Nekromantik 2 Blu-ray Review
Written by ZigZag
Blu-ray released by Cult Epics
Directed by Jörg Buttgereit
Written by Jörg Buttgereit and Franz Rodenkirchen
1991, Region A, 103 minutes, Not rated
Blu-ray released on February 10th, 2015
Monika M. as Monika
Mark Reeder as Mark
Mark has a successful career working as a voiceover artist in the adult entertainment industry, but his personal life is a bit lacking. His luck improves when he meets Monika, a nurse who shares his taste in art house films. They begin a relationship that includes trips to the zoo and a carnival and everything is great, but once they start sleeping together, things get a bit strange, as Monika is a pervert. She likes to photograph Mark in strange positions and hates it if he moves while having sex. This behavior could be considered odd, but to be fair, her last boyfriend Rob was a real stiff. It is tempting to launch into a string of puns here, but suffice it to say Monika is a necrophiliac who dug up Rob's corpse from the cemetery and brought it home for carnal pleasures. Mark knows nothing of this of course, but whenever he discovers a potential red flag, like discovering a severed penis in her refrigerator, Monika tells him whatever he needs to hear and back to bed they go. It is safe to say this relationship is doomed from the start, but gosh, these Germans know how to tell a good love story.
In 1988, director Jörg Buttgereit hit the scene with his outrageous necrophilia flick Nekromantik. Three years later he returned with the cleverly-titled sequel Nekromantik 2, for which the poster offers the wonderful tag line: The Return of the Loving Dead. His follow up manages the difficult task of surpassing the thrills of the original and is a solid piece of cinematic entertainment. It would be wrong to reveal too much of the limited plot, but this is truly a romantic drama with a few nasty bits thrown in along the way. Fans of the first film have nothing to fear, as Buttgereit really delivers with the disturbing elements, including a finale more gruesome than the strongest moments of part one. Any movie that starts with a quote from Ted Bundy before presenting the opening titles over a montage of masturbatory seppuku promises to be a wild ride, and this picture does not disappoint. Both Nekromantik films have the distinct dishonor of having been banned in Germany upon release.
Cinematographer Manfred Jelinski returns from the original film and has grown as an artist, as evidenced by the opening sequence of Monika digging up a grave in her high heels and dress. Jelinski and Buttgereit work closely together to create some thrilling camera moves and genuinely beautiful images. There is a nice moment early in the film when Monika and Mark first meet and the film they are watching is a subversive dig at pretentious art-house fare. The script co-written by Buttgereit and Franz Rodenkirchen is filled with black humor that never crosses the line into parody. By playing the material straight, the suspenseful tone of the picture is elevated, as viewers know that something really awful is coming. Nekromantik 2 is obviously not for everyone, but gorehounds will be happy to see this infamous classic return from the tomb of underground cinema in an all new Hi-Def special edition. With luck, Cult Epics Releasing will continue to debut the Buttgereit collection on Blu-ray. Perhaps with enough encouragement, the director will return to film a third chapter in the trilogy--dare I hope for Nekromantik 3D?
Video and Audio:
Nekromantik 2 is presented in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and looks fantastic.The film was shot on 16mm film and later blown up to 35mm for theatrical screenings. This release offers an HD transfer of the original negative and longtime fans will be shocked at the picture clarity and richness of color. Some sequences are a bit too bright, but honestly it would be silly to nitpick such an obvious upgrade in quality.
There are three audio options; the original mono, a 2-channel Dolby Digital stereo presentation and a newly expanded 5.1 Dolby Digital surround mix. All of these are solid offerings and for this review I selected the new 5.1 option without regret.
Nekromantik 2 is a German-language film and English subtitles are provided.
Cult Epics has pulled out all of the stops and provided an unexpectedly generous assortment of special features, many returning from the long-out-of-print DVD special edition.
Starting things off is a brief introduction from the director, offering an overview of the troubled history of the film, including the opposition faced upon initial release and thanking fans for supporting this film.
The audio commentary unites the director with his producer, assistant director, and cast members Mark Reeder and Monika M. You can hear bottles opening during the introductions and the track quickly becomes a lively one. Lots of fun stories and fond memories from their time on this production make for an engaging visit with old friends.
The Making of Nekromantik 2 (27 minutes) offers audio interviews with cast and crew while presenting silent behind-the-scenes footage taken on set.
The 20th Anniversary Screening (12 minutes) was recorded in January 2011, and features highlights from the presentation that included a live performance of the film's soundtrack.
A collection of outtakes (11 minutes) is actually additional silent behind-the-scenes material that shows some of the work that went into setting up certain shots and creating the corpses for the film.
A Buttgereit trailer gallery offers a look at the marketing campaigns for Nekromantik, Nekromantik 2, Schramm, Der Todesking and Hot Love.
A Moment of Silence at the Grave of Ed Gein (2 minutes) is exactly what it sounds like.
Up next is the Buttgereit-directed music video “Lemmy, I'm A Feminist” by the band Half Girl.
A photo gallery (13 minutes) plays as a slide show set to the film's soundtrack.
The original soundtrack and the 20th anniversary live performance soundtrack round out the special features on this disc.