Whether people admit or not, there is an obsession with the obscene. The more taboo, the more interesting it can be. There are several lists online for the most disturbing movies ever made, or releases claiming to be uncensored, marketing to those hungering for more sex or violence or both. Even real footage of awful crimes end up going viral and are easier to find even for those not so handy with technology. I’m not easily disturbed. Maybe I have become desensitized, but I honestly believe everyone is different when it comes to what content they deem horrific. For example, many people I’ve met (mainly parents) state they regret watching A Serbian Film and I’m sure I know which scene upset them the most. Even Rob Zombie movies are seen as hardcore by general audiences, but genre fans are used to them as his clear influences go back to the 70s and midnight grindhouse movies.
My strange self was last disturbed by a PG rated fantasy film called The House With A Clock In Its Walls (directed by none other than Eli Roth of Hostel fame). What could possibly make me close my eyes in a filmed aimed towards more of a general audiences? Our lead character, Lewis, is being terrorized by spirits in the house and gets sliced with paper cuts by books being thrown at him as he shields his face. Roth just can’t resist torturing the kid and I could not look. I hate paper cuts. It’s a sting that lasts for a long time and causes the skin to form a tiny flap that you might be tempted to dig into. Yeah I’m a sick fuck, but it’s everyday real life wounds that freak me out.
To my surprise, the NEKROMANTIK films are not something I have seen spoken of often. I’ve seen the artwork at cons and on horror merchandise, but never heard people talking about them. Personally, these movies belong on those disturbing films lists. All of them.
The first NEKROMANTIK revolves around a couple who participate in threesomes. The real kicker is that their third is usually a rotting corpse. The boyfriend, Rob, works for a company responsible for cleaning public areas that are the scenes of traffic accidents. This allows him easy access to fresh bodies and this helps get his girlfriend off, even adding pipes and condoms to help create a complete sexual experience. Their personal lives take a turn for the worst and Rob has to come to terms with personal demons that lead to one of the most extreme endings I personally have ever seen.
NEKROMANTIK 2 revolves around Monika who utilizes the corpse of a character from the first film as her new lover. It would be too easy to call it her new sex toy, but it’s clear that this is more than that. We are allowed to watch her sexual frustrations, even as she pursues a relationship with a man whose career involves dubbing porn films. The irony is clear how two people who fake orgasms end up together. This is different experience as I like to believe that Monika is seeking a real physical connection but fails miserably no matter what she does.
Both movies are directed by Jorg Buttgereit and these feel personal. The NEKROMANTIK films can be thrown aside as gory trash for perverts, but Buttgereit adds a guerrilla style filmmaking along with characters that are fascinating to watch. Even as stomach churning and graphic as they may be, the sex scenes add a lot to the character development and show that falling in love isn’t easy for everyone. Cult Epics has released a double feature set with exclusive slipcovers for physical media collectors which can be ordered here. This one makes an interesting addition to horror collections.