Nekromantic (1987)


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Hubrisween is a yearly event, in which several bloggers review horror and monster movies in alphabetical order leading up to Halloween. During this period, the Web of the Big Damn Spider will suspend its usual policy of focusing exclusively on spider-related materials in order to have enough content to participate. Regular eight-legged posting will return in November.
All due props for the nifty font work.

All due props for the nifty font work.

Directed by Jörg Buttgereit
Written by Jörg Buttgereit and Franz Rodenkirchen
Starring Bernd Daktari Lorenz, Beatrice Manowski, and Harald Mundt

I don’t know why I bought Nekromantic. I don’t have any desire to watch simulated necrophilia, and I’d never heard anyway say they enjoyed the film. Actually, all I’d ever heard was rear it was an infamous entry on the British “video nasties” list. There’s a lot of reasons that something would be put in that company, and this was reputed to have essentially used those as a checklist. Maybe it was morbid curiosity then that made me shell out an unreasonable amount for the blu of this.

Since Nekromantic deals with necrophilia, murder, and rape, I’m going to give the weak of stomach an opportunity to bail out now. Also, if a pet kill is an automatic deal-breaker for you, you really don’t need to read any more. Additionally, if seeing a real rabbit killed, bled, and skinned repels you, move on. I think that covers the worst of it. Unless caterpillars freak you out, I guess. Oh, and shots of urination. And ejaculate from a fake penis.

My biggest problem with this movie is that what I listed above is all there is to it. It’s just an exercise in transgression. That’s fine, and if you’re into watching people bathe in corpse drippings then it’ll provide that. But in between shocks, there’s a nothingness that’s occupied by overlong establishing sequences and seemingly endless repetition of the rabbit footage. Anything to stretch the run time to a paltry 75 minutes.

Here’s the story, and I’m telling every important part of it. Rob and Betty love dead things. Rob brings dead bits home from his job at Joe’s Streetcleaners. One day he brings home a decayed body, which becomes Betty’s favorite sex toy. When Rob is fired, Betty leaves with the corpse. Rob can’t get it up with a prostitute until he rage kills her. Rob stabs himself to death in a sexual frenzy. Betty starts to dig up his body.

The wall hanging that doubles as a sex toy.

The wall hanging that doubles as a sex toy.

The dead space is filled with nothing meaningful. There are two tedious scenes about how people became bodies for Rob to clean up. There are numerous scenes of Rob dreaming of cavorting in a field. Rob goes to a horror movie, where he sees people getting aroused by the sexual violence. Some of this film spackle could have been interesting if it had been better written. The audience reactions fit in with a show that Rob had watched about desensitization, but so what? If that had anything to do with Rob’s state, that happened a long time before the start of the movie.

The dullness of these stretches leaves the viewer plenty of time to think about what be better. Like making an actual connection between the rabbit and, well, anything. Showing an actual progression in Rob’s behavior. In extremely quick order he goes from killing one animal to killing a person; but he since he seems capable of all of that from the beginning, where’s the change?

It seems a bit misplaced to expect narrative quality out of a movie that features a love scene of a corpse performing fungilingus on the female lead, but I really don’t ask for Oscar quality work here. Go ahead and nauseate me, push me why the hell out of my comfort zone, but don’t leave me bored while waiting for the next shock.

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4 responses to “Nekromantic (1987)”

  1. KO Rob says :

    It’s so rare that a movie character shares the shortened form of my name, Rob. Of course Nekromantic has to be one of those rare cases. Seeing so many bizarre acts with my name as the perpetrator makes for an odd feeling.

  2. KO Rob says :

    I am. I’m gross. I’m gonna go cavort in a field.

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