Features & News

Anti-Advent Calendar #10

The christmas season. Another day, another gleefully inappropriate selection. On to day ten…

Recently released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK thanks to the the always left-field Arrow Films, you can now finally buy your grandmother the film she’s always wanted: Nekromantik. Still banned in a handful of countries, Jörg Buttgereit’s 1987 infamous corpse-romance film is both as bad as described and significantly better.

Telling the unfortunate tale of poor Rob, a man who works for a company that cleans up the bodies from crime scenes solely in order to take home body parts to his girlfriend Betty who has very specific tastes, Nekromantik details how his life goes from mediocre to worse after bringing home an entire deceased ‘friend’ for he and Betty to play with. Life is content until his slovenliness costs him his job, then everything starts to slip away…

The notorious ménage à trois between Rob, Betty and their one-eyed friend is all the more shocking for what it isn’t than is; shot in romantic soft focus, with an inappropriately lush piano score, this isn’t an exploitative sex scene, this is lovemaking, albeit lovemaking wherein one participant sucks an eyeball out of another participant’s socket. Taboo-busting in all the right ways, Nekromantik succeeds in being substantial arthouse while also being grimy, fringe cinema. And for that final scene alone, it’s unforgettable.

Tom Watchorn

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