From director Jorg Buttgereit comes Nekromantik 2, the gore horror sequel to his 1987 classic Nekromantik. Monika (Monika M.) is a beautiful necrophiliac who lives alone in Berlin. By day she works as a nurse. By night she prowls through cemeteries while searching for fresh corpses. When she reads about the suicide of Rob (Nekromantik's Daktari Lorenz) she finds his grave to dig up his body and brings it home. Mark (Mark Reeder) lives across town and makes his living dubbing sex films. After meeting Monika, romance blossoms and they fall in love. But all is not well in Monika's world. Her relationship with Mark begins to falter and she has to make a final choice between loving the living or the dead.
Officially banned in Germany for years upon release, Cult Epics is proud to present Nekromantik 2, Uncut and Uncensored in a new High Definition transfer.
It's good to live in a world where a sequel to 'Nekromantik' was made, released, and critically acclaimed. Only three years after the first film, director Jorg Buttgereit went back behind the camera and made 'Nekromantik 2' for his loyal cult audience. Actually, the German authorities seized the movie a few days after it was released, but luckily for Buttgereit and us, they did not confiscate the original negative of the film, hence now we have an excellent Blu-ray from Cult Epics in glorious high definition.
Some people might look at this sequel much like how they viewed the first film, which is a sadistic film that depicts deplorable violence and sex acts so depraved that it would make the seasoned cinephile blush. Others like myself, view the original film and 'Nekromantik 2' as a work of art that is expertly crafted to show a woman and man's search for love and sexual satisfaction. Sure, they go about it in a much different way than we're used to seeing, and in this case, we follow a woman who engages in sex with corpses, but there is so much more to the larger picture than just having sex with the dead.
Buttgereit wants to show us the simplistic nature of a human trying to find love and not be lonely, and how sometimes that might be more of a struggle than not. But don't worry, for all you gore hounds who are just interested in seeing the gruesome, slimy parts, there are plenty of moments to satisfy your sick appetite. 'Nekromantik 2' gives us a recap in full of the climactic scene from the first film in black and white. Soon after, a woman named Monika is seeing digging up Rob's corpse (from the first film) and bringing it back to her apartment. While there, she undresses the black and moldy corpse as she tries to have an orgasm. To my disappointment and to Monika's, she is unable to achieve the ultimate feeling.
Monika then decides to start looking for love in the living. Unfortunately, that role goes to Mark who makes his living by dubbing voices in pornographic films. Monika and Mark seem to be the loving couple that could be in any romantic comedy as they see movies and go to the park together. However, Mark is unaware of Monika's unnatural need for the dead until he sees a few images in her apartment and walks in on Monika and a few friends, watching some truly disturbing shows on television.
Despite all of this, Mark is like Monika in a way. He's just a lonely person looking for love, so he stays with her. That is until the climactic scene of the film that is guaranteed to shock you. Buttgereit definitely does not shy away from any of the blood and guts by any means, but 'Nekromantik 2' is not all about the gore. There are some long extended scenes of Mark and Monica just being a couple in it's most simplistic and natural way. Though one is more distant than the other, both are trying to find their better half in life, and Buttgereit reveals each emotion and action with a calm and collected view as if to tell us that's it's okay to choose this lifestyle.
More often than not these days, horror directors tend to only rely on the gore aspect and only want an action scene that follows into another action scene. Luckily for us, Buttgereit gives us a bit more tone, melodrama, style, and grit and that's why 'Nekromantik 2' will outlive the others.
'Nekromantik 2' comes with a 1080p HD transfer from the original 16mm negative and is presented in 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Much like the first film, you would think this movie was made in the early 60s, just going by what the image looks like. But again, the first film was released in 1988 and this sequel was released in 1991. So clearly, this was a time where any movie could have been made with higher end video equipment, but that's not the goal here. Buttgereit wants a vintage grindhouse looking image, and that's exactly what we receive here. 'Nekromantik 2's' video presentation looks good, but it's no where near par with really any other movie ever made. It still looks like a grindhouse film, so expect tons of heavy and fluctuating grain, debris, dirt, and a very soft palette.
