Nekromantik 2 (1991)The return of the loving dead!
The film follows on from the first with the same main character, Robert Schmadtke, although this time he is a corpse (and I suspect a different actor... or definitely not an actor at all maybe). The director, Jörg Buttgereit, maintains much of the ethos as the previous incarnation, with the same music, the same irrelevant meanderings from the storyline, more cock action than Berkowitz's revolver and scenes that shock and disgust for the sake of shock and disgustment. The dialog is sparse and you wouldn't have realised you didn't have the subtitles on for the first 20 minutes. Towards the middle we are treated to a taste of German cinema involving naked people eating eggs and talking about birds for what seems an eternity. This irrelevance is starkly contrasted by the irrelevance of a bizarre party scene where the guests watch footage of a seal evisceration with the decapitated head of Mr Schmadtke as guest of honour.
Monika (Monika M) robs the grave of Rob (without being noticed, which points towards incompetence of the caretaker of the graveyard). She exhumes his bloodied and slime covered corpse and, rather than questioning the professionalism of the undertaker for allowing someone to be buried in this state, she takes him home to satisfy her lusts for something to put the “rot” in her eroticism.
She soon meets a live guy, Mark (Mark Reeder), who she likes but he starts to get suspicious when she likes him to be perfectly still during sex. She battles her vices and tries to be normal but things eventually come to a head quite literally.
The story is simple. It is once again an isosceles of love with Mark at the furthest point while Monika maintains congruence with the corpse. The theme is that her secret will remain safe as long as her addiction doesn't become more important than her normal life.
NEKRomantik 2 is a very surreal journey but people familiar with the work of Buttgereit will be expecting this. The various interludes do seem to drag on for much longer than necessary to get the nuances of the characters across and the necrophilia aspect is quite subdued. The focus is more on Monika coming to terms with her fetish than outrageous cadaver molestation. Monika soon retires the majority of the corpse, keeping just the genitals and the head. Whether this is a purposeful attempt to objectify men is something left up to the imagination of feminists or possibly it is an indicator of Monika's lack of education with regards to the location of a man's brain.
The film is almost a re-imagining of the first, many similar concepts but approached from a slightly different angle. Whereas NEKRomantik focussed on loss and rejection, NEKRomantik 2 is more about female empowerment and acceptance of strangeness. In both films the man in the relationship loses the game but the focal point of the second is the triumphant female whereas the first was of the breakdown of the male.
The effects are pretty special with a beautiful decapitation at the end. Despite the gore being infrequent, the overall weirdness of the whole scenario tugs at the neurons throughout. The directorial strayings from the path add to the unease by throwing frustration into the mix which may have been an intentional ploy to give the viewer a confounding mix of negative emotions. Either way NEKRomantik 2 should not be watched by vegans, people considering serial killing, corpses or children under four years old.