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Nekromantik and the Story of European Censorship

Ask any horror movie enthusiast about the best of the best or the worst of the worst, and they’ll happily rattle off a list for you. Should you inquire about the more disturbing films that the genre has to offer, the German splatter exploitation flick Nekromantik would make more than a few of those lists. Controversial after all these years, the film is still banned in numerous European countries for its “graphic necrophilia content.” And it wasn’t even until last year that the British Board of Film Classification passed an uncut version of the film with an 18 rating.

All of this is made even more bizarre by the fact that the writer and director of the film, Jörg Buttgereit, has stated that the film is first and foremost a romance. According to him, any romantic film is the story of the emotional entanglement of three people. It just so happens that one of the three involved in the love triangle that is Nekromantik also happens to be a rotting corpse. The violence and necrophilia that then ensue as a result are just smaller details. And yet as small as these details are, they don’t make the film any easier to watch.

 

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Going back to the beginning, Jörg Buttgereit never really meant to be a filmmaker. Growing up in a still-walled Berlin, the now controversial artist spent his days as a child frequenting the cinema, cultivating an early interest in monsters and b-movies. As he got older, he began to tinker with film, but nothing really substantive came from him at this period of his life. It was mostly just the experimentation of an overly-creative adolescent mind. And though he produced content in the form of shorts and documentaries, it wasn’t until 1987 that Buttgereit really let loose and crafted the controversial film whose reputation far exceeded any and all expectations. It was then that Nekromantik was born.

Frustrated with the climate of state-enforced censorship, Buttgereit set out to craft a feature that, above all else, would push the boundaries of taste and acceptance as far as cinema is concerned. It’s doubtful that he knew that the film that he was making would forever go down in film history as one of the most controversial pictures ever shot. He was just trying to push buttons in the name of artistic freedom. Well, he succeeded, and Nekromantik, complete with its scenes of explicit violence and necrophilia, would take on a life of its own outside of the reach of the ratings boards of European government.

Just last year, Cult Epics, a distribution company specializing in horror and exploitation, acquired the rights to Nekromantik and released the film in high-definition. It almost feels wrong to view a film this visceral, this graphically vile in hi-def. And as gorgeous as the film now looks, it seems as if images these extreme shouldn’t be cleaned and sharpened for home video consumption. They should be left to wallow in the murky grain of VHS and Super 8. If we’re going to be voyeurs peering into the seedy underworld of Nekromantik, we should feel like showering after. You just have to decide if you’re going to take the plunge into that world.

 

 

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66 Comments

66 Comments

  1. projectfreetvonline

    June 3, 2016 at 8:58 pm

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    June 3, 2016 at 4:04 am

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    June 2, 2016 at 4:07 am

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  4. Joseph Curven

    September 13, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Clásico.Realidad pura.

  5. Victoria Kennedy

    September 12, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Sarah Martino

  6. Alejandro Muñoz

    September 12, 2015 at 4:22 am

    Te acuerdas buen Jorge González , vimos esa y los videos de gore y escuchamos algo de judas y deicide, bien merol

    • Jorge González

      September 12, 2015 at 5:15 am

      Si, buena pelicula, ya muchos años que la vimos, todo un clásico

  7. Matthew Duffy

    September 11, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Max Nunney

  8. Todd Anderson

    September 11, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    This movie gives me a major woody everytime I watch it.

  9. Rob Clark

    September 11, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Funny, I just watched both of them again a couple weeks ago.

  10. Humberto E Jaso Villasana

    September 11, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Te acuerdas Sebas?

  11. Robin Goodfellow

    September 11, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    It’s super skeezy to link illegal downloads. You guys wouldn’t do that for underground bands so why do it for film? The Blu Ray is easily purchasable now. Jorg Buttgereit is very against bootlegging and at events even states he won’t sign bootlegs. Support film makers.

  12. Rob Laichalk

    September 11, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Fuck you for posting an illegal link to Nekromantik in this article! What kind of asshole sings the praises of a film maker then takes fcking money out of his pocket like that?!?

