Macabre…ish Horror Review: Nekromantik


Nekromantik, 1987/ 75 min.



Robert Schmadtke (Bernd Daktari Lorenz) has a bizarre and disturbing obsession with human remains, in every form of decay. He has this grotesque fetish in common with his girlfriend, Betty (Beatrice Manowski). Who, it can be argued, is far more into it than he is. Their home is lined with jars of body parts preserved in formaldehyde.


For Robert’s part, he works for an organization that cleans up the aftermaths if car wrecks and recovers remains. And some of those remains come home with him. On one specific job, a man deep in a state of decay, is exciting enough for Robert that he sneaks it home as a gift to Betty.


The blackened, moist and partially skeletonized remains are laid in bed and retrofitted with a broken off chair leg, to serve as a penis. A condom is then added and Betty uses it like a phallus. And just like that, the rotting corpse is transformed into a sex doll.


The next day, Robert loses his job over too many absences and the stench emanating from his suit. Betty is annoyed and scolds him over it. So she packs up the corpse and storms out. Robert breaks down and kills their pet cat and bathes in a bath of it’s blood and entrails that evening.


Robert drinks and takes pills which causes him to have a vivid dream of being a partially decayed corpse and playing with a decayed head. Also there, is a little girl, dressed in white. When Robert wakes up, it’s still dark so he goes out in search of a prostitute.


He takes her to a cemetery, hoping he’ll be able to perform but fails. When she laughs at him, he strangles her in a rage and after she’s dead. He sexually defiles her corpse. He falls asleep there and is startled the next day by a grave digger.


So Robert makes everything worse by taking the man’s shovel and decapitating him with it. And he flees back to his apartment. Then Robert commits suicide in one of the strangest and most disturbing ways. He stabs himself in the abdomen, while simultaneously masturbating and ejaculating, until he’s dead.


Later on, at his grave, a woman, seemingly there to pay her respects, starts digging up Robert’s grave.


This film was directed by cult filmmaker, Jörg Buttgereit. He is renowned for his controversial films. This is a German language film and it is very graphic and gory, uncomfortably so, sometimes. This movie, like his other works, are not for the faint of heart.