10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™




Sex Murder Art: The Films of Jörg Buttgereit – Cult Epics (BluRay / CD Combo) 
Written by: on April 8th, 2016


Theatrical Release Dates: West Germany, 1988 (Nekromantik), West Germany, 1990 (Der Todesking), West Germany, 1991 (Nekromantik 2), Germany, 1993 (Schramm)
Director: Jörg Buttgereit (All Films)
Writers: Jörg Buttgereit, Franz Rodenkirchen (All Films)
Cast: Bernd Daktari Lorenz, Beatrice Manowski, Harald Lundt, Colloseo Schulzendorf (Nekromantik), Hermann Kopp, Heinrich Ebber, Michael Krause, Eva-Maria Kurz, Angelika Hoch, Nicholas Petche, Susanne Betz, Mark Reeder, Hille Saul, Ades Zabel, Jörg Buttgereit, Bela B. (Der Todesking), Monika M., Mark Reeder, Bernd Daktari Lorenz, Beatrice Manowski, Harald Lundt, Colloseo Schulzendorf, Jörg Buttgereit (Nekromantik 2), Monika M, Micha Brendel, Carolina Harnisch, Florian Koerner Von Gustorf (Schramm)

BluRay released: April 12th, 2016
Approximate running times: 71 minutes (Nekromantik), 76 minutes (Der Todesking), 103 minutes (Nekromantik 2), 65 minutes (Schramm)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC (All Films)
Rating: NR (All Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 German, Dolby Digital Stereo German (Nekromantik, Der Todesking), Dolby Digital 5.1 German, Dolby Digital Stereo German, Dolby Digital Mono German (Nekromantik 2), DTS-HD 5.1 German, Dolby Digital Stereo German (Schramm)
Subtitles: English (All Films)
BluRay Release: Cult Epics
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $99.95


Nekromantik: A young man named Rob uses his job where he collects and disposes of corpses to help build his growing collection of body parts. Not satisfied with just collecting mere body parts, one day he brings home an intact corpse. Rob in not alone in his obsession for the dead, his girlfriend Betty is also a necrophiliac. Unfortunately there moment of bliss would be short lived and Rob’s world will be turned inside out when Betty decides to leave him for the corpse he recently brought home. Unable to cope with this great loss he seeks out new avenues in hope that he will be able to fill the void that now dominates his life.

Today’s audiences are constantly bombarded with violent imagery in films and in the news, which has led to a desensitization towards violence. And though it appears that each new film appears to be trying to outdo the last one when it comes to pushing the limits in regards to its depiction of violence. There are always going to be those films that are beyond the fringe that would shock even the most jaded cinema file. Case in point, Nekromantik a film that is just a potent today as the moment it was unleashed on audiences twenty six years ago.

On subject matter alone, there are very few films that are going to push buttons more than Nekromatik, a film that features a protagonist who obsession with necrophilia is bound to revolt the majority of perspective viewers. And if this were this film’s only objective, then it would have already faded away into obscurity.

Fortunately this film is not your run of mill shock and awe gore feast. And at the core of this film is story about love and death and how these two things are intertwined. Other subjects that this film explores include obsession and dealing with a loss of a loved one.

With that being said, this is the type of film that is bound to divide perspective viewers. It is a film that defies all genre conventions and more importantly it is a rare example of film capturing the true essence of horror. And though things that go bump in the night are bound to make most jolt, this film takes you to place where even the darkest of dreams are an afterthought compared to the events which unfold in this film.

From a production stand point there is a rawness to the visuals that add a level of authenticity to them. With the two scenes involving the corpse being fondled and the film’s brutal final being this film’s most memorable moments visually. And when it comes to moments of gore or bloodshed the film’s delivers in spades. The one area of this film that is most surprising is how well it incorporates humor into such a morbid tale.

Performance this are more than adequate as the majority of the characters within this film are mere props to further the story along. Thankfully the strongest performances come from this film’s two leads, Bernd Daktari Lorenz in the role of Robert and Beatrice Manowski (Wings of Desire) in the role of Betty. Both actors totally immerse themselves into the performances.

