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Cult Epics gives cult and extreme horror fans the return of the loving dead, with definitive Blu-ray releases of NEKROMANTIK and NEKROMANTIK 2.

While doing some research before watching NEKROMANTIK, I stumbled upon an article whose author stated that watching NEKROMANTIK was like watching a Throbbing Gristle music video. The author, whose name I can’t recall or I’d link to his article, was on the nose with his assessment. But it’s not just the imagery of Throbbing Gristle’s videos; their music is a perfect soundtrack to the two NEKROMANTIK movies.

As I write up the review of Cult Epics’ bundled Blu-ray release of NEKROMANTIK and NEKROMANTIK 2, Throbbing Gristle’s “The Taste of TG (A Beginner’s Guide To The Music Of Throbbing Gristle)” plays in the background, a perfect music accompaniment to keep me in the right head space to write about these movies.

THE MOVIES (SPOILERS AHEAD)

Watching both movies back-to-back, I realized they are a perfect pairing of storytelling. They tell, essentially, the same story, but from different angles with incredibly different outcomes. Both movies are tales of romance, with a horror element thrown in.

In NEKROMANTIK, a street-cleaner named Rob (Daktari Lorenz) is in a relationship with Betty (Beatrice M.). Rob’s job sends him, at times, to pick up dead bodies from severe auto accidents. This gives Rob the opportunity to sneak a body part, an eye, for example, home with him. Rob and Betty keep their collection of body parts in jars at home and will bathe with the dead’s blood or play with their collection.

Eventually, Rob is able to snare a full corpse that had been taken out of a swamp. Bringing it home, Rob and Betty have a threesome with the newly obtained body. Instead of bringing them together, Betty takes her new lover and leaves Rob. Broken by Betty’s betrayal, Rob takes his morbid love of corpse sex to the next logical conclusion for him, a slow suicide to achieve orgasm.

For Rob, the only possible end for him in his loneliness was to achieve the ultimate sexual satisfaction from the freshest dead body available — himself.

NEKROMANTIK 2 is another tragic romantic tale, but its characters operate in a slightly different setup.

Monika (Monika M.), unlike Rob, is already a necrophiliac when the movie starts. NEKROMANTIK 2 starts where the first ends, with Monika digging up Rob’s body for sexy time at her apartment. But Monika’s idealist life with Rob’s corpse is interrupted by a fateful meeting with a very alive Mark (Mark Reeder).

Unexpectedly for Monika, she falls for Mark, who works in adult films overdubbing dialogue. Monika struggles to find happiness in the mundane world of dating — trips to a zoo, holding hands, preparing dinner for her boyfriend, etc. She is committed to living a “normal” life, going so far as to dismember Rob and rid herself of his corpse; except for his head and penis. Try as she might, Monika is drawn back to her fetish, one she hasn’t shared with Mark.

Monika slowly introduces Mark to her desires, not by revealing anything she had done in the past but by having him pose for pictures for her. Pictures that put Mark in positions where Monika can imagine he’s a corpse. Unlike Rob, who ultimately loved himself, Monika’s return to necrophilia is centered around the man she loves. In what must be her ultimate show of love to Mark, she beheads him during sex and places Rob’s decaying head where Mark’s used to be, coming to an orgasm as Mark’s body spasms under her.

Watched together, the NEKROMANTIK movies explore damaged relationships from different viewpoints.

Rob and Betty are never truly happy together, and Rob doesn’t realize what a damaged relationship he has or what a damaged person he is until Betty leaves with the corpse. Monika is damaged by her attempts to hide the person she is from the person she loves, but her realization brings her to an act that brings her and Mark closer.

Neither movie is great by the traditional sense. The first is too short and has gaps of logic and storytelling; the second is far too long with some of the same issues of storytelling that the first has. The movies didn’t have a traditional script, and admittedly, much of the dialogue is ad-libbed by the actors, which adds to the bizarreness of the tales.

Nekromantik

Obviously the NEKROMANTIK movies are not made with general movie audiences in mind.

For extreme horror and cult movie fans, the NEKROMANTIK movies are as beloved as CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST and FACES OF DEATH.  Judging these movies