Barrel Entertainment | Review by Dan Taylor
caught Jorg Buttgereit's 1987 shocker NEKROMANTIK
back in the late 1980s on a fourth-generation
VHS bootleg. The flick had achieved notorious
and well-deserved cult status thanks to
its depiction of the love triangle between
Rob (Daktari Lorenz), his girlfriend Betty
(Betty M) and the corpses Rob brought home
from his job cleaning up crash sites. Frankly,
it was one flick that lived up to its b-movie
buzz, and its masturbatory-suicidal "climax"
is the stuff of legend.
Four years later, Buttgereit
returned with the equally perverse and twisted
NEKROMANTIK 2: RETURN OF THE LOVING DEAD,
now on DVD from Barrel Entertainment. Instead
of succumbing to fanboy demands for an immediate
sequel, the director (who co-wrote the flick
with Franz Rodenkirchen) allowed a little
time for his sequel to gestate and delivers
a wickedly funny and skin-crawlingly gruesome
tale of looking for love in all the wrong
N2 wastes no time getting
started, opening with a quote from executed
mass murderer Ted Bundy and refreshing our
memories of Rob's demise at his own hands.
Faster than you can say "ashes to ashes,"
the attractive Monika (Monika M) is at the
graveyard digging up Rob's coffin and bringing
the body back to her apartment. It's no
wonder she's so trim and in shape
digging up a gravesite and lugging a corpse
home in broad daylight is no easy task.
They oughta make it into a DVD workout program!
(Which brings me to a growing
sore point of mine with how movies depict
the process of digging. We recently had
some work done at our house that involves
me going out and moving shovels of dirt
every few days. This is not an easy job.
Just moving dirt from one end of the mound
to the other is back-breaking, very sweaty
labor. NEKROMANTIK 2, like many flicks,
does not do this job justice, especially
when it depicts Monika digging Rob up while
she's wearing a skirt, stockings and heels.
For a fairly accurate depiction of digging,
please see COOL HAND LUKE. I'm done now.)
Once she gets him back to
her apartment lovingly decorated
in early psychotic chick it's time
for a little lovemaking between Monika and
Robert's rapidly-decomposing corpse. She's
hot, he's green. She's sexy, he's sticky.
And believe me, it makes for quite a scene.
But what makes it even more disturbing is
that we're not familiar with these actors
and have no other roles to assign them to.
When that unfamiliarity is added to Buttgereit's
low-budget, raw 16mm photgraphy, the flick
takes on a disturbing documentary feel that's
hard to shake at times. Like you're watching
somebody's home movies.
Somebody's really demented
Enter Mark (Mark Reeder),
a pleasant fellow Monika meets one evening
at the local cinema. Mark who looks
like the German Dave Foley from KIDS IN
THE HALL and NEWS RADIO makes his
living dubbing sex films (in some of the
flick's funniest sequences) and he falls
for the blonde, milky-skinned Monika. After
a date with Mark at an amusement park, Monika
armed with Jim Beam, the official
corpse-dismembering liquor of NEKROMANTIK
2 hacks up Robert's corpse but holds
onto two body parts for old time's sake:
one's his head and the other one ain't his
With Robert (sort of) out
of the picture, you can't help but wonder
when Monika will decide she loves the dead
more than she loves the living. Soon she's
hopping atop Robert during sex so she can
pin his arms down and hanging him upside
down and naked from her ceiling so she can
take Polaroids of his body displayed like
a side of beef. It comes as no surprise
that Mark tells a friend he thinks Monika
is a bit "perverse."
To say anything more would spoil the jolts
and shocks of NEKROMANTIK 2's tasteless,
comical and totally satisfying climax.
As for the DVD, Barrel should
be highly commended and I wish more companies
would treat genre releases with this much
care and attention. The quality of the full-frame
print is amazing, especially when you consider
it was blown up from 16mm. English subtitles
are clear and easy to read, though almost
unnecessary, as dialogue is minimal and
it's a good 20 minutes before anybody says
anything. Lavish bonus features include:
audio commentary by the director, co-screenwriter
and stars; a behind-the-scenes "making
of" featurette that includes 25 minutes
of footage; German radio interviews subtitled
in English; a music video directed by Buttgereit
and starring Monika M; outtakes, still photos,
and an early Buttgereit Super-8mm short
subtitled in English; and a CD featuring
the complete scores for NEKROMANTIK and
If you're a fan of perverse
horror cinema, this DVD rates as a must