Nekromantik (1987)

director: Jörg Buttgereit
release-year: 1987
genres: horror, sexploitation, shock
countries: Germany, West Germany
languages: German
fests: Sexploitation Horror Fest (2022)

West German sexploitation horror. Opens with a lady pissing on the side of the road, which I interpret as foreshadowing about how good this film is going to be. It looks like it's shot on Super-8, with poor detail and plenty of color shift and highlight blooming, but it's bearable. Every shot is framed really tight, claustrophobically so, which I'm guessing is because they couldn't afford any wide lenses.

After the pissing, we immediately get a big car crash. Blood and guts everywhere. A cleanup crew drives to the scene of the accident while a soundtrack of ominously haunting electronic organs sets the mood.

One of our street cleaners returns home to his apartment, which is full of jars of body parts; souvenirs from his cleaning gig. His lovely girlfriend pops in, and apparently she is happy to help out with his organ collecting hobby before she hops into a blood-filled bath.

Somebody kills a rabbit. A real rabbit, real killed, in frame. That's not considered couth these days. But it's certainly a strong image, slitting the throat of a rabbit and ripping its flesh from its meat and slicing out its eyeballs while dissonant industrial noise shrieks in the background.

A guy plays with a gun while drinking Jever, some other guy picks apples. The gun man accidentally shoots and kills his apple-picking neighbor. Perhaps a point is coming, but they aren't concerned about getting to it quickly. These scenes do not seem to be related to the rest of the movie.

They do that sitcom thing of showing the exact same zoom shot of a building every time the location changes.

In another road cleanup, the cleaning grew grabs a semi-mummified skeleton out of a ditch. Our hero loads it in his car and takes the whole thing home for his collection. His girlfriend is unironically thrilled. They put it in their bed, she strips naked and jams a pipe with a condom on it into its pelvis, and the three of them have a necrophilic ménage à trois while a hilariously low-quality romantic piano piece plays.

The guy loses his job for stealing corpses and the girl falls in love with the corpse. She talks to it, reads it books, has sex with it, and then moves out of her boyfriend's place and takes her dead lover with her.

He gets a (living) cat that looks just like my (living) cat, though he puts his in a trash bag and beats it to death. There's a great long shot of him naked in a bathtub, completely motionless, with a dead cat on the table above him dripping blood down into his bath water.

Unfortunately, there's still 30 more minutes of film after that, but nothing much to tell. He goes to the cinema where he watches a grotesque sexploitation horror film, and the crowded audience is completely disinterested and unmoved. He has a dream of frolicking in a field with a pretty girl, playing catch with zombie heads and animal guts. There's surely some important symbolism implied when he nails a little metal Jesus figurine to a cross and its hands start bleeding, but I don't know what it is.

Of course, the ending has to have the most shock value of all, and so it does. This probably won't be playing on TV any time soon.

The credits are really nicely hand-written. They're probably the highest quality part of the film.