Since the beginning of cinema filmmakers have been forced to create within a confined area that far too often dilutes their vision. Thankfully not all filmmakers are content to just toe the line and that is why films like Nekromantik exists. Ultimately Nekromantik is a truly unique cinema experience that is best summed up as ‘cinema without boundaries’.

Der Todesking: Seven days, seven deaths, with each death taking place on a different day of the week.

After shocking audiences with his debut feature film Jörg Buttgereit decided that he did not want to repeat himself and thus become pigeonholed as a filmmaker. So with his next film Der Todesking he would create a film that is the antithesis of his debut film Nekromantik.

Der Todesking’s narrative is not connected by a protagonist, but by one central theme death. There are seven tales which make up this film’s narrative and In between each of these stories is an image of a rotting corpse. Also there are briefs scenes which open and close the film with a young girl who has been drawing Der Todseking (aka The Death King).

Content wise, where Buttgereit’s debut film was meant to shock audiences with its gruesome imagery. This is not the case with Der Todesking a film which depicts seven deaths and yet when it comes to actually onscreen gore things are rather tame.

Though dialog is sparse in these seven tales about death and its ramifications. This never becomes an issues since it is after all this film’s visuals which drive this film’s narrative. And without a doubt this film’s strongest moment is a scene which involves no people and just a bridge. Reportedly said bridge was notorious for being a place where many had jumped off from it and instead of doing a reenactment of these deaths. The episode is told via a series of tracking shots over the bridge and while this is happening people’s names and their occupations appear onscreen. Ultimately this scene resonates all the more due to its less is more approach to the subject matter at hand. Another of this film’s standout moments visually is the second episode which features a film within a film moment. And this said film which is a recreation of a Naziploation film there is a moment where a man is castrated. This scene is the only moment in the film that is reminiscent Nekromantik.

When it comes to the imagery that appears onscreen in Der Todesking it is aesthetically in line with Jörg Buttgereit’s other films. Also what this film is lacking in shock value, it more than makes up for with its interesting premise which is filled with subtext throughout, most notably the cycle of life.

Nekromantik 2: A young woman named Monika gives into her necrophilia urges and digs up the corpse of another like-minded person. At first her world revolves around her obsession that is until one day when she meets a young man named Mark, who does voice over work for Porno films. As time goes by her relationship with Mark grows stronger and not wanting to lose her new found happiness. So she goes out of her way to hide her necrophilia from Mark. Unfortunately all good things eventually come to an end. Will Monika remain with Mark or will she return to obsession for all things dead?

Sequels have long had a reputation for not living up to their predecessors. And in the case of Nekromantik 2 is yet another film that continues a series, but lacks some of the elements which made its predecessor so shocking and more importantly utterly original. And though upon a quick glance these two films do feature man similarities in their plot. Ultimately it is the way in which said subject matter is portrayed in each where they are drastically different.

The plot starts off strong as we are introduced to this film’s protagonists Monika, who is in a graveyard and she is digging up the grave of Rob the protagonist from Nekromantik. This opening set up has a tremendous amount of atmosphere as it is filled with eerie imagery and devoid of any dialog. It is once the dialog starts to flow that things take a slight detour. From there the film spend almost half of its running time focusing on Monika and Mark’s love affair. And it is not until this film finale that things get back to where one would expect them to be considering the subject matter at hand.

From a production stand point this film is way more polished than its predecessor which had a rough around the edges look to it. And at just over one hundred minutes there are several stretches where the film tends to drag. Besides the aforementioned opening set up, another stand out moment visually includes the finale where Monika is forced to choose between Mark and necrophilia? Ironically this is the scene that comes closest to capturing the essence of what makes Nekromantik so special.

Schramm: Lothar Schramm (Florian Koerner von Gustorf) lays in a pool of his own blood bleeding to death recalling the recent events that led to his murderous rampage and his obsession for a prostitute who lives next door.

