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Film / Nekromantik

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"Ground-breakingly gruesome. The first erotic film for necrophiles."

"What lives that does not live from the death of someone else?"
— Opening Quote by V.L. Compton

Nekromantik is a West German horror film released in 1987.

Meet Robert Schmadtke, or just Rob, an outwardly normal (but meek) German man who lives with his girlfriend Betty, and works for Joe's Streetcleaning Agency. What does Joe's Streetcleaning Service specialize in? Body parts. And that's just perfect for Rob, since he and Betty are necrophiliacs. Every once in a while, Rob just pilfers some random pieces of the mangled bodies at his worksites, taking them home and preserving them in jars for him and Betty to play with, his latest score being from a grisly car crash.

One day, Rob hits the mother lode, stealing a rotted, waterlogged corpse he and his co-workers were charged with moving. Taking the corpse home, Rob and Betty waste no time in having a ménage a trois with it. Unfortunately for Rob, his happiness does not last long, as he is fired from his job due frequent tardiness, prompting Betty to verbally emasculate him, and run off with the corpse. Now alone, Rob is left to spiral into a deep and disturbing depression...

A sequel, simply titled Nekromantik 2, was released in 1991.

No relation to Necromantic.

This film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Accidental Murder: A man accidentally shoots his apple-picking neighbor in the neck.
  • Bathtub Scene: Two scenes feature Betty and Rob taking baths. Both times in blood no less.
  • Black Comedy: The film has been viewed as such by some, with emphasis on "black". It would be a typical plot about a dysfunctional couple in which one of the partners leaves for another person... if not for the fact that the other person is a corpse.
  • Blood Bath: Betty's has one in blood from an unidentified source, apparently out of getting aroused by it, while Rob takes his in cat blood and guts, which in his case is more of a Shower of Angst as a result of Betty's departure.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Rob bleeds from the mouth while killing himself.
  • Burial at Sea: After accidentally killing your neighbor, the best thing to do is just stuff the body in a wheelbarrow, and dump it in some water.
  • Burn Baby Burn: Rob burns a picture of Betty very dramatically.
  • Carry a Big Stick: The rabbit that the farmer kills in Rob's daydream first gets smacked in the head with a stick.
  • Chick Lit: Betty reads a book to the corpse, and her description of it fits the stereotypical attempt at targeting an adult female readership.
  • Cleanup Crew: Joe's Streetcleaning Agency where Rob works at. Rob takes advantage of this job to steal human remains but eventually gets fired for always being late.
  • Content Warnings: The very first shot in the film is a content warning.
    "Warning: Some of this film may be seen as grossly offensive and should not be shown to minors!!!"
  • Cool Shades: Betty wears some nice shades during her Blood Bath, for some reason.
  • Country Matters: When the prostitute mocks Rob's apparent erectile dysfunction, he angrily shouts "Don't laugh at me, you cunt!"
  • Creator Cameo: Director and writer Jorg Buttgereit plays one of the Joe's Streetcleaning Agency workers.
  • Creepy Cemetery: Rob kills and rapes a prostitute in it, then murders its groundskeeper.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Rob takes home various human remains that he steals from work. Ranging from human hearts to a fetus.
  • Cute Kitten: After being fired, Rob gets one to try and appease Betty. After realizing she's left, he stuffs it in a bag, and beats it to death.
  • The Dead Have Eyes: The corpse Rob brings home that he and Betty fool around with still has its eyes in tact despite being rotted to the point of being skeletal. Rob had a frequent habit of sucking one of said eyes out of the corpse's socket...
  • Death by Mocking: The prostitute that Rob hires makes fun of his erectile dysfunction, which ends up getting her strangled to death.
  • Decapitation Presentation: The woman that appears in Rob's bizarre dream hands him a box with a rotted, decapitated head inside. It even came gift wrapped.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Rob hires a prostitute to satisfy his libido, but then proceeds to kill and rape her in that order.
  • Dramatic Drop: When the cemetery guard finds Rob and the dead prostitute, he drops the shovel he was olding in shock. Big mistake on his part.
  • Driven to Suicide: Rob's first attempt, with alcohol and pills, is unsuccessful. Later, he just knifes himself.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Rob starts drinking heavily after Betty leaves him. It cumulates in an unsuccessful suicide attempt by mixing pills and alcohol together.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Betty has raven black hair and slightly pale skin.
  • Ethereal White Dress: Rob has an hallucination of a girl wearing an eerie pale dress. Given the theme of the film, it's not exactly out of place.
  • Extreme Doormat: Rob is pit of a pushover, letting himself get berated by his co-workers, Betty, a movie-goer, and a prostitute. Though he finally develops some backbone by the time the prostitute mocks him... albeit with strangulation involved.
  • Eye Scream: The driver losing an eye, the rabbit having both of its gouged out, and Rob sucking the corpse's eye out and spitting it back into the socket.
  • Facial Horror: Rob is missing half of his face during his dream.
  • Gorn: For a film centered on necrophilia, there's surprisingly little of it. However, the partial decapitation and the skinning of the rabbit are definitely quite bloody.
  • Grave Robbing: A variation; Rob steals a corpse that he was supposed to take to the morgue.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Not that a corpse to the naked eye would be exactly appealing already, but no, they have to give the audience some loving close-up shots of it.
  • Gutted Like a Fish: A rabbit and a cat are shown being gutted very bloodily.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: A passenger in a car crash is shown betting bisected.
