REVIEW: Nekromantik 2
– By Kriss Pickering
I’m sure many horror fans that remember the heyday of the video nasty era will remember the thrill of getting their hands on a dodgy, grainy, probably 12th generation pirate copy of a banned horror film. Personally, I was the most popular kid in school when I got a copy of Evil Dead, and lived off that popularity for the rest of my school days!
Another film I managed to blag was Jörg Buttgereit 1987 banned shock flick, Nekromantik. In my social circle, watching it became almost a right of passage, even though we were way too immature to fully understand the content. A few years later, now fully entrenched in my horror fandom, I became aware of a sequel, also directed by Jörg Buttgereit which while I was desperate to catch, never actually got around to seeing it. So imagine my surprise when a review copy of Arrow’s Nekromantik 2 DVD dropped on my doorstep!
In case you are not aware of the original, Nekromantik is about a street sweeper who finds a corpse one night and decides to take it home for he and his wife to have sex with (you know, like you do!), but starts to resent it when his Mrs prefers the stiff, over his stiffy! As you can probably guess, this wasn’t a film for the casual horror fan!
Nekromantik 2 follows on by introducing us to a nurse called Monika (played by the little to unknown Monika M.). It turns out Monika also has a taste for the strange as she digs up the rotting corpse of Rob (from the first film), before taking it home and poses for photos with it, as well as having sex with the rotting remains. Nice!
After taking a night off from riding the dead, Monika is walking past a cinema, where she meets a guy (Mark, played by Mark Reeder) who has been stood up by his date. After offering Monika the spare ticket, the two strike up a blossoming romance which prompts Monika to cut up the remains and bury them. Unfortunately, she can’t bring herself to get rid of the whole body and decides to keep the head, cock and balls, probably for old times sake! Problem is, the daft mare decides to keep them in the fridge, and Mark soon finds them. Now, you’d think this would cause a bit of an issue between the two, but it turns out Mark isn’t to put off by this, and while I don’t really want to spoil the business part of the film, I will say that things start to get a little messy!
It really goes without saying that this film won’t be for everyone, and from my experience of the first film, people will see it one of three ways. It will either be viewed as a brilliant work of film making art, a gratuitous display of sex, violence and general vulgarness that achieves what it intended, and that is shock you. Those that are left will think it is a tasteless piece of crap that should never have seen the light of day. Personally, I think its a mixture of the first two.
The main thing that Buttgereit delivers on is the haunting, disturbing imagery. Teaming up again with cinematographer Manfred Jelinski, the duo have made a film that is as beautifully shot, as the imagery included is depraved, which creates a really interesting juxtaposition. The opening credit montage is a bit of a highlight too. After starting with a quote from the notorious Ted Bundy, we are then “treated” to a stylised black and white montage of a bloke knocking one out, before performing a harakiri-esque disembowelling. It’s different if nothing else, and makes you realise why the Nekromatik films have a history of being banned in the sexually liberal Germany!
The script, which is co-written by Buttgereit and Franz Rodenkirchen, is filled with dark comedy and digs at the art house style of movie making that was all the rage back in the day. It is also to their credit that the film never comes across as a parody, which helps build up the tension and makes you want to sit through the deeply uncomfortable necrophillia to see how it ends, and while I won’t spoil it, the ending is something to behold!
Acting wise, this is the usual European indie horror fare, with a mix of over acting and wooden delivery in equal portions. The two person main cast do carry the film well though.
Where this release really excels though, is the special features included. For an RRP of £19.99 (in the UK), you get an impressive list of extras including; Introduction to the film by the stars, Masters Of Life and Death, which is a documentary looking at the films release history, A Making Of Documentary and much more, including the usual audio commentaries etc..
So, should you buy Nekromantik 2? Well that depends on your horror tastes or disposition. If you like your horror hardcore and uncomfortable, then do yourself a favour and pick Arrow’s impressive release up. If you are like my other half however (who tapped out after 20 minutes), and are more of a casual fan, then the imagery included may be a little too much for you. The full HD transfer of the film is great too, so if you already own previous releases, there is something there for you too. Overall though, I’d say go for it, as you haven’t lived until you see a nurse shagging a corpse!