There comes in a point in the lives of all horror movie fans where 1980’s slashers just don’t cut it anymore. Research is done and obscure movies are sought after, in hopes of finding new and exciting ways to ‘scare’ oneself or that next level of disgust. That’s usually when films like Cannibal Holocaust or most recently A Serbian Film get viewed for the first time. We’ve all done it and I’m no different. Due to a brand new restoration from Cult Epics, I’ve finally sat down and witnessed what all the fuss is about in regards to Jorg Buttgereit’s previously banned film, Nekromantik.
Robert Schmadtke works for a company which cleans up any carnage left after big accidents. His team doesn’t seem to know, however, that he keeps little souvenirs from each cleanup job they do. Schmadtke brings mangled body parts home to his girlfriend. The couple hit the motherload, when one day, Schmadtke brings home a fully intact dead corpse. The two have sex with the corpse in one of the most bizarre scenes I’ve ever seen in any movie, horror or otherwise…
On the surface, Nekromantik seems like a film that was just made to disgust its audience. There is no clear rhyme or reason to what is occurring on-screen and it is just a product of a mentally disturbed filmmaker. After watching the Q & A session with director Jorg Buttgereit, however, it is evident that there is much more to this production than all that. Buttgereit set out to make a film with all of his friends the way he wanted to make it; He was indeed a fan of horror, but he was more so just fed up by Germany’s censorship laws and wanted to make a picture that said “f*ck you” to all of those rules and regulations. After many battles in court, he was able to continue distributing the film and now thanks to Cult Epics, old and new fans alike can enjoy the gory mess in High Definition glory!
As a film, and the people involved will even agree, Nekromantik isn’t very good. There are tons of ‘flaws,’ which Buttgereit admits to trying to cover up, and not very much dialogue or even sound to go along with the explicit visuals seen throughout the film. The most memorable part of the final cut of this film is the ironically beautiful piano score that accompanies scenes of necrophilia and self-mutilation. Even with all of that said, Nekromantik still has its own special place in the horror community. It has a cult following and after further understanding of its creation, I think that this following is rather justifiable. I’m sure there are those out there that enjoy it just for its sheer grotesque nature, but there are also those out there, like me, that appreciate it for more than what it presents on the surface.
While I loved the score of this film, my favorite part was actually the make-up and gore effects. I can imagine watching this film when it was originally released and thinking that they were using real corpses and body parts. That’s how amazing everything looks here, folks. From the eviscerated intestines to the severed heads, everything looks great!
The folks at Cult Epics deserve major kudos for the tender loving care they have shown this film. Not only did they restore it from its original Super 8mm negative, but they’ve included some really great bonus features, as well. Jorg Buttgereit provides a short introduction for an alternate cut of the film, which has been deemed the ‘Grindhouse version’ due to its more grimy and grainy restoration, taken from the Theatrical 35mm print. Fans who think Blu-rays appear too polished for these old school horror classics, should definitely watch the film in its Grindhouse form. I’m sure they will enjoy themselves immensely! There is also new audio commentary, a ‘making of’ featurette, a still gallery, and the never-before-seen short film, Hot Love, also restored in HD.
In addition to those amazing bonus on-disc features, Cult Epics has included some Limited Edition artwork from the film, as well as a Limited Edition piece created by artist, Johnny Ryan. It is safe to say that this is the best version of Nekromantik you will ever have a chance to own. The release is limited to 10,000 copies, so be sure to get your order in today!
I give this film 3.5 dead cats out of 5, but I give this entire release 5 shovels to the face out of 5!