Since the dawn of cinema there has been a fascination with psychopaths. The blue print for such characters might as well be traced back to Fritz Lang’s 1931 film M and Peter Lorre’s brilliant performance as the child murderer Hans Beckert. Through the years as cinema evolved and became more explicit the killers became even more memorable and frightening like A Clockwork Orange’s Alex de Large. In more recent years some filmmakers have even tried to romanticize these tragic villains like 1991’s The Silence of the Lamb’s in which Anthony Hopkins plays the diabolical and at times enchanting Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

Jörg Buttgereit’s 1993 film Schramm features one of the more unique killers to ever grace the screen. Even the way the story is told and the events that unfold are not as straight forward or easy to digest as most viewers are used too. The film is filled with stark imagery that at times is beautiful and most of the time it is downright disgusting. There is a raw texture to this film that almost makes it feel like we are watching someone’s home movies and not a film.

Some of this film’s most volatile moments include Schramm screwing a rubber sex toy while listening to the prostitute next door having sex, the vagina monsters with its sharp teeth that crawl’s between Schramm’s legs and most horrific of all when Schramm drives three nails into his own penis. And without a doubt this film’s most durable asset is its leading man Florian Koerner Von Gustorf who delivers an utterly convincing and frightening performance.

Needless to say this is not a film for everyone and those who don’t have a strong stomach would be best advised to skip this film. Overall Schramm is a very good films that has some extraordinary moments cinematically that are sure to forever remain engraved in your brain.

The BluRay:

The four feature films included with this box set were all previously released individually by Cult Epics and content wise the discs included with this box set are the same as those aforementioned discs.

Nekromantik comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio. This film has been given a brand new HD transfer sourced from the original negatives and the end result is easily the best this film has looked to date on home video. The film was shot on 8mm and there are many limitations to this format. Outside of few darker moments colors look very good, details generally look crisp and there are no issues with compression.

This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in German and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in German. Both audio mixes sounds, clean, clear and balanced throughout. Range wise the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in German sounds more robust of these two audio mixes. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.

Extras for this release include, two postcards, a extensive stills gallery and trailers for Nekromantik (2 minutes 1 second – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), Der Todesking (2 minutes 21 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), Nekromantik 2 (1 minute 5 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), Schramm (1 minute 31 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive) and Hot Love (1 minute 10 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive).

Other extras include, a Q & A with co-screenwriter / director Jörg Buttgereit (39 minutes 56 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), a short film also directed by Buttgereit titled ‘Hot Love’ (29 minutes 5 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive, in German with English subtitles), a featurette titled ‘The Making of Nekromantik’ (12 minutes 24 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), an interview with Buttgereit and producer Manfred O. Jelinski (9 minutes 23 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive) and a ‘Making of’ segment for Hot Love (3 minutes 27 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive).

Topics discussed in the Q & A include the difficulties faced making Nekromantik, issues with censorship, the origins of the film, the film’s distribution history, how the two Nekromantik films represent the city of Berlin which at the time the first film was made it was divided by the Berlin wall, the film’s score, how the majority of shots had to be achieved in one take including the gruesome finale, his thoughts on the Japanese version which altered many shots with mosaic, Pink Flamingo’s and John Waters influence on the way he approaches cinema and he also talks about his other films. The ‘The Making of Nekromantik’ featurette is a collection of onset footage, stills and outtakes, that have comments from Jörg Buttgereit and Franz Rodenkirchen who discuss the origins of the film, true crime books and their influence on this film, depiction of violence in horror cinema and the special effects. Topics discussed in the interview with Buttgereit and producer Manfred O. Jelinski include constructing the corpse used in the film, raising the money need to make this film, the script, finding an actress to fulfill this film’s unique requirements, how the two leads in this film did not get along, how a the film was confiscated before a theatrical showing in Norway, the various home video releases this film has received around the world and censorship that it faced in a few countries. The ‘Making of’ segment for Hot Love is essentially footage of those who have just seen the film and their thoughts on what they have just seen.

Rounding out the extras is an option to listen to the film’s soundtrack, a Grindhouse version of the film that was sourced from a 35mm print (71 minutes 9 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive, in German with English subtitles). Quality wise the Grindhouse version’s transfer is not in as good of shape as the other transfer included as part of this release. And though it has more print debris, it does give fans of this film an option to see this film the way most viewers saw during its original theatrical release. And an audio commentary with Jörg Buttgereit and screenwriter Franz Rodenkirchen, who discuss locations, special effects, the cast, the score, how they wanted to create a film that would not look dated, the difficulties on shooting on a limited budget and shooting over a prolonged period of time, the look of the film and why there are so many close-ups in this film and their thoughts on key sequences.

