The fine folks at Cult Epics keep hitting home runs with the movies they find to release on Blu-ray. I’m very impressed they’ve chosen several of Jorg Buttgereit’s titles, as most of them are quite controversial in nature. Buttgereit, if you didn’t already know, is the brainchild behind some of the most disturbing films of the 80s and 90s, including NEKROMANTIK and THE DEATH KING (click the titles to read my reviews of each). SCHRAMM is a lesser-known title from the director’s filmography, but it is a strong film that horror fans will definitely want to check out. And while not as shocking as his previous works, the film still packs quite a proverbial punch.
If you are not familiar with SCHRAMM, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Cult Epics
The story of a deranged serial killer from the director of Nekromantik. Lothar Schramm (Florian Koemer von Gustorf) is dying, face down in a pool of his own blood. Behind his closed eyes, fractured memories repeat themselves. He runs by the sea. He lusts after the whore (Nekromantik 2’s Monika M.) across the hall. He staggers through life uncertainly. He kills. Schramm is the story of the notorious Lipstick Killer Lothar Schramm’s last days on earth. Revealed in a series of tightly constructed flashbacks, the film offers an unflinching look into the mind of a serial killer. Uncompromising in its depictions of violence and perversion, Schramm is a poetic masterpiece of horror guaranteed to make you squirm.
Cult Epics presents Jorg Buttgereit s last directed horror feature SCHRAMM. Uncut, Uncensored in new High Definition and with new bonus features, including the early horror short films by Jorg Buttgereit.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with SCHRAMM. I’d heard of it, but the film doesn’t quite have the reputation as some of Buttgereit’s other work. Still, I found SCHRAMM very entertaining and disturbing, a wickedly fun glimpse into the mind of a madman.
SCHRAMM is shot well, in Buttgereit’s signature semi-monochromatic style. The HD transfer looks crisp for the most part; I ran into only a couple of scenes with grainy images. I imagine this stems from a lack of lighting during those scenes and not from shoddy camera equipment.
The acting is good, with Florian Koerner von Gustorf portraying the titular serial killer. Von Gustorf does a stunning job as a chilling loner who randomly kills people. Surprisingly, this is one of only three acting credits he has had in his career. He is joined by the beautiful Monica M., who fans will remember from the NEKROMANTIK series.
The special effects are gruesome and realistic for the most part. The sole exception is when blood is splattering on the wall during one of Schramm’s killings. The blood we see looks like red water; it is not thick at all, and looks more comical than anything. But the rest of the gore we get is good, particularly when Schramm is nailing his penis to the table. THAT is a gut-wrenching sight, and I had to turn away a time or two.
SCHRAMM is darkly fun and entertaining, and fans of surreal horror should enjoy it. I recommend giving it a look, especially on Blu-ray. The BR version includes some nice Special Features, such as:
• New Director’s Approved HD Transfer (taken from the original 16mm negative)
• Exclusive Introduction by Jorg Buttgereit
• Audio Commentary by Jorg Buttgereit and writer Franz Rodenkirchen
• Audio Commentary 2 by Actors Florian Koemer von Gustorf and Monika M.
• The Making of Schramm
• Still Photo Gallery
• JB HD Trailers
• Short film: Horror Heaven HD with optional Audio Commentary by Jorg Buttgereit
• Short film: Blutige Exzesse im Fuhrerbunker (Bloody Excess in the Leaders Bunker) HD
• Short film: Mein Papi (My Father)
• Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
• New DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround
• Collectible new Blu-ray Artwork