Nekromantik 2, 1991.
Directed by Jörg Buttgereit.
Starring Monika M., Mark Reeder, Lena Braun, Beatrice Manowski and Lene Braun.
A young attractive nurse is torn between her love for her new boyfriend and her desire for the remains of the corpse she keeps in her apartment.
In director Jörg Buttgereit’s follow-up to his controversial 1987 film, a nurse named Monika (Monika M.) digs up the decaying corpse of Nekromantik’s Rob and takes the body home to her small apartment where she sets about posing for photos with him, as well as indulging in her taste for full sex with the gloopy remains. However, during a trip to the cinema she meets Mark (Mark Reeder), who has been stood up on a date and gives Monika his spare ticket. The two strike up quite a friendship that leads to a blossoming relationship and Monika decides to cut up Rob’s remains and re-bury them, although she does keep the head and genitals which Mark happens to find in the fridge. Looks like Monika has some explaining to do…
Except she doesn’t, because what happens after that doesn’t really involve many words but you’ll have to watch it to find out what she does. Needless to say, after the grimy goings-on that Nekromantik delighted in showing us then Jörg Buttgereit had to try and top it, and top it he does as he gives us quite possibly the most violent and brutal on-screen death seen outside of a mondo film, and certainly the most intense. But as well as topping the first film in terms of brutality, despite only having one on-screen death, Nekromantik 2 is a step up in quality, both in production and structure.
Coming in at 102 minutes, as compared to the first film’s 71 minutes, you would think that would be overkill for a film with such a grim theme but here the emphasis is on a love story rather than simple pleasures of the flesh. Although we’re not given much when it comes to characterisation there is a definite improvement on depth when it comes to Moniker and Mark over Nekromantik’s Rob and Betty (who makes a small appearance here when she visits Rob’s grave only to discover it has been dug up) and by the end of the film you’re hooked as to what is going to happen to them. Granted, a lot of the scenes here are stretched out and, save for the omnipresent score, almost wordless – it is 20 minutes into the film before anyone utters a word – which does feel unnecessarily forced at times but it does set up an uneasy atmosphere, something that Nekromantik did via its grungy appearance.
The second of two of the most notorious and disgusting cult movies ever made arrived onto UK shelves in an uncut and gloriously nasty special edition from Arrow Video back in 2015. You’ll be delighted at the extra features that Arrow included. There are commentaries by director Jörg Buttgereit, co-writer Franz Rodenkirchen and actors Monika M. and Mark Reeder as well as two ‘making-of’ documentaries, one archive and one brand new. But not only that because, this being Arrow Video, we also get footage from the Nekromantik 2 20th anniversary concert, the full audio recording of said concert, two Jörg Buttgereit-directed short films and music videos from Die Krupps and Stereo Total, outtakes, trailers and a featurette revisiting the locations used in the film. It’s a bumper package that includes a Blu-ray, DVD and also a soundtrack CD and a 100-page book that includes writings on the film as well as detailing the legal troubles it faced when it was originally released, so if you shelled out for the limited edition of the first film then this is essential, if only to look fantastic on your shelf thanks to the gory artwork on the box.
As with Nekromantik it is best to go into this not expecting a non-stop bloodbath because that isn’t what you’re going to get, but unlike that film Nekromantik 2 has a bit more of a story to offer and is a lot more watchable (for the most part anyway, as there is inserted footage of a seal being dissected that is far more upsetting than anything the special effects people can come up with), although when it ramps up the violence it goes for it in a way that is more striking, memorable and truly horrifying. Enjoy!