Der Todesking comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio. For this released a brand new 2k transfer was created from this film’s original 16mm negative. And the end result is another strong transfer that greatly improves upon all previous home video releases for this film. With increased image clarity, a marked improvement when it comes to contrast and black levels. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression and print debris is minimal.

This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in German and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in German. Both audio mixes are in great shape as dialog is always clear and everything sounds balanced. Range wise the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix provides a robust sound-scape that also does a great job in regards to the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.

Extras for this release include, a postcard, an extensive stills gallery and trailers for Nekromantik (2 minutes 1 second – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), Der Todesking (2 minutes 21 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), Nekromantik 2 (1 minute 5 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), Schramm (1 minute 31 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive) Hot Love (1 minute 10 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive) and Angst (3 minutes 5 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen).

Other extras include an option to play a brief introduction with Jörg Buttgereit before the film (1 minute 14 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), a featurette titled ‘The Making of Der Todesking’ (15 minutes 43 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive, in English), an option to listen to the complete score for the film (28 minutes 13 seconds), a documentary titled ‘Corpse Fucking Art’ (58 minutes 11 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive, in English) and an audio commentary with director / co-screenwriter Jörg Buttgereit and co-screenwriter Franz Rodenkirchen.

Topics discussed in the ‘Making of’ featurette include, how the success of Nekromantik pigeonholed him as a horror film that he decided to make a film that was anti horror, the origins of Der Todesking and how film evolved from idea to what ended up in the film, he explains how shot key locations like the camera tracking shots over a bridge and special effects.

The extra titled ‘Corpse Fucking Art’ is essentially the ‘Making of’ featurette that is included with this release and the ‘Making of’ featurettes that were included for Cult Epics Nekromantik and Nekromantik 2 releases.

Topics discussed in this lively audio commentary include,T the opening credits, the score, how there were originally nine episodes and two of these episodes did not make the film’s final cut, their thoughts for the reviews written for the Nekromantik, locations featured in the film, Nazisplotation and how they were never released in Germany, the cast, why there is a lack of gore in this film and various other production related stories.

Nekromantik 2 comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio. This film has been given a brand new HD transfer sourced from the original 16mm negatives and the end result is easily the best this film has looked to date on home video. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels look very good and details look crisp throughout. Grain looks natural and there are no issues with DNR or compression.

This release comes with three audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in German, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in German and a Dolby Digital mono mix in German. You can’t go wrong with any of these audio mixes as they all are in great shape. Dialog is always clear enough to follow, everything sounds balanced and range wise things sound very good throughout. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.

Extras for this release include, two postcards, an extensive stills gallery and trailers for Nekromantik (2 minutes 1 second – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), Der Todesking (2 minutes 21 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), Nekromantik 2 (1 minute 5 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), Schramm (1 minute 31 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive) and Hot Love (1 minute 10 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive).

Other extras include an option to play a brief introduction with Jörg Buttgereit before the film (1 minute 36 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen, in English), outtakes (11 minutes 4 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), a music video for a group called Half Girl titled ‘Lemmy, I’m A Feminist’ (3 minutes 8 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), 20th Anniversary Live Concert performance of the film score performed by Monika M. and Friends (11 minutes 44 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), a short film also directed by Jörg Buttgereit titled ‘A Moment of Silence at the Grave of Ed Gein’ (2 minutes 4 seconds – – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), an optional to listen to the complete score for the film (57 minutes 30 seconds) and a live performance of the score (47 minutes 10 seconds), a featurette titled ‘The Making of Nekromantik 2’ (26 minutes 36 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive, in English) and an audio commentary with director / co-screenwriter Jörg Buttgereit, co-screenwriter Franz Rodenkirchen and actors Monika M. and Mark Reeder.

