Monday, January 31, 2011

Nekromantik: Oooh Yeah Suck On That Eyeball!

In high school, our Varsity basketball team used to get pumped up before a big game by blasting some hot rap beats. Eminem's 'Til I Collapse' would play over the sound system much to the chagrin of people's grandparents, while the rest of us thought it was obviously the coolest thing in the world. So as I sat there about to put Nekromantik into my computer to watch, I couldn't help but feel like I needed some pumping up too. I wondered if Eminem still had the power to make me feel FEARLESS....

Hmmmmmmmmm I guess not. Yes, I think I needed something a little more.... me.

There we go, Jock Jams.

It's true, I rarely feel the need to do some mental preparations before watching a film. Nekromantik however had been waving its seedy little gross dead body sex hands at me for quite some time now. I wouldn't say my displeasure of finally watching it reached "Saving the snakes" caliber (That would be AU's Mordum)

But I did find my stomach turning a bit at the realization that my viewing would finally happen. Now that all is said and done, I think what I feel most is surprise.

Nekromatik is a very German film that follows a brief glimpse into the life of Rob. A wimpy looking guy who works for a street cleanup company, disposing dead bodies--Rob typically likes to come home and put dead organs into jars. After bringing home the mother-load one day, Rob proudly shows his girlfriend an entire corpse for them to play with. The two then engage in the creepiest threesome you will ever see. The next day, Rob gets fired from his job, causing his girlfriend to be insanely annoyed. She leaves him the next day, sending Rob on a strange descent into loneliness. Now being, Corpseless, girlfriendless and jobless, how will Rob survive?

I expected to be grossed out by the dead body sex in Nekromantik but I did not expect to actually throw up a little in my mouth when I saw Rob take the dead body's eyeball into his mouth.

Most gross things I can handle--as long as they don't involve fingernail trauma or vomit---but seeing someone making out with a dead body is kind of a different ball game altogether. I will say however, that it somehow wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I've done some thinking and I'm pretty sure this is because the sex is so romanticized. It is this fact that keeps me from completely forgetting that I ever saw Nekromantik. It's disturbing sure, and extremely disgusting but still---there's something about it that screams it has a purpose, so I'm not entirely willing to write it off just yet.

The music has this curious ability to completely remove us from the fact that there is a dead body on that bed. Of course, we are still aware of its presence but if you go back and pretend like that's a real body on the bed---the sex and threesome is actually pretty gentle. It's handled with this odd sense of carefulness---Rob and his girlfriend seem to respect the corpse which was something I was not entirely prepared for.

I expected some revolting depiction of a gross guy doing dead girls in the butt and doing....other gross things I don't have the heart to describe--but I was wrong. The scene of the girlfriend in bed with the body reading it a story also proves this point. And the fact that she takes the corpse with her when she leaves is extremely telling.

It almost made me think....just because I don't like having sex with dead bodies doesn't mean people that do are evil, disgusting, psychos. I mean, do I hate people because they like Lucio Fulci? No. But then I remember, no..... necrophilia, is actually pretty fucked up--and then I sit down.

Though the film deals very closely with the idea of necrophilia, it also handles another giant taboo that I was also not prepared for--animal death. One very real slaughtering of a rabbit, and a not as real, yet extremely disturbing murdering of a cat. The rabbit death is hard to withstand because it is both real and gross. Skinning is not my strong suit--but what makes this worse is that, that bunny was fucking cute! I did sort of appreciate how the bunny was tied to something that Rob had seen when he was younger and how it probably harvested all these curious ideas and rationales about death into his head. I just didn't go that far for the bunny I guess.

The cat felt less appreciated by me because as you know cats are my life. I do understand how that change in his psyche made a switch in how far he was willing to go to gain access to dead bodies though. It kind of reminded me of the switch in Jennifer Connelly's character in Requiem for a Dream. One minute you're a person with an unfortunate addiction who is still nice and the next your ass to ass at Keith David's house. It's horribly sad but still---you keep your distance. And actually, viewing Rob and his girlfriend's fetish as more of an addiction than a fetish is a very interesting thing to think about.

So here's the thing about Nekromantik. I did not find it that disturbing. It WAS disturbing but for some reason, I just expected a lot more. I expected more of that needing to take a shower feeling and I didn't get that. I was disgusted, unable to eat during it--but I'm still alive. Perhaps I'll think differently tomorrow if I find that the film continues to invade my regular thoughts throughout the day.

I will say that what makes the movie probably most disturbing in most people's eyes is the ending. I can agree with this sentiment as it definitely hit home that "what the fuck" feeling. But then still I can't help but think about that ending and what it means and doing that somehow takes away the ultimate moment of disturbia that I think I'm supposed to feel. Hmmmm I don't know you guys, I just don't know. What was I expecting--- real penetration? More smelliness?Maybe something more along the lines of Aftermath? Nekromantik is an enigma to me right now. I may even have to come back and watch it again before completing my final disturbing film list.

It's gross---but I think somehow, I appreciate it. Is that weird? Am I weird for saying that? Oh god , oh god I think I am.

Until next time Nekromantik......


the jaded viewer said...

I'm going to call myself a old time fuddy duddy. The thing about Nekromantik is at the time it was made and in the early 90s its an arsty avante garde fucked up film about necrophilia.

Now...well not so much.

I saw this circa early 90s (I think it came out in 87) and it was truly disturbing as all hell.

I think the thing about supposedly disturbing movies is the timing. Once upon a time, certain movies scared you at a certain age.

With everything you see these days, it's probably PG-13.

Thats my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

I just watched that movie last night and I have the EXACT SAME OPINION. It reminded me most of Buio Omega, but a little more...rotten.

Anonymous said...

I love this bunches.
I've read so much about this movie, seen so many stills, and I really want to watch it! I think I'll like it. Your review has pretty much sealed the deal! But, alas, the animal stuff. It's my one and only deal breaker.
So for now, I'll pretend I watched it and felt the EXACT same way as you.

Pearce said...

I still haven't seen this. It's still banned in the country where I live - not that I ever let that stop me, but it makes seeing it less convenient. I just haven't felt the need to go out of my way to see it yet.

But fingernail trauma... have you seen Black Swan yet?

Andre Dumas said...

YES It was definitely cringe inducing......

B.STANK said...

This movie has eluded my grasp since it came out and I finally got to see it. To prove JADED's point, I know I would've liked it more if I saw it when it first came out.

I expected a much darker tone.

The climax is glorious.