It always amazes me how much love and care some studios put into the horror genre’s most obscure and seemingly lost titles. Currently, there are various companies doing so around the world, but when it comes to the controversial films of German director Jorg Buttgereit, there is only one that can take that title — Cult Epics. Bringing new life to some of the most controversial foreign gore films of all time, Cult Epics has previously released beautifully remastered editions of Nekromantik, Nekromantik II, and Der Todesking. Well, the fine folks behind the scenes at CE have decided to up the ante even more with their latest box-set release of not only those three films, but also the Blu-ray debut of Buttgereit’s 1993 serial killer flick, Schramm. The box-set is entitled Sex Murder Art: The Films of Jorg Buttgereit and it’s a bloody masterpiece!
I’ve had the pleasure of owning the previous single releases of Buttgereit’s remastered films (you can read my full reviews here and here), but thanks to this beautifully crafted collection, I can now say that I’ve viewed another one of the gore master’s films with Schramm. Just like his other work, Schramm is not for everyone. Presented in a non-linear fashion, the 1993 horror is made up of what seem to be randomly scattered thoughts and memories from the mind of the killer himself, some even repeating multiple times throughout the film. Coupled with imaginative cinematography, these scenes of self-mutilation and violent sexual fantasy are presented in a way that only Buttgereit was able to pull off. While a non-linear progression may seem unfit for a film, it worked perfectly here, illustrating what the filmmaker really thought went on in the mind of someone who could take the life of another human being.
Schramm is rather short with a total runtime of 65 minutes, so even though it is slow at points, it still manages to go by rather quickly. While it does contain some rather graphic imagery, after having watched Nekromantik and Nekromantik II, I don’t think Buttgereit can shock me anymore. Still, be warned going in that this film does feature some pretty brutal stuff, not suitable for the casual horror fan.
The films of Jorg Buttgereit are not masterpieces by any means, but they do hold a pretty solid place in horror history, especially for the hardcore fans who are always looking for something darker and more twisted than anything they’ve seen before. Cult Epics has done an amazing job presenting the essential collection for all four of these films. While the previously released Blu-ray versions were remarkable enough, this box-set has even more crammed into it. Aside from all of the features included in those releases, this bad boy has a myriad of additional bonuses. Exclusive CD soundtracks for each film and a brand new 40 page booklet with various interviews and behind-the-scenes photos from the film sets are just the icing on the cake.
If you’ve seen Buttgereit’s films, you know how raw they can really be. This set is by far the best way to experience such rawness and I think it is safe to say, they will never be presented any better than this. I suggest and recommend that all hardcore horror fans go out and purchase a copy of the 4-disc set, available now from Cult Epics, and see what all of the fuss is about. You won’t be disappointed.
Like the other editions I’ve reviewed in the past, this collection gets a rating of 5 [German gore flicks] out of 5.