became much more over-the-top.
  • Expy: Gonzo Gonzales from the second movie is clearly based on Jack Sparrow.
  • Face–Heel Turn / Heel–Face Turn: Several members have left the "Wilden Kerle" for the one or other reason, and sometimes even joined other teams, but returned later. More common in the movies.
  • Fat Bastard: Der dicke Michi (Fat Micky).
  • Female Misogynist: Vanessa, especially in the books. She‘s not only a Tomboy but despises being a girl and looks down on other girls.
  • Film of the Book: Six of them.
  • Flowery Curses: Sometimes bordering on Totally Radical.
  • Free-Range Children: A very egregious case. In the fifth movie, they look for Leon who has disappeared. The search takes ten months! Do they still have parents???
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Hadschi, "Düsentrieb" in #5 for the vampires.
  • Genre Shift: The first movie was a quite conventional kids' sports movie. Later movies added romance (appropriate since the boys grew up), adventure (OK, I guess) and fantasy / horror (???).
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Horizon and Vanessa in #4 and Müller in #6.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Justified, you need eleven people for a real football team. Many of those (at least of our heroes) get A Day in the Limelight.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch:
    • Horizon, who loves to seduce two brothers. She even lies to Vanessa about Leon's spending time in a lake with her, which the latter believes. One can forgive her easily when it is considered that Leon verbally abused her.
    • Natascha from the animated series seemed to be bullying Vanessa but after she dated Markus, she befriended the wild guys and became more "lovable"...
  • Love Interest: Gonzo for Vanessa in the 2nd, Horizon in the 4th movie, Darkside for Vanessa in the 5th movie again. The girl falls in love way too many times...
  • Unfortunate Names: "Die biestigen biester" can mean "the beastly beasts" or even "the bitchy bitches".
  • Your Cheating Heart: Vanessa betrays Leon several times, and accuses him of being a "traitor" himself...
  • Western Zodiac: Parodied, with the boys making up star signs like "scorpion-monkey-mouse" or something to the same effect.


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