    • Robin Goodfellow

      September 11, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      I commented too. Buttgereit even says at events that he is very against bootlegging and will not sign bootlegs.

    • Rob Laichalk

      September 11, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      Right? If the movie was not available I’d could agree with posting a link like that but for fucks sake it was just recently released!

    • Robin Goodfellow

      September 11, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      Yeah it’s on Blu ray and I think it’s like $20? cVlt nation wouldn’t post links to music for torrent. It’s scummy to do it to a film maker

    • Rob Laichalk

      September 11, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      Agreed

  13. Rob Laichalk

    September 11, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    What kind of bullshit is this? You sing the praises of the film maker yet have a link to an illegal stream of his movie?!? Fuck you for that!!!

  14. Jerry Tetpon

    September 11, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    And I own this!

  15. Bane Jovanović

    September 11, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Stefan Maksimovic

  16. Kevin Hites

    September 11, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Chris Moriarity… Read the comments too….

  17. Michael Munyon

    September 11, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Nadia

  18. Michael Ronald

    September 11, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Nice to see men of my age seeing some action.

  19. Rickey Russell

    September 11, 2015 at 8:40 am

    I love the film simply because it does push my limits of what I consider horror, and art. Necrophilia is a concept that makes my skin crawl, more so than any other subject next to beastiality in our society, so part of my twisted pleasure in watching horror is to make myself watch films that address the topic. Of course it is easier when you know that it is shown more as symbolism and such great artistic expression.

  20. Morgan Eaultdaign

    September 11, 2015 at 8:25 am

    When I rented this for the first time from a local video rental store, the clerk said, “Enjoy the ‘victory fountain’!” and I’ve never forgotten. A couple years later, I found it on VHS and bought it. The only thing that bothers me about this movie is the scene with the cat. Everything else is just kinda hilarious and bizarre.

  21. Anna Luiza Dias

    September 11, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Afönso Fernandes

  22. Jean Francois Simard

    September 11, 2015 at 8:01 am

    This is lame watch canibal hollocaust!

  23. Daniel Vasconcelos

    September 11, 2015 at 7:55 am

    O AMOR É LINDO

  24. Amber Shoshana

    September 11, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Olivia Sainsot-Reynolds

  25. Scotty Floronic

    September 11, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Cool feature guys but (and I know this isn’t very punk rock or whatever) but this movie is pretty freely available through legal means, especially with the blu Ray release that just happened. Should you be linking to a non-legal stream of it?

  26. Joshua Schafkind

    September 11, 2015 at 6:45 am

    For all the reasons stated below (criticism and praise) and in the interview, I’m still a fan of this film some decades on. That said, Schramm is my favorite from Jörg’s filmography.

  27. Grant Hunter

    September 11, 2015 at 5:28 am

    And they said love is dead 😈

  28. Claire Superbeasto Love

    September 11, 2015 at 3:48 am

    MJ! Lol

    • Chris M-g

      September 11, 2015 at 3:52 am

      The funny thing about most supposed “Video Nasties” is that they aren’t really that bad compared to what’s come out in the last 10/15 years. The world went crazy in the late 70s and 80s and started banning films like “The Slayer” which is about as offensive as Mary Poppins. Nekromantik really is not that bad, bar the end scene

    • Claire Superbeasto Love

      September 11, 2015 at 3:54 am

      Ok. Lol

    • Chris M-g

      September 11, 2015 at 3:58 am

      People may look at the content of this and be like WTF or whatever but films like Hostel are far worse in comparison. It’s just because they’ve been released to the newer “scream-teen” audience that they don’t get as much schtick

  29. Miguel O Hermético

    September 11, 2015 at 3:18 am

    Torrent it, to the people saying its not worth it… Its always worth to see something and form an opinion on their own.
    Ps: putlocker has the whole movie in stream

  30. Lucy Rose Deighton

    September 11, 2015 at 2:50 am

    Nicholas Andreas Stavri ♡

  31. Patrick Gutpank Ringsborg

    September 11, 2015 at 2:45 am

    Buy the Nekrology LP! Scores from Nekromantik I+II & Der Todesking. Amazing, no less.

