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Review by
Mike Bracken

Nekromantik 2
Film Threat Video
Rating: Australia: R / Finland, Norway, Singapore: Banned / USA: Unrated

Coming four years after director Jorg Buttgereit's necrophilia flick NEKROMANTIK (see my review for all the gory details), NEKROMANTIK 2 attempts to move beyond the low budget origins of the first film . . . with disastrous results. I didn't think it was possible, but this film is even more boring and more pretentious than NEKROMANTIK.

Opening with a rehashing of the first film's final sequence, we learn that NEKROMANTIK 2 will begin shortly after the first film has ended. Early on, we see Monika M. (SCHRAMM) digging up the grave of Rob (Daktari Lorenz: NEKROMANTIK). Once she hits paydirt, she drags the oozing black corpse back to her apartment, where she can spend some quality time with it. Unfortunately, her new lover's advanced state of decay makes any kind of physical intimacy impossible, so she opts for a more platonic relationship - cuddling on the couch, taking Polaroids of the two of them, etc.

In the meantime, Monika has met Mark (Mark Reeder: DER TODESKING), a guy who earns a living as a voice actor in porn films. The two go through an extensive (and extremely uninteresting) courtship, but Monika can never get her corpse lover out of her mind - despite the fact that she's dismembered the body and returned it to the cemetery (save for the head and genitals, which she's storing in the freezer). A major existential crises ensues as Monika pines for the perfect corpse who can fulfill all her desires and Mark worries that perhaps his new girlfriend is a bit more out there than normal. This continues until the film's climax, which boasts the only shot worth seeing in the entire movie (and not one worth sitting through an hour and twenty minutes of this other stuff to get to).

Buttgereit seems to have reached the conclusion that after the first film, there's nothing left to shock an audience with in regards to necrophilia. He makes a more artistic film here, losing almost all of the gruesomeness that made the first film somewhat watchable. NEKROMANTIK 2 is, at its core, a feminist film about the plight of promiscuous women - which is all well and good - except that it's supposed to be a disturbing gore film as well. Buttgereit's lost sight of that, and has made what has to be the most boring necrophilia film ever lensed (and that's saying something, because NEKROMANTIK is extremely boring as well).

The film's direction is perhaps its greatest flaw. Buttgereit opens the film with a twenty-minute sequence with no dialogue. He spends minutes panning aimlessly around Monika's apartment when a simple establishing shot would convey the same information. Worst of all, we're treated to numerous scenes where his characters do nothing - they sit on screen and ponder thoughts that the audience has no access to. There's no voiceover here, nothing except a character staring off into space. It's mind-numbingly dull to watch. Essentially, it takes what should be a fifty-minute movie and doubles the running time - all without adding anything to the story.

The film has little in the way of FX. Aside from the corpse itself and the climax sequence, there's not much here to comment on, which is a shame, because the FX work in the first film was its one strong point.

The performances are bland and uninspired, particularly that of Monika M. and Mark Reeder. Of course, it's hard to gauge whether they were just poor actors, or their performances were what Buttgereit was looking for. Either way, neither of these two is likely to blow you away or inspire you to seek out their other work.

Animal rights folks and animal lovers in general can skip this one. Like the first film, which featured the onscreen slaughter of a live rabbit, NEKROMANTIK 2 features a gruesome sea lion autopsy . . . filmed in loving detail.

NEKROMANTIK 2 is an insipid film that commits what is perhaps the gravest story-telling sin of all - it takes something that's taboo and intriguing and makes it tedious and dull. It's little more than a poor attempt at making a serious art film . . . one that few art film fans would be interested in seeing to begin with. Of course, there's nothing here for the gorehounds, horror enthusiasts, or trash/exploitation lovers either. It's a film without a fan base, save for the small band of Buttgereit followers - of which I am not a member. This one gets one shriek girl from me - view it at your own risk.

Shriek Girls
This review copyright 2000 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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