Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 8th, 2016
BluRay released: April 12th, 2016
Approximate running time: 65 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 German, Dolby Digital Stereo German
BluRay Release: Cult Epics
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $34.95
Synopsis: 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.
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.
Overall Cult Epics gives Schramm its most definitive release to date.
Note: Cult Epics are also releasing this film on DVD.