  • Handbag of Hurt: As Rob is strangling her, the prostitute strikes him with her handbag.
  • Hemo Erotic: Betty gets very aroused by blood.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Let's say that trying to shoot birds while drunk is ill-advised: A man accidentally shoots his apple-picking neighbor in the neck as a result.
  • I Love the Dead:
    • In case the title didn't tip you off, the film revolves around a man, his girlfriend, and their obsession with human remains.
    • Of particular note is how, after his girlfriend Betty leaves him (absconding with a corpse in the process), Rob hires a prostitute to satisfy his libido, but then proceeds to kill and rape her. In that order.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The source of the steak Rob and Betty have for breakfast is never identified, but considering its appearance and their obsession with dead bodies, the implications are... gross.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: The apple-picker getting shot in the neck.
  • Karma Houdini: The man who accidentally shot his neighbor dead (while drunk!) does not appear to face any consequences for it.
  • Kick the Dog: Rob smashing the cat to death, and bathing in its spilled innards. At least his previous sexual proclivities weren't directly hurting anyone.
  • Leave the Camera Running: So many long, long scenes.
  • Le Film Artistique: Of the "True Art is Offensive" kind.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: After hiring a prostitute and taking her to a cemetery, Rob is unable to get it up.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: Most of the music consists of melancholic piano pieces that convey a sense of solitude.
  • A Love to Dismember: Rob and Betty aren't discriminatory when it comes to their fetish; pieces of dead bodies are just as good as a whole dead body.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Rob bares all, primarily in his bathing scene.
  • Meadow Run: Rob dreams about participating in a very odd one involving, among others things, flailing intestines and a head used as a ball.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Granted, a threesome in which one of the participants is a dead corpse isn't exactly "mundane" per se, but the scene is shot like something out of a classy vintage porno, coming complete with beautiful music, slow motion, and artsy angles.
  • Mushroom Samba: The combination of alcohol and pills causes Rob to have a vision where he wakes up in a bodybag with half his face gone. A girl in white approaches him with a severed head in a box, which they play catch with before it transforms into entrails, which Rob dances through the meadow with.
  • Nameless Narrative: You can count the number of named characters on one hand.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Betty and Rob are necrophiliacs, who have quite the grisly collection.
  • Nipple and Dimed: An odd case of this happening on a cover that's otherwise very much NSFW. While the cover shows a rotten, semi-skeletal corpse fondling a nude woman, the corpse conveniently covers one of the woman's breasts with one hand, while the other breast appears to ambiguously either be covered by the corpse's torso or not have a nipple at all.
  • Numbered Sequels: Yep, there's a Nekromantik 2!
  • Off with His Head!: The cemetery guard gets killed after Rob beheads him with his own shovel.
  • Ominous Fog: The night scenes in the film are full of ominous fog.
  • One-Word Title: "Nekromantik", but it consists of two words crammed together.
  • Out with a Bang: While stabbing himself, Rob starts ejaculating all over the place.
  • Overcrank: The scenes of the threesome and when Betty is playing with the corpse alone are played in slow motion.
  • Portmantitle: Try and guess what two words make it up.
  • Punk in the Trunk: Rob steals the corpse that he brings to his and Betty's home by putting it in the trunk of his car.
  • Raging Stiffie: Rob has an erection while killing himself.
  • Re-Cut: As to be expected with this type of film.
  • Red Shirt: The death of the cemetery guard was rather superfluous, making it look like he was just there to be killed. It's especially egregious in that neither of the corpse-fetishistic main characters appear to think to do anything with his remains.
  • Scenery Gorn: While the audience isn't shown the moment it happens, the movie later gives a horrific, lovingly-detailed look at the aftermath of a car crash.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: The audience can only hear a scream when the car crash happens off-screen.
  • Sequel Hook: The film ends with a woman digging up Rob's body, with the implication that she plans to subject his remains to the same "games" he liked to do to other corpses while alive.
  • Severed Head Sports: Rob and his dream girl play catch with a decapitated head.
  • Shirtless Scene: Rob gets a shhirtless scene at one point.
  • Shovel Strike: Rob beheads the cemetery guard with his own shovel.
  • Shower of Angst: Rob bathes (in blood, admittedly) after Betty's departure.
  • Silence Is Golden: There are long stretches with no dialogue.
  • Slashed Throat: The poor rabbit that get its throat cut by Rob.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Such a beautiful soundtrack for such an ugly little film.
  • Take That!: Word of God says that both Nekromantik films (and their infamous content) were mainly made to piss off the notoriously strict German censors and Moral Guardians.
  • Taking the Kids: A variation; Rob and Betty live together with a corpse as a third wheel, and when Betty leaves, she absconds with the corpse.
  • Threeway Sex: Rob and Betty have a threesome with a corpse.
  • Two-Faced: Rob, in his hallucination, has half his face gone.
  • Unabashed B-Movie Fan: Rob goes to a skid row theatre to watch a Slasher Movie.
  • Urine Trouble: The film begins with a woman peeing on a dead bird.
  • Villain Protagonist: Rob is already at the start of the film a necrophiliac, but eventually crosses into full villainy when starts killing people (and a cat) to fill his urges.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Rob tries to kill himself, fails, murders two people, then successfully kills himself.

Alternative Title(s): Nekromantik 2