Topics discussed in the ‘Making of’ featurette include, what he likes most about Nekromantik 2, why he wanted to make a sequel and why he chose a woman as its lead character, how Nekromantik 2 is a warmer experience than its predecessor, designing the corpse used in the film and cast reflections on the role they played in the film.

Topics discussed in this lively audio commentary include, they joke about how people complained that on their commentary track for Schramm that they had too thick of German accents, the reason why Bernd Daktari Lorenz did not return for the sequel, the film’s score, casting decisions and the difficulty they had in finding an actress for the lead role, how this film was banned in Germany and its subsequent court battles and this film’s ending. Also everyone speaks in English and all the participants are obviously having a lot of fun as they are constantly laughing as reminiscent about the roles they played in this film.

Schramm comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio. For this released a brand new 2k transfer was created from this film’s original 16mm negative. Once again this is another solid transfer that greatly improves upon all previous hoe video releases for this film. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression and print debris is minimal.

This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in German and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in German. Both audio mixes sound clean, clear and balanced. With the more dynamic of the two audio mixes being the DST-HD 5.1 audio mix. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.

Extras for this release include, an extensive stills gallery and trailers for Nekromantik (2 minutes 1 second – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), Der Todesking (2 minutes 21 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), Nekromantik 2 (1 minute 5 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive) and Schramm (1 minute 31 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive).

Other extras include, an option to play a brief introduction with Jörg Buttgereit before the film (1 minute 5 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen, in English), an option to listen to the film’s soundtrack, three short films – ‘Horror Heaven’ (22 minutes 34 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive, in German with English subtitles and optional audio commentary with Jorg Buttgereit), ‘Blutige Exzesse im Führerbunker’ (7 minutes 53 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive) and ‘Mein Papi’ (7 minutes 10 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive), a ‘Making of’ documentary (35 minutes 30 seconds, in German with English subtitles) and two audio commentaries – the first audio commentary is with Jorg Buttgereit and Franz Rodenkirchen and the second audio commentary is with Koerner von Gustorf and Monika M.

The ‘Makin of’ documentary contains onset footage of the cast and crew while they are work. With comments in-between the onset moments from Florian Koerner von Gustorf who discusses how he got cast in the role of this film’s protagonist, preparing for the role and other production related topics.

Topics discussed in the audio commentary with Jorg Buttgereit and Franz Rodenkirchen include, the opening credit sequence, the cast and how the cast is made up of mostly non actors, locations featured in the film, how the flashback sequences were not shot by them and that it is actually found footage, the look of the film, how Claude Sautet’s The Things of Life influenced them to make Schramm, special effects and how each effect could only be done one time, the film’s score and other production related topics.

The audio commentary with Florian Koerner von Gustorf and Monika M is a more informal affair as both participants spend the bulk of the time discussing what is occurring onscreen.

Extras exclusive to this box set include, two CD’s, the first CD contains the scores for Nekromantik and Der Todesking and second CD contains the scores for Nekromantik 2 and Schramm. Rounding out these new extra is a forty-page booklet with introduction written by Nico B. four interviews with Jörg Buttgereit – Nekromantik, Der Todesking, Nekromantik 2 and Schramm, a text piece where Jörg Buttgereit discussed the short Horror films featured in this box set and Jörg Buttgereit filmography. Overall Cult Epics have to put together an exceptional release that fans of Jörg Buttgereit and extreme cinema should thoroughly enjoy, highly recommended.

Disclaimer: Some of the reviews contained here at 10kbullets contain screenshots that may not be suitable for those surfing the website at work and discretion is advised while viewing these pages. All of the screenshots and other images used on this site are solely for promotional purposes and are copyrighted to their respective owners. All reviews, bios and interviews unless noted in the text of the review, bio or interview are original content that was written exclusively for 10kbullets and has never been published anywhere else. On occasion there may be typos or errors in the text and if you let us know we will be more then happy to correct all typos or misinformation in the text. All opinions expressed on this site are solely those of the author(s) and not that of any company or person referred to. All the written material contained on 10kBullets is intended for informational purposes only and it is copyright © 2004-Present by the authors.