Nekromantik 2 (1991) | Arrow digs up Jörg Buttgereit’s notorious sequel for a slick, sick high definition release
1987’s no-budget super 8mm German horror Nekromantik, from director Jörg Buttgereit and producer Manfred Jelinski, was – without doubt – one of the most shocking films ever put to celluloid. So, making a sequel four years later was always going to be a risky affair, especially with those die-hard fans who lapped up the first film’s transgressive qualities either at an underground cinema or on VHS.
Bankrolled with funds made from the 1989 experimental horror der Todesking, and shot in the summer of 1990 in both West and East Berlin, Buttgereit and Jelinski’s Nekromantik 2 was released straight to VHS in 1991 where it found both its critics and champions and became just as notorious as its predecessor when it was prosecuted for ‘glorifying violence’. But if you look behind the blood-soaked bed-sheets, putrefying genitalia, and grisly seal slaughter, Buttgereit successfully fashions a love story and a meditation on mortality and loss.
The film concerns twenty something necrophiliac Monika (Monika M) who steals the corpse of suicide victim Rob (from the original film) from a church graveyard to keep her ‘company’. But she’s torn between her rotting new bedfellow and her mild-mannered new friend beau (Mark Reeder)…
Shot on 16mm (slicker than the original, but still very DIY) and with an evocative synth score that highlights the film’s romantic theme, Nekromantik 2 is regarded by some critics as a metaphor on the German psyche, but for those involved in the production its also something of a time capsule, capturing the West Berlin alternative scene on the cusp of change following the fall of the Wall.
From those champions of all things cult worthy, Arrow Films (who also released Nekromantik in 2014) comes this lovingly produced limited edition (3000) 3-disc digipak which features the Blu-ray, DVD and CD soundtrack, postcard set and a 100-page book. Aside from the terrific high definition transfer and great artwork from Belgian artist Gilles Vranckx, the box-set also features wealth of special treats…
THE BONUS MATERIAL
• Audio commentary with Buttgereit, co-writer Franz Rodenkirchen and actors Monika M and Mark Reeder.
• Introduction with Buttgereit, Reeder, Monika M and producer Manfred Jelinski
• Masters of Life and Death: documentary on the film’s production history.
• City of the Loving Dead: a walking tour of the Berlin locations with Reeder and Jelinski (this was one of my favourites).
• Necropolis: Jörg Buttgereit’s Berlin – film analysis with scholar Dr Marcus Stiglegger (really interesting, although Monika M might disagree).
• The Making of Nekromantik 2: archive documentary (in a choice of English and German).
• Nekro Waltz: The Music of Nekromantik 2 – Reeder (who was Factory Records man in Berlin in the 1990s) discusses his work on the film’s score.
• Outtakes Reel.
• Nekromantik 2 Livekonzert: 20th anniversary concert footage.
• Nekromantik 2 Livekonzert: 20-track audio recording of the concert.
• Bloody Excess in the Leader’s Bunker (1984): Buttgereit short film.
• A Moment of Silence at the Grave of Ed Gein (2012): Buttgereit short video (by far my favourite extra).
• Music Videos: Rise Up by Die Krupps (1997); Die Frau in der Musik by Stereo Total (2007).
• Buttgereit feature film trailers.
• Nekromantik 2 score: 24-track CD (Disc 3).
• Anatomy of Desire: 100-page collector’s book new and archive writing and stills.
Posted on December 12, 2015, in Cult classic, Horror, Must See, Must-See, Psychological thriller, World Cinema and tagged 1990s German horror, Arrow Films & Video, German horror, Gilles Vranckx, Horror, Jörg Buttgereit, Manfred Jelinski, Monika M, Must See, Necrophilia, Nekromantik 2, World Cinema. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.