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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nekromantik 2 (1991) Review

Since my last post (about The Burning Moon) elicited about a total of 5 views, I thought why not delve once again into extreme German cinema of the 1990s? And that brings us to Nekromantik 2. Who knew those docile little Germans had so much anger built up inside? This movie was actually seized by the authorities a week or so after it was released in its homeland. Apparently no movie had been seized like that since the Nazi era. Intrigued? See it for yourself. Warning: *Spoilers*
It begins with a flashback that sums up what you need to know about Nekro 1. A guy commits, erm, a suicide of sorts. Then in the present movie, a woman named Monika digs up his corpse to make some necrophilia memories with him. We are then taken away from Monika to be introduced to the other lead character named Mark. His job is to use his voice in dubbing porno films. Other than that his life is completely ordinary, until he meets Monika. They become romantically involved. She tries to hide her love for the dead, but it peaks through at times. For one thing, she forces herself on top during the act of sex and pins Mark's arms to the floor with her legs.
Later on, Monika cuts up the corpse so she can stash it. The actress, who really went by the name Monika, does a great job here of elevating this scene above my beloved exploitation. She is in pain when she saws through its bones and gives us a sense of some true love.
An oddly fitting musical performance comes in during the middle of the film. Monika sings along to the film's main theme while the music is performed on a piano by a creep guy, who looks like if The Tick mated with Leni Riefenstahl. It fits so wonderfully because it's very ominous and Nekromantik 2 excels at subtly foreshadowing.
Now on to my favorite scene in the film. As the movie begins to wind down, Mark gets drunk alone at a bar because he is a little distraught in beginning to understand Monika. The main theme of the film comes back in this sequence but is played with much less subtle instruments. The tune almost sounds like a blaring "alert!" The music becomes a character all in itself here, telling Mark, "I warned you." But it can't really talk because it's only music so it just adapts. There's no going back for our hero at this point.
And the climax of the movie is what really pushes it over the edge. Worthy of many subsequent viewings. This movie is touching at times, always fascinating and it's refreshing to see such a unique female character that isn't directly the victim.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Burning Moon (1992) DVD

The infamous German gore extravaganza is finally gonna be available everywhere on DVD March 13. I saw it years ago when it was recommended by Tim Wambolt through his depraved website "The Slaughterhouse" which ranked the most violent death scenes of all time. The Burning Moon was always in the top 10 on his increasingly long list.
From the camera it is shot on, to the actors, to the locations, it is instantly apparent that this was true independent filmmaking. And the special effects, at their best are believably astounding. That's what no-respect-for-horror Hollywood will never understand. Intimate practical effects made with the utmost passion will never really age.
When talking about his experience seeing The Burning Moon, Mr. Beaks at Ain't It Cool News said, "When the Germans make a horror movie, they make a fucking horror movie." I respect films that are categorized as real horror because they are the bravest kind of filmmaking. They go for it. The last 15 minutes of the movie are never as enjoyable as the first time you watch, so have fun. They are ballsy enough to spend this time in a unique vision of hell. Angel Heart eat your heart out. Gulp.
Part of me wishes The Burning Moon never saw a proper wide release because it isn't as rare a gem anymore, but another part of me is glad it's finally here like this because the transfer might be better. There is also reportedly a 47-minute behind-the-scenes documentary. Catch this one from Intervision releasing, not Unearthed Films, whom I expected because they usually release this type of movie. Maybe Ittenbach will actually see some profits from this thing now.