Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 9th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: Germany, 1993
Director: Jorg Buttgereit
Writers: Jörg Buttgereit, Franz Rodenkirchen
Cast: Monika M, Micha Brendel, Carolina Harnisch, Florian Koerner Von Gustorf
DVD Released: October 31st, 2006
Approximate Running Time: 65 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo German, Dolby Digital Mono German
DVD Release: Barrel Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
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’sAlex 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 is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. This transfer was sourced from the films original 16mm negative. Colors look faithfully reproduced and details look sharp through out. Outside of some minor print damage this transfer looks really good.
This release comes with two audio options a Dolby Digital stereo remix and the films original Dolby Digital mono mix. Both audio mixes are in German and removable English subtitles have been included. The audio is more then adequate as there are no problems with distortion or any other sound defects.
Extras for this release include trailers for Schramm, Der Todesking, Nekromantik 2 and two trailers for Nekromantik. This release also comes with a filmography for Jorg Buttgereit, a segment titled “Mutter Boxing”, a music video titled “Die Neue Zeit” and an extensive photo gallery that plays like a featurette with music from the film in the background. Other extras include a thirty five minute behind the scenes documentary which includes comments about making this film and plenty of behind the scenes footage. Also included with this release are two of Jorg Buttgereit’s short films “Mein Papi” and “Captain Berlin”. Rounding out the extras are two audio commentaries the first one with Jorg Buttgereit (Director) and Franz Rodenkirchen (co-writer) this is detailed track that gives a lot more insight about the film. The second audio commentary is with Koerner von Gustorf and Monika M. is not as interesting as the first audio commentary still is has its moments. Overall both audio commentaries are worth listening too if you are a fan of the film. This release also comes with booklet that includes liner notes written by Jorg Buttgereit and David Kerekes. Overall fans of extreme cinema and the films of Jorg Buttgereit will want to pick up Barrel Entertainment’s re-release of Schramm.