    • Enno Evers

      September 11, 2015 at 7:19 am

      I second that. No matter what you think about Buttgereit’s movies, the quality of the soundtracks is not up for discussion.

  32. Sebastian Luthman

    September 11, 2015 at 2:08 am

    Haha

  33. Freud Massicotte

    September 11, 2015 at 1:54 am

    Overreated and fu#@ing boring!!!

  34. Alexandre Paixao

    September 11, 2015 at 1:53 am

    Nek has probably got the sweetest jingles ever

  35. Edward Chester

    September 11, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Nice link to a dodgy as fuck site to watch the whole film…

  36. Victoria Chakal

    September 11, 2015 at 1:37 am

    Hell yeah! Fucking love Buttgereit.

  37. Danny Summers

    September 11, 2015 at 1:26 am

    Read one of Paul Koudounaris’s awesome books recently(Heavenly Bodies?) when he talks to some local South East Asian kids about how they slept in the same bed as their grandfathers corpse as kids ‘because they loved him’.

  38. Joris Polleunis

    September 11, 2015 at 1:17 am

    lol, a classic! saw this one more than 10 years ago, still banned? there are many worse movies than this!

  39. Richard Levy

    September 11, 2015 at 12:53 am

    I have a story about this. My copy of Corpse Fucking Art was impounded by Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise back in the early 2000s. The authorities cited the 1896 Obscenity law and threatened me with five years prison or a 10k pound sterling fine. I eventually received the tape via a friend who labelled it Marriage Through Jesus. I still have it to this day. Fuck you, Queen Elizabeth. I hope God rapes your corpse.

  40. Julian David Guillen

    September 11, 2015 at 12:24 am

    There was a couple of times watching that movie that I just gagged.

  41. Karoline Barreda

    September 11, 2015 at 12:14 am

    hey admin, where can we find the full movie? i tried to find this one and i found some links but with few parts :/

    • Annette Shirley

      September 11, 2015 at 12:40 am

      There is a link to view the full movie at the bottom of the article, just above the trailer video.

    • Jack Moore

      September 11, 2015 at 12:58 am

      Not worth it..

    • Scotty Floronic

      September 11, 2015 at 7:09 am

      Cult Epics just released it on blu ray

    • Karoline Barreda

      September 11, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Thanks Annette, i dont noticed the link x)

    • Rob Laichalk

      September 11, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      You could try buying instead of stealing it like a fucking asshole!?!

    • Karoline Barreda

      September 11, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      thats not ur problem :V

    • Robin Goodfellow

      September 11, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      Actually it is – if you want to see the film, go buy it. Pirating from small time directors is super super skeezy and what CVLT Nation is doing is actually illegal. The director of this film has stated he does not appreciate boot legging.

  42. Matthias Braun

    September 11, 2015 at 12:12 am

    has always been a very boring movie, like all of buttgereit’s stuff. still is, no matter the shock value. this guy can’t make a decent movie. and he may blabber on about art as long as he wants to. bad director. bad movies.

    • Jack Moore

      September 11, 2015 at 12:57 am

      Agreed

    • Robert Kerber

      September 11, 2015 at 2:15 am

      Yes, same with Schlingensief’s movies. But although it was bad, I Ioved it back then (I saw it when it started in the cinemas back in 87). It was the equivalent to a punk rock record. The Sex Pistol’s debut album was and is awful, but I still can’t deny its power. (Though I must admit that “Never mind the Bollocks” did more for music history than “Nekromantik” did for movie history 😀 )

    • Michał Bajer

      September 12, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      These 3 comments are all heavily cringe worthy.

    • Matthias Braun

      September 13, 2015 at 12:34 am

      then go cringe, kiddo.

    • Michał Bajer

      September 13, 2015 at 6:59 am

      I did. Nothing changed. :>

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