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Der Todesking

Der Todesking

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The Making of Der Todesking (15:40, SD) – A rough, homemade, retrospective look at the production. It’s basically silent footage (from behind-the-scenes and the finished film) set to an interview with Buttgereit. On Thursday, the names of several people who committed sucide appear over shots of a bridge where people have jumped to their deaths. Jörg Buttgereit's films are not for everyone, but I have to say he has become my favorite horror director in the period 1985-1995. Buttgeriet has made his own art-house-horror genre and the more I watch, the more I like his style. Two additional short films by Jörg Buttgereit: Hot Love (1985) [29 mins] and J.B.'s Horror Heaven (1984) [23 mins] with optional English subtitles It's also really hard to label this movie. It's not really a movie with a story to it, in a sense of having a beginning, middle and end in it. It also doesn't have a main character but instead focuses on 7 different suicides and killings, on 7 different days.

On Wednesday, a woman pining for her former lover takes a rest on a park bench, where a man divulges his marital problems that ended in his wife’s decipitation. The woman then aims a gun at the man’s head. But before she can shoot, he takes the gun from her and blows his head off. Take My Body: The Journey of a Blow-up Doll – author Kier-La Janisse on the strange and fascinating story behind one of Schramm's most memorable props Nekro Waltz: The Music of Nekromantik 2 – actor and composer Reeder discusses his work on the film's score A long continuous rotating shot of a room with a man doing different things at different times of the day. Lots of rehearsals probably went into this to make sure the actor got his timing right. Nekromantik Premiere – a short featurette comprising footage from the film's premiere in Berlin, January 1988Day one, someone takes some pills in a bath intercut with shots of a goldfish in a bowl and they kill themselves. Day two a guy hires a video tape about Nazis which he takes home and we see someone get their penis cut off with garden shears in it. The guys girlfriend then comes home nagging him about something so he shoots her in the head and puts a picture frame around the blood stain on the wall, he then hangs himself. Day three, a guy sits on a bench in the rain telling a girl about his relationship problems, she gives him a gun, he shoots himself. Then we see a decomposing body (looking like it's made from wax). Yawn. The basic concept of DER TODESKING is that there is an "episode" for each day of the week that revolves around a strange chain letter that apparently causes people to commit suicide, interspersed with scenes of a slowly decomposing corpse... I believe that when Buttgereit shows a body, that are being consumed by maggots, he shows not only decomposition, but GENERATION of new life. Is it not better to die and give life to maggots and then birds and eventually become soil, than to remain the living dead zombie that is one of the the favorite pets of the genre? Most of the film plays almost silently aside from one story. Wednesday finds a heartbroken shattered girl walking in the park. It’s pouring with rain. She sits beside a man who spends long deep minutes telling her his story. It’s an awful one which ends in blood on his hands. A gun she carries for herself, is passed to him. He needs it more.

