Directed by: Jorg Buttgereit
Starring: Bernd Daktari Lorenz, Beatrice Manowski
Usually when it comes to shock value movies, I’ve seen the toughest of the worst like Antichrist, Irreversible, or even Serbian Film. I also spend my free time on the worst sites ever like 4chan, specifically /b/. (Don’t go there kids) So, personally, I’m not sure if anything could ever shock or disgust me again. So what’s this movie about? Necrophilia? Oh jolly.
The movie is simply about a couple who lives in a small apartment in Germany, and while they don’t have much money, they are able to be happy by having sexual relations with dead bodies since the man works at an accident clean up crew. Honestly, that’s about the entire plot, minus one more element, its extremely paper thin.
I can mainly contribute that the plot is so thin because of the movie’s small budget and overall appearance. At a running time of only around sixty-eight minutes long it feels longer due to an extremely drawn out third act that goes almost nowhere. As for the sex scenes, its more of you being disgusted at the idea, rather than what you are actually seeing on screen.
I will commend the cinematography actually for making it look and feel real, with some gore shots that truly look gruesome and very realistic. Most of the film (due to its 8mm source) almost has that “home movie” sort of feel that gives the film almost a documentary look that blurs the line between if it is real, and how much was real.
I do find it interesting that this is a cult film, similar in the same vein as “Death Bed: The Bed that Eats”, but that one had a comical element to it that made the film much more enjoyable, whereas this is more of a one time experience where the viewer is wondering if or what they will show next. I can’t say I even enjoyed much of Nekromantik, if at all, but I do respect it for sticking to its guns and doing what it wants to, even if that means filming the real death of a bunny.
Presented in a 1:33.1 aspect ratio, Nekromantik looks like hell, though to be fair, I’m not sure it ever looked good. Colors tend to shift, skin tones are all over the place, print damage is nearly in every shot and plain simply it just looks bad. This is where I’m not sure if 1080p was really worth the upgrade considering this was taken from a 8mm source, so quality was iffy to begin with. After watching the cleaned up version, I tried the “35mm grindhouse” version that added much more scratches and pops back into the film, and I actually found it made the movie better, by having it look and feel dirtier.
Audio is presented in a lossy 2.0 and 5.1 mix that is all over the place, and not in the good way. I first tried the 2.0 mix but it was so aggressive that it was distracting, for example, if there are two characters in a scene, one will be solely on the left, and the other will be on the right. It was annoying as hell. So I then tried the 5.1 mix and found it to somehow be worse. Dialogue seemed to be on a swing of some sort, due to it traveling in the sound field at any given time. One moment its rutely centered and the next, in the middle of a sentence, might be in the back rear speaker and swing back to the front. I believe this might have been a problem, due to its stereo source and just plain bad mixing. Aside from that, the dialogue was never a problem in hearing and the music had a good level of fidelity.
Packaging and Bonus Features
Packaging for this set comes with a great slipcover with original artwork and an image that won’t leave your mind, you’ll understand if you see it. The disc comes in a standard blu ray case with some…interesting post cards on the inside. I’m not sure if anyone will use them ever, due to their provocative images on them.
I’m pretty sure the bonus features for this set contain everything they could possibly find for this release. They are all in HD and take up around two hours. Personally I found the making of to be really enlightening as to how the atmosphere was on the set. While the film may have been very serious in tone, its nice to see the filmmakers having fun and getting creative as to how they wanted to make their movie.
• Introduction by Jorg Buttgereit
• Q&A with Jorg Buttgereit at the American Cinematheque
• Audio Commentary with Jorg Buttgereit and Co-author Franz Rodenkirchen
• The Making of Nekromantik
• Nekromantik Featurette
• Sill Photo Gallery
• Short film “Hot Love” (with audio commentary and Featurette)
• Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
I guess there are audiences out there for every film, including this one, but I guess I just don’t understand them. As for this release, the video is a mixed bag and the audio needs a new proper remixing. The real highlight is the special features providing almost everything you could ever want to know about this film, which can either be a good or bad thing.