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Home | Film Reviews | Extreme Cinema | Film Review: Nekromantik (1988)

Film Review: Nekromantik (1988)

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Nekromantik is about a middle aged man called Robert Schmadtke who works at a Street Cleaning Agency, that is his job is to take care of the remains of dead bodies in accidents etc. He has a hobby of collecting body parts and conserving them in booze. One day he gets to take care of a rotting corpse. Instead getting the corpse buried, he takes it home to his girlfriend and the fun begins.


Written by: Jorg Buttgereit and Franz Rodenkirchen
Directed by: Jorg Buttgereit
Starring: Robert Schmadtke, Beatrice Manowski, Harald Lundt, Colloseo Schulzendorf and Jorg Buttgereit

Hell-o, cinematic sickos and maggots of the macabre. Brace yourselves for what could be known as the p*rnographic pleasure of the putrid minded. Prepare to take a trip on the dark side of love, lust, loss and sex. This is Nekromantik. This film is a classic to the constant diggers of extreme depravity and graphic disgust.


Nekromantik was banned Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Canada. Australia refused classification for a rating. We, the lucky citizens of the United States have the pleasure of seeing this film uncut, unrated and unrelenting if you can find a copy. If your stomach is not turned easily, try giving it a viewing, if you can handle it.

I thought the film was delightfully disturbing, as well as it’s sequel. Both are drenched in sickness pretty much throughout. At the time this movie was made, it didn’t just push the envelope, it ripped it to shreds. The one downfall I had with the film (being a straight flying arrow) is the extreme close up shots of male members as they urinated a few times throughout the film. I don’t see why the shots had to be so close up, you could get the round about picture of what was going on at the time. Just as the urination and everything else in the film, the necrophilia sex and carnage was just as brutally shown.

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I’ll get right to the gore score of this feature. The film opens with a horrible car accident. The wreck itself is not all that detailed, but the aftermath would be atrocious to most. We see the male driver as he is laid back in the driver’s seat, covered in blood. The windshield and everything surrounding him is drenched in flowing, crimson pain as well. If you look closely, his nose is ripped at the bridge. This is somewhat where I got the inspiration for the film I am doing Special Effects for at the moment(in a snuff scene). As the camera slowly pans to the back of the car, the female passenger is laid out on the ground. Well, half of her. She is bisected during the crash and her intestines are hanging from the bottom of where her legs once were. The Special Effects are brutally satisfying. Of course, I won’t give the rest away for the anxious gore fiend that is waiting to finish this review, so you can go find a copy. This is just a sneak preview of what you will be getting yourselves into.

Writer/ Director Jorg Buttgereit (who also wrote and directed Schramm, Der Todesking and Nekromantik 2) also contributed to the special effects team as the corpse designer, along with his co-Writer, Franz Rodenkirchen. If you want someone to be mangled correctly, mangle them yourself, right? He did a very nice job, indeed. Jorg also contributed to the set design, the editing process and still photography shots. Not only has he done all of this for his baby of a monster, but he has furthered the legacy with a Nekromantik book as well. I do believe it is available now for those interested in looking deeper into this story of love, obsession, sex and death.


The score is dementedly beautiful and has one of those Candyman/ Philip Glass feels to it. It is not all that horrific, but subtly soothing, as the visuals assault your senses throughout. The score was composed by Hermann Kopp, Daktari Lorenz and John Boy Walton (seriously people, that’s his name).This sets a loving and gentle tone during the graphic carnage and carnal lust of the film.  I hope Jorg keeps doing what he’s doing and does not let up. Something tells me he will, and will never let up a remorseful inch… For anyone.

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All and all, this movie is absolutely worth checking out for anyone that knows what they are getting themselves into prior to viewing. You will also have to do some reading as this film is spoken in German and subtitled in English. Be warned beforehand, this is not for the weak stomached movie goer that expects to see something in the vein of Scream or anything of the nature. This is hardcore, disturbingly gruesome visual art at it’s most shocking and detailed. Of course, I give this film, Nekromantik, FOUR HORN UP. Watch it at home, during a cozy dinner with a loved one… and try not to decorate them in what you have just begun to digest.. Again, you have been warned.

Includes two versions of Nekromantik:

  • New Director’s approved HD transfer (taken from the original Super 8mm negative)
  • New Grindhouse HD version (taken from the Theatrical 35mm print)
  • Introduction by Jorg Buttgereit (2013)
  • Q&A with Jorg Buttgereit at the American Cinematheque (2013)
  • Never Before released short film Hot Love (1985) in HD
  • Hot Love Audio Commentary & Featurette
  • Audio Commentary by Jorg Buttgereit and co-author Franz Rodenkirchen
  • The Making of Nekromantik
  • Nekromantik Featurette
  • Still Photo Gallery
  • JB Trailers
  • Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Make sure and pick up this classic gore masterpiece now available on bluray per Cult Epics

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