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Dustin Putman

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Nekromantik (1987)
Zero Stars

Directed by Jorg Buttgereit
Cast: Daktari Lorenz, Beatrice M, Harald Lundt, Susa Kohlstedt, Heike Surban.
1987 – 68 minutes (in German w/ English subtitles)
Rated: [NR] (equivalent of an X for extreme violence, sex, nudity, profanity, massive gore, and graphic depictions of necrophilia, with an emphasis on bodily functions).
Reviewed by Dustin Putman, June 21, 1999.

WARNING! Due to the nature of the film, this review may offend some readers. Read with caution.

You'd be surprised how many movies I've seen. Everything from high-class brash to low-rent trash, to the unimaginably gory and disgusting. There's nothing I could have watched, however, that could possibly have prepared me for the German film, "Nekromantik," which is just about the most repugnant, vile piece of garbage to pass itself off as a kosher feature-length motion picture that I'm sure has ever been made. There doesn't appear to be any rhyme-or-reason behind director Jorg Buttregeit's extremely low-budget production, aside from to be shocking. And that it is, so I guess he achieved his goal, in a morbid sort of way.

Rob (Daktari Lorenz) is a young morgue attendant who lives with his girlfriend, Betty (Beatrice M). You see, they like to steal decomposing corpses, take them home, and have a manage a trois with them. When Rob is fired from his job, Betty gets fed up with her dead-end existence and leaves him (taking the skeletal remains with her!). On his own, and not having the access anymore to deceased bodies, Rob turns to murder to achieve his necrophilic urges.

If you are not already repulsed, there is more! Necrophilia can be treated in a serious, thoughtful manner (just rent the effective 1997 drama, "Kissed," for proof), but this isn't one of those instances. "Nekromantic" is so vacant of ideas, and cohesive storytelling techniques and characters, that to write a review in the normal way wouldn't be doing justice to the film at hand. Therefore, a list seems more appropriate, and here are just some of the things you view in this lovely piece of "art."

1.) Right at the beginning, there is a freak car accident, and afterwards we see the remains of a woman thrown from the car and torn in half, her insides oozing out onto the grassy knole.

2.) The cruel slaying of a rabbit (which is real footage that Buttgereit happened to obtain, and thought it would be a nice, little addition to this picture, even though it has nothing to do with anything). He seems to be laughing, saying, "Watch as I show you a bunny getting his throat slit, and then see the blood drain out onto the ground as the bunny twitches and breathes his last breath! Watch as the bunny is hung upside down and is skinned! Watch as the bunny's eyes are torn out of the remains of his head! Watch as the insides of the bunny are pulled out!" I do not get grossed out easily, but this scene (coming at around the 15-minute mark) had me putting my hands over my face, as I peaked out from behind my fingers.

3.) A protracted soft-porn sequence in which Betty, Rob, and the cadaver have sex. As a pleasant bonus, Betty sticks some sort of pipe down where the dead body's private parts have rotted away and literally *&%$! it!

4.) Another scene in which Betty reads to the corpse and begins making out with it, even going as far as licking it up and down.

5.) Rob brings a cute cat home with him to surprise Betty with as a gift, only to discover she has left him. So does Rob take the cat back to the animal shelter? Not a chance! He puts it in a bag, and forcefully hits it up against the walls and tables.

6.) Next, Rob is taking a bath, with the dead cat lying above the tub on a shelf, his tail leaking blood into the water. Getting lonely, I guess, Rob reaches up, pulls out the cat's insides and begins rubbing them all over his face and body as some sort of mourning ritual.

7.) The strangulation and rape of a prostitute (in that order!).

8.) The next morning, a man almost catches Rob with the street urchin. To get rid of the possible witness, he grabs a shovel and chops off the man's head. Well, almost. Actually, he chops off the head from the mouth up. This way, he can fall to the ground and twitch a little before his heart stops.

9.) To reach the height of fantastic delight, Rob decides to murder himself while reaching orgasm! He achieves this by coming as he stabs himself in the stomach with a large knife. Soon, his bodily fluid (you know what I'm talking about) turns to blood, as it squirts out all over everything.

10.) Finally, we see Rob's grave, freshly buried. But here's the zinger! Right before the fade-to-black, a shovel comes down on the dirt, with the sight of a high heel pushing the shovel into the ground, signifying that a necrophilic woman (perhaps Betty?) was going to do the same thing to his body as he did to everyone else's.

There. I gave away practically the whole film, in gory detail. I did this for the simple reason of repulsing you, the reader, so that you will not, under any circumstances, venture to rent this movie. "Nekromantik" is a sickening excursion into the twisted life of a necrophiliac, but the treatment of the subject is both severely exploitative and offensive, and there is absolutely no talent involved in any of it. The film, if you can call it that, actually goes beyond the state of bad taste into a shameful, meaningless, extreme realm all its own. At least now I can safely say I've seen it all.

© 1999 by Dustin Putman

Dustin Putman