Horror

Nekromantik (1988)

Comments Off on Nekromantik (1988) 02 January 2015

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Studio: Cult Epics

Theatrical Release: January 29,1988

Blu Ray Release: October 7, 2014

Director: Jorg Buttgereit

Not Rated

Review by James Klein

For those that like their horror extreme, for those that get off on shock and enjoy films that push the boundaries of good taste, I bring you the 1988’s Nekromantik. This controversial German horror film was banned in the very country it was made in and after 27 years, the film still packs a punch. This, my dear readers, is defiantly not for the squeamish.

The opening shot is of a woman urinating in the woods. So just from the get go, one knows that they are in for something…different. After the woman finishes up her business and gets in the car with her boyfriend, the two are involved in a gruesome car accident where the man’s face is torn apart and the woman is split in two. This all happens during the opening credits. And it also introduces the viewer to the films protagonist, the meek, short, and strange fellow Robert (Bernd Daktari Lorenz) who cleans up roadside accidents for a living.

As Robert (literally) gets his hands dirty, he takes the remains of his victims and brings them home to place in various jars filled with water. He has eyeballs, limbs, even a baby fetus. His girlfriend (Beatrice Manowski, who was also making Wings of Desire at the time of filming) enjoys bathing in the blood of the remains of these victims. It what I think is the film’s grossest moment, Robert brings home a rotting, water logged corpse which they both make love to. Seeing both of these loonies lick the rotting and dripping flesh as well as sucking out the eyeball and spitting it back in the socket is enough to turn anyone’s stomach.

In a darkly comedic moment, Robert’s girlfriend leaves him for the corpse, taking away their sex toy and leaving him alone. Soon after, he is fired from his job as he is caught stealing these corpses and their body parts. That’s when Robert really goes off the deep end, taking out a cat, a hooker who he can only make love to once she’s dead, a graveyard caretaker and them himself in a hilarious and disgusting “climax”.

Nekromantik is a tough film to sit through but a movie with some very funny dark undertones to it. One can’t help but laugh at how outrageous the movie can be. Buttgereit doesn’t take the film too seriously but never hams it up to the audience either. I really enjoyed the sweet and romantic music played during some of the “love” scenes, making these sick moments all the more funnier.

The special effects also range from awful to very realistic as there are moments where the violence may make viewers laugh one minute and then ready to puke the next. While I was actually intrigued by the film and do appreciate it as a disgusting horror film about the human nature, there is one moment where I find difficult to watch. During one of Robert’s dream sequences, he sees a farmer cutting the throat of a rabbit and then skinning it. This was not a special effect and its the only moment in the film that gives me pause as to if I should be watching the film. However, unlike the sadistic animal cruelty in Cannibal Holocaust, this is an actual farm where rabbits are killed and processed for food. But it’s still not something I care to see nor do I feel is necessary.

Nekromantik was last released by Barrel Entertainment who only released a few movies on DVD before going out of business. The DVD quickly became out of print and was sought after for many years. Cult Epics limited edition blu ray is a must for fans of the film and of Buttgereit’s as the blu ray is loaded to the max with commentary by the director, interviews, a making of feature, and even his rare short film Hot Love which stars not only Lorenz but Buttgereit himself (Hot Love even has a commentary track as well). Cult Epics even goes so far as to releasing two versions of the movie: the director approved HD transfer taken straight from the Super 8 mm negative and the Grindhouse version taken from a blown up 35 mm print, allowing the viewer to watch a really scratchy and shitty print of the film. Nekromantik will never look pristine as the cheaply made film was shot on Super 8 so it’s hard to judge the picture quality of this blu ray. The movie can be viewed in both 2.0 stereo and also 5.1 surround which I found the 2.0 stereo track much easier to hear in regards to the dialog.

Nekromantik is not for everyone. Hell, it’s not even for most people. But for those looking to test their limits in good taste and like their gore extreme and shocking, it will not disappoint. It’s exactly what you think it will be. Heil Buttgereit!

Movie Rating: ★★★★☆

Blu Ray Rating: ★★★★½

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