Necromantik
 
Germany, 1987. 

Cast: Daktari Lorenz, Beatrice M., Harald Lundt, Susa Kohlstedt 
Writer: Jim Uhls
Director: Jorg Buttgereit

 

Grade:C-- Review by Mike Ward

Jorg Buttgereit's notorious gorefest is, despite the hype, a disappointingly witless film. Rob, a morgue attendant, likes to steal body parts and bring them home so that he and his girlfriend can use them as sexual aids. Their relationship enjoys a boost when Rob manages to locate and exhume the rotted corpse of a hunting accident victim and a ridiculously nauseating sequence ensues. I'll spare you the details. When Rob gets fired, though, his incredibly high-maintenance gal dumps him under the assumption that he will no longer be able to bring home the cadavers she needs to slake her necrophilic thirst. Rob doesn't take this too well-he bathes in an eviscerated cat (yes, you read this right) and reminisces on happier times playing catch with a disembodied head in a flowery pasture, before finally committing hari-kiri and squirting semen all over the place. The film closes as his ex returns to dig him out of his grave.

Ick.

One gets the impression that in elementary school Buttgereit was the sort of kid who purposely showed everybody the half-chewed food in his mouth. Nekromantik is first and foremost a blatant and childish (though successful) attempt to disgust the most jaded conceivable audience, and doesn't have many aspirations beyond this. It's almost a relief when the actors start licking slimy gizzards because the scenes not intended to nauseate appear intended to bore. Two sequences hint at a limited degree of intelligence-one in which the girlfriend bathes in blood while a t.v. psychiatrist pontificates on the therapeutic benefits of "desensitization" to violence and trauma; and one in which Rob sits among a presumably "normal" audience watching an eroticized rape and murder in a splatter movie. These two scenes seem to be trying to uncover a certain hypocrisy inherent in what we see as "normal," and I guess Buttgereit wants to imply that it's okay to f**k the dead so long as you don't kill them. As a rhetorical position this is a bit silly; too bad it's as clever as this movie gets. I know, I know, it might be tempting to pick up Nekromantik out of curiosity-the cover art on the copy I rented is actually kind-of morbidly titillating and the hype surrounding the film is such that you do wonder what could be in it that's so bad- but if I manage to dissuade even one person from seeing this limp, inane little flick the time I spent watching it won't have gone entirely to waste.
 

Review © August 2002 by AboutCultFilm.Com and the author.


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