Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Nekromantic (1987)

Years back, I got a call from one of my oldest buddies who had just been astounded by a horror movie. This wasn't something I took lightly; Anthony (name changed to obscure the guilty) is a long-time creature-feature buff and, having absorbed more than his fair share of gore and weirdness, isn't too easily shocked. So his flabbergasted, Lovecraft-level disturbance at Nekromantik, a German slice of Grand Guignol, was pretty amazing. As he described the vile story to me, I was repulsed, but like all confirmed horror fans (and who knows what makes us sick like this) I was also deeply intrigued. Over time, Nekromantic became a kind of in-joke legend between us, helped by the fact that the "weird little video store" in Boston burned down shortly after Anthony returned the tape -- obviously a sinister curse was at work. Or maybe he just forgot to be kind, rewind? Anyway, I'd bring it up from time to time, and he would say, "Ug. That movie's more unsettling than the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Stay away from there." Pfft, I'd say, nothing is more unsettling than the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

I usually don't mind being proven wrong -- opportunities for learning, all that. But in this case, like a passing motorist rubbernecking at a roadside accident for a glance of something rotten, I got what I deserved. So, the nekromantic in question is a sanitation department worker whose particular dirty job is cleaning up human remains from car wrecks, crime scenes, so forth. A great job to have if you and your girlfriend are curating a collection of body parts back in your dingy apartment. Which, by chance, wouldn't you just know it. Then one happy day, the collection is blessed by an entire rotting corpse, inspiring the fellow and his lady to engage in an unusual threesome. Fairly sure the story continued past that point -- the girlfriend fled, stealing the corpse and complicating everyone's relationship -- but by then I had lost the ability to focus, and shortly thereafter blacked out for an unknown period of time. I regained consciousness just in time to witness the hideous hara-kiri climax.

Okay. My buddy is right: Stay away from there.

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