There are moments, especially in the well lit scenes or scenes with a lot of natural light where the detail can be sharper than the rest of the footage, which can reveal some of the gorier practical effects quite nicely. Other than that, there isn't that much sharpness to the picture. Colors are mostly decent, but never really pop off screen. The film looks brighter in this transfer where some of the blood looks a bit on the bright side of red, but it still makes a fun impact. Black levels are deep and inky from time to time and the skin tones look natural when there is not a dummy-body double. With all of its warts and problems, Cult Epics have done a great job making 'Nekromantik 2' look very good while keeping that nostalgic grindhouse feel to it.
Finally, one studio got it right. Cult Epics give you three options to view the film, which is something I wish that Kino Lober and even Criterion would do from time to time. Instead of just giving us the sole choice of a Dolby Digital Mono track, we also get the options to choose a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix and a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and I couldn't be happier. Each option is great. For you purists who must watch movies in the original form, you'll love the mono mix as it keeps things true to its source while still being well balanced with all aspects of sound, which never over-power each other.
The 2.0 stereo mix offers a bit more grit, especially where the score is concerned. And then there is the 5.1 audio mix, which is what I recommend here. Although it wasn't originally mixed in this format, this 5.1 track will full immerse you inside this sadistic world with good ambient noises, solid directionality, a more layered score and robust sound effects, and clear dialogue. The gruesome noises during the heavier violent scenes and sex scenes will really make you squirm with all of their squishy and crunch sounds. It's quite fun to listen to. The LFE is great and the dynamic range is rather wide, leaving this audio presentation with great marks.
Introduction by Jorg Buttgereit (HD, 2 Mins.) - Director Buttgereit intros the film and tells us that the German police confiscated the film after its initial release and that the movie is a love story rather than a horror film.
Audio Commentary - Director Jorg Buttgereit, writer Franz Rodenkirchin, and actors Monika M., and Mark Reeder deliver a fun commentary track here. Franz acts as the moderator, asking everyone questions, which I believe was recorded back in 2001. But this track is lively, entertaining, friendly, and delivers all the info you would want out of this film, although it's a bit difficult to hear sometimes due to the foreign accents.
The Making of 'Nekromantik 2' (SD, 27 Mins.) - A vintage behind the scenes documentary on making the movie with Buttgereit discussing almost every aspect of the film while we see on set footage, makeup effects being tested, and rehearsal footage. Though it's a rough and dirty image, this is worth watching.
Still Photo Gallery (HD, 14 Mins.) - An automatic slideshow with the theme song playing in the background that shows the actors, filmmakers, and production photos.
Outtakes (SD, 11 Mins.) - These are not your normal outtakes. Instead, this is silent footage of shots that were unusable, a few of the cast laughing, or minor accidents on set. Some of the footage is hard to view, given the shoddy quality of it and again, there is no sound.
JB Trailers (HD, 11 Mins.) - Five trailers for Jorg Buttgereit's films including 'Nekromantik I and II' and three other movies.
20th Anniversary Live Concert (HD, 12 Mins.) - In 2011, Buttgereit and Monika M. from the film played the music live during a screening of the film. Here are some highlights of them playing the music.
'A Moment of Silence At the Grave of Ed Gein' (HD, 3 Mins.) - In 2012, Buttgereit visited the grave of serial killer Ed Gein. The camera is set up looking at the unmarked grave with various nature sounds coming through the speakers. I wouldn't really call that a short film like it's billed.
Half Girl - Lemmy, I'm a Feminist (HD, 3 Mins.) - An all chick rock band performs 'Lemmy, I'm a Feminist' on a rooftop, which is a music video by Buttgereit.
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (58 Mins.) - Here you can listen to the entire soundtrack.
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Live (48 Mins.) - Here is basically the same thing, but this is the live version.
'Nekromantik 2' is just as crazy as the first film. It doesn't shy away from any gore, violence or sex by any means. That being said, I agree with Buttgereit here in that this is a love story, rather than a snuff film of sorts. It's not for the people with weak stomaches, but for those true cinephiles who enjoy stylistic and artful films, no matter the subject. 'Nekromantik 2' still holds up and delivers on almost every level. The video and audio presentations are both great and the vast amount of extras are all worth watching. Cult Epics has knocked this release out of the park. Highly recommended!