Ginger Nuts of Horror
By Alex Davis
Friday 12th September, 2014. Cast your mind back to an innocent time before Brexit, before President Trump, and before I had seen Nekromantik for the first time.
Of course Nekromantik itself had been around since 1987 – at which point I was a mere six-year-old – so I was distinctly late to the part. But with the movie getting a rating and a limited UK cinema release for the first time, my curiosity was piqued with a film I had heard a great deal about but never managed to catch. The fact it was a chance to see it on the big screen was a great part of the draw as well, so it was off to my home-town cinema at QUAD to check it out.
Darrell Buxton – a fantastic expert in horror and cult movies with a truly encyclopaedic knowledge – gave a great introduction to put the movie in context, how as one of the ‘video nasties’ Jorg Buttgereit’s debut had gained cult status and been a hugely sought after VHS throughout the late 80s and early 90s.
But I don’t think anything I had read – or heard that night – really prepared me for Nekromantik properly. The love story between man, woman and corpse remains unlike anything I’ve seen – other movies have tried, but Nekromantik succeeds where they all fail. In places it is grotesque and horrible, as you would expect, but in places its actually really beautiful and glorious. Buttgereit’s debut film is wonderful in its mix of shocking body horror, strange romance and outrageous black comedy. I don’t think anyone has ever blended those elements in the same way since, and it’s a heady experience.
Whoever said romance is dead may not have seen Nekromantik.
Given the cult appeal of the first movie, four years later a sequel emerged. Nekromantik 2 follows on Rob’s story – only this time there’s a pretty big difference in that Rob has become the corpse that is the focus of affection. If anything, Nekromantik 2 doubles down on its predecessor – it’s got more grim humour, more bizarre sexuality and even more lavish love at its core. And having seen the first, I was of course champing at the bit to see the sequel, which I did have to concede I would have to watch on the small screen.
Those kind of films don’t leave you, and nor has any of the director’s other output – Schramm is a tour de force of a serial killer movie, and Der Todesking (just released on Blu-Ray from Arrow Films) remains one of the darkest and most nihilistic films you’re ever likely to encounter. His recent return to the cinema was also a very worthy one, producing a strong segment of the excellent German horror anthology German Angst. Jorg Buttgereit has certainly built a name and reputation as a daring and challenging filmmaker for more than 30 years.
So you can imagine the great pleasure and excitement with which I look forward to welcoming Jorg Buttgereit to the UK!
Our first stop will be the Starburst Media City Festival in Manchester over the weekend of 16th and 17th March - https://starburstmagazine.com/filmfestival/ - which I gather has already sold out but you can still add yourself to a reserve list for tickets! I’ll be interviewing Jorg prior to a screening of Nekromantik, and we’ll also be having a meet and greet over the weekend.
Then we’ll be heading to Derby for a Sunday night screening of Nekromantik 2 on the 18th March, suitably enough at QUAD, the very place I first saw the first movie. There are still some tickets for this one for those readers wanting to come and hear from and meet the man himself - https://www.derbyquad.co.uk/film/fright-club---nekromantik-2--director-q-and-a--18--s.aspx - but they are proving popular so we suggest early booking!
Suffice to say, I can’t wait to have Jorg over for these two events and I hope some of our Film Gutter regulars will be able to join us over the weekend! It’s going to be good fun for sure.
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