Necronos: Tower of Doom DVD Review
Written by Jayson Kennedy
DVD released by Troma Entertainment
Directed and written by Marc Rohnstock
Written by Rae Brunton
2010, 127 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on March 11th, 2014
Thomas Sender as Necronos
Timo Fuchs as Goran
Manoush as Witch
Alexander Andreszka as Mike
A powerful warlock, Necronos (Thomas Sender), seeks to serve Satan's apocalyptic will by unleashing an undead army to vanquish all of mankind. In order to accomplish this, a series of ritualistic killings must first be carried out with the assistance of his mutilated servant Goran (Timo Fuchs) and haggard witch (Manoush).
Emerging in the late '80s, Marc Rohnstock's Necronos: Tower of Doom belongs to a linage of splatfests to boil up from an underground German cottage industry. Despite their persistence, I've yet to see any that weren't just excuses to pack as much cheap gore into ramshackle plotlines as possible. The kind of junk hormone-enriched teenagers gravitate toward in their late night quests to witness the most horrific horrors conceived.
That's not bash to gorehounds, as most of us savor the occasional dollop of agonizing cinematic suffering. Although gore alone does not a good horror film make, and this is where Necronos falters. Its threadbare story merely acts to facilitate prolonged, goofy scenes of torture and death. Instead of focusing on any character development, the actors act as bodies to drench in what mostly looks like Hawaiian Punch in clumsily edited dismemberments galore.
With the focus on mutilation is so strong, Rohnstock never quite follows through setting up any protagonists. We get a few characters that are promising in this regard, but Necronos is seemingly chomping at the bit to literally cart them off to the meat grinder before having sway on the story. Oddly, this could be deemed a longstanding hallmark of this specific niche of filmmaking. Often the character who does the most butchering, in this case Necrono's right-hand man Goran, becomes the one viewers are meant to root for. This makes for the queasy experience of a parade of screaming victims with no point either way.
Considering a runtime of over two hours and the talent involved, most with other Germanic gorebombs on their resumes, the aim was likely to craft an epic of its type. Yet Necronos is a chore, and could have easily been sliced to well under ninety minutes, saving the viewer from wondering whether or not that's a spider on the wall behind their television. Or maybe I'm being too hard on Necronos: Tower of Doom, as it could be viewed as reactionary cinema in response to decades of draconian film censorship in Germany. Or more likely, it's simply crap.
Video and Audio:
Troma Team's non-anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen presentation looks decent considering the feature's eroded digital video origins.
The same goes for the flat-sounding German Dolby 2.0 audio, certainly not home theater demo material and never will be.
The white English subtitles are needlessly wordy and quite small.
The only Necronos-related supplements are a short teaser, trailer, and behind-the-scenes slideshow. The rest are several trailers for other recent Troma fodder. The DVD cover is reversible with either tame or (very) graphic artwork.
There's been questions about the uncut status of this disc, but all the frumpy full frontal nudity makes it seems likely have been censored.