Review: Nekromantik (1987) Blu Ray Release from Cult Epics (2015)


Nearly 30 years after its debut, it’s quite the feat to find a film that still has the capacity to shock and awe audiences worldwide (including its banned status in multiple countries in Europe and Asia). Nekromantik, German director Jorg Buttgereit’s legendary ode to loving the dead and all its dark intricacies it remains a potent, powerful albeit tragic love story. While the subject matter and on screen gore and violence might be the initial draw but it’s the overwhelming, foreboding nature of the human condition that has the heartbeat here…besides as the great John Wayne Gacy once said “the dead won’t bother you – it’s the living you have to worry about.”


For those who have yet to be inducted into the world of Nekromantik, it’s a film about what happens when we bother the dead; not in a folkloric, curse centric sense but instead, a very sinister , often sad and sometimes remarkably sweet foray into forbidden realms. Sure it could be easy described as boy meets girl, boys meets corpse, girl falls in love with corpse…but there are so many more layers to explore, such immense subterranean depths that one shouldn’t base their interest on such a pedestrian summation.

If your interest is piqued, not one but two versions are included here; a Director’s Approved HD transfer from the 8mm negative and a theatrical “Grindhouse” cut culled from a fine 35mm print both improving on the earlier and long out of print Barrel Entertainment. I am not A/V expert and this was original shot on Super 8 but everything looks sharp here.

Director Jorg Buttgereit introduces the film and also offers further insights from a 2013 American Cinematheque Q & A and if more information is desired, there are not one but two featurettes as well as a still gallery and other trailers from Herr Buttgereit.

As a brand new bonus, Buttgereit’s Nekromantik’s predecessor Hot Love is included and audio commentary which is accompanied by its own commentary and featurette.  A spree killing of a short film; it’s an interesting early effort from a director who continues to defy convention and worth checking out.

Last but certainly not least is the complete original motion picture soundtrack in Dolby Digital 2.0 as one long track for those who missed out on the incredible vinyl reissues.

While I’ve always found the sequel (also available from Cult Epics in an equally ambitious package) far more disturbing and unnerving that it’s forebear, Nekromantik remains a unqiue and landmark title in the history of horror & exploitation but all cinema willing to tread brave new ground despite the myriad of obstacles and misunderstandings great art always overcomes in its defiance of tradition.

Purchase Links

Nekromantik (Blu-ray) from