Review by Michael Jacobson
Monika M., Mark Reeder
Director: Jorg Buttgereit
Audio: Stereo, Mono (German)
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio: Barrel Entertainment
Features: See Review
Length: 103 Minutes
Release Date: June 17, 2003
met a girl a short time ago. She’s
a beautiful girl like Monika M. doing in an ugly film like Nekromantik 2?
movies are meant to open your mind. Others
are meant to blow it. Jorg
Buttgereit has spent a couple of decades going for the gag reflex, and mostly
finding it. His films have been
celebrated in cult circles and condemned by just about everybody else.
Some of his works have even suffered being banned in his native Germany
and other countries…in fact, he even had to go to court to plead on behalf of Nekromantik
2 by arguing that it was, in fact, art.
Wouldn’t you love to get a gander at those court transcripts?
since reviewing the original Nekromantik on this site, the question most
often asked by readers who saw the title for the first time was, “Does that
mean what I think it means?” (For
the record: yes, it DOES mean what
you think it means.) The second
most asked question was “When is Nekromantik 2 coming to DVD?”
For the record again, it’s here.
Entertainment has been cultivating a reputation for preserving the best (or the
worst) of the cult horror pictures. The
more average people recoil from a movie, the better a choice it seems for this
company to bring it to DVD with red carpet treatment. Nekromantik 2 is a double disc set featuring the
uncut, uncensored version of the film and plenty of extras to go along with
it…more on that further down.
enough, at the heart of the picture is an almost-sweet love story between a
lovely young nurse named Monika (Monika M.) and a naïve porn-film dubber Mark
(Reeder). They meet when Mark’s
old girlfriend shows up too late (as usual) for a movie he has tickets to.
He offers one to Monika. They
enjoy the film. Later, they have a
wonderful day at the fair, even sharing a few tender, innocent kisses on a
Ferris wheel. Aww.
there is something strange about the lovely Monika. Mark can’t quite identify it.
Fortunately, we can, because we saw the beginning of the picture and he
didn’t. Monika likes to play with
dead things. As the film opens,
she’s retrieving the corpse of Rob (Daktari Lorenz), the necrophile who had
one of cinema’s most horrifically memorable exists in the first movie.
What does she do with the rotting body?
Go back and read the title of the film again.
presence complicates issues for Monika. He’s
a sweet guy, but with a body temperature a little too warm for her taste.
Meanwhile, Rob seems to be the perfect partner.
He’s docile and submissive, and damn sure never leaves the toilet seat
up. When forced to choose between
life and death, what will she do?
a Jorg Buttgereit film, the answer is: the
unexpected. If you thought the
first movie had a rather shocking ending, you’re in for a bigger treat with
part 2. But the gruesome, grisly,
and strangely funny climax gets an even more surprising exclamation point by the
addition of three simple words.
are my impressions of the movie? Well,
as with the first one, I kind of wished I hadn’t had dinner before settling in
to watch it. Nobody else makes
movies quite like Buttgereit, and that may be a blessing. He has a healthy imagination that may be somewhat less than
healthy for the rest of us. If
you’re going to view his movies, you probably ought to be sure that you’re
one of a very select audience he’s aiming for.
Otherwise, you’re going to be in over your head.
I’m a confessed horror movie junkie myself, and I sometimes found it
hard to stay in my seat. In some ways, I appreciated this sequel a little more than
the original Nekromantik for having a bit of a twisted sense of humor in
the margins and a story that might have been buoyant in a different film minus
the loving dead.
for all the fans who have been clamoring for this title, this Barrel release is
definitely the way to go. If
you’re going to see it, you should see it mercilessly uncut and in full gory
digitally remastered transfer is a bit inconsistent. Some parts are outstanding.
Some are a bit shoddy. Stretches
of film go from being clean, well-colored and nicely detailed to dirty, grainy,
and soft. All in all, fans will
probably be pleased enough with the efforts here. Since I seriously doubt anybody is going to sink the money
required for a full-scale restoration into it, they’ll have to be.
a choice of remixed stereo or original mono German tracks, this DVD works well
enough, but showcases some of the limitations of a low-budget shoot.
Some open air background noise is unavoidable in quieter scenes.
It’s not distracting, but noticeable, and again, the kind of problem
only a complete reworking would correct. The
music for this film isn’t quite as memorable as it was for the first one.
Still, the overall soundtrack is serviceable enough.
coolest extra included in this package, in my opinion, is the second disc which
is a CD featuring the soundtrack music to both Nekromantik and Nekromantik
2. The main theme from the
first movie is actually a surprisingly pleasant and lovely tune that might just
stay in your head for a while.
video features are on the first disc, which start with a commentary track by
director Jorg Buttgereit, co-author Franz Rodenkirchen, and stars Monika M. and
Mark Reeder, the lone Brit. It
sounds like kind of a fun reunion for the troupe…not overly informative, but
friendly and humorous. Buttgereit
mourns not speaking better English (he’s quite understandable, but has a voice
akin to Dr. Strangelove), mentions his legal troubles with the distribution, and
discusses shooting and locations and such with his comrades pitching in with
their thoughts and memories.
25 minute making-of documentary is mostly a collection of behind the scenes
footage, which you can view either with Buttgereit and crew’s original
commentary, or with some of his rare German radio interviews with English
subtitles. There are trailers for
this film and other Buttgereit offerings, a bizarre early short 8 mm film from
him, the music video he directed for The Krupps’ “Rise Up” (featuring
Monika M.), an 11 minute outtakes reel, and over 100 behind the scenes photos.
A terrific banquet of features!