Thursday’s segment consists of shots of a bridge over which are superimposed a series of names, ages and dates belonging to people who have committed suicide from it. Audio commentary with Buttgereit, co-writer Franz Rodenkirchen and actors Monika M. and Mark Reeder The king of death resides resplendent on his throne, it will not be too long before you sit at his feet, it could happen in an instant, a heartbeat. It could take a long suffocating agony, the release from which you find yourself begging for. What happens after a final breath is taken nobody truly knows; nothingness is most likely. Welcome to Der Todesking (1990) Jorg Buttgereit’s unflinching look at the futility of life and death, this is not a feel good movie, be warned. Following on from his transgressive and seminal feature Nekromantik (1987) Buttgereit delved deeper into taboo subjects with this meditative study of death. It follows in the footsteps of the mondo and documentary styled films that sprang up in the 70’s such as the renowned Faces Of Death series, themselves stemming from the works of Italian filmmakers Jacopetti and Prosperi such as Mondo Cane (1962). After a rapid and underground (i.e. banned in countries like the UK) influx of such films taking things as far as they could go, they pretty much died a natural death themselves. Their audience had been satiated by stark and sobering images that even went as far as depicting the mysteries of what happens when the body is left on the slab for autopsy and embalmment.Morbid Fascination: The Nekromantik Legacy – a documentary looking at the impact of the film on the horror scene both in the UK and abroad, featuring interviews with Buttgereit, genre critic Alan Jones, Buttgereit biographer David Kerekes and others Seven episodes, each taking place on a different day of the week, on the theme of suicide and violent death. A man comes home, phones his boss to resign from his job, writes mysterious letters, cleans his apartment and swallows poison in his bathtub. His death is simultaneous with the death of his fish, the only being that was close to him. This article needs an improved plot summary. Please help improve the plot summary. ( December 2020) ( Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The film opens with a middle aged nude man, laid on his side. He turns and simply dies akin to a foetal position of birth and straight to the end. As the title music plays we hear moans and screams. Meanwhile, a little girl is sat sketching out a skeleton fella on a sheet of paper. Then it’s into the introducing tale. A man (played by composer, Hermann Kopp) sends out poison pen letters after he walks past and savours the grandeur of a cemetery. He rings his work, announcing he will not be returning, as his fish blows a few bubbles. Then the camera pans around his small apartment, round and round forever. Each time, he is in the gestures of doing something else in his daily routine. He eats, cleans up, and shaves, all normal and timed to his perfection. However, this evening ends rather differently for him. On Tuesday, a dude watches a Nazi exploitation video where a guy gets his dong cut off. The viewer’s girlfriend enters and he shoots her in the head…and later puts an empty frame over her brains splattered on the wall. But this entire episode, it turns out, is playing on a TV screen in a room where a nondescript man has hung himself. Die Reise ins Licht: Short film by Manfred O Jelinski (1972, 27mins) – Based on an LSD trip, this is a cardboard and paper 2001: A Space Odyssey-styled sci-fi set in a Blake’s 7 quarry. It’s actually more entertaining than John Carpenter’s student lo-fi Dark Star, and features some evocative bombed out ruins. Jelinski also provides an optional commentary – in broken English, which he apologises for. A man rents a film in a video store, a Nazisploitation movie in which Nazi soldiers are torturing a prisoner in a concentration camp, castrating him and painting a swastika on his chest. When the young man's girlfriend comes home, she yells at him until he shoots her in the head. He then breaks a picture frame which had a picture of his girlfriend in it, takes the picture out and then places the picture frame over the place on the wall where her brain matter was splattered. This whole episode is revealed as being shown on a TV screen in a room where somebody else committed suicide by hanging. Directed by: Jörg Buttgereit | Written by: Jörg Buttgereit, Franz Rodenkirchin | Produced by: Manfred O Jelinski | Cinematography by: Manfred O Jelinski | Editing by: Jörg Buttgereit, Manfred O Jelinski, Franz Rodenkirchin | Special Effects by: Jörg Buttgereit, Sammy Balkas, John Dreyer, Franz Rodenkirchin, stefanie Ollenburg | Music by: Hermann Kopp, Daktari, John Boy Walton | Cast: Hermann Kopp, Heinrich Ebber, Angelika Hoch, Michael Krause, Suzanne Betz, Mark Reeder, Jörg Buttgereit, Simone Sporl | Year: 1990 | Country: Germany | Language: German (English Subtitles) | Color: Color/ B&W | Runtime: 1h 15minArrow’s release features a brand-new director-approved HD transfer from the original 16mm negative in high definition (on Blu-ray and standard definition DVD), with the original stereo audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray), and optional English subtitles.

I'm not sure if I fully understand Buttgereit's "message" or indeed, if there really IS one. But I did get something from watching this movie. It is much more than just a collection of disturbing images. Maybe it is like a painting or a poem, and everybody who experiences comes away with their own ideas or emotions about what it's "about". The first and the best of the episodes is Monday where we watch a man as he methodically cleans his apartment, has a meal, feeds the goldfish and calls to say he is not coming in to work. He then strips and gets into the bath and takes several handfuls of pills and drinks what appears to be some poison before expiring. This documenting of the lead-up to a suicide is undeniably effective in Buttgereit’s calm, matter-of-fact tone where his camera remains merely a passive observer. Michael Krause shoots himself after Susanne Betz gives him a gin in the Wednesday episode A motorway bridge somewhere in Germany, superimposed by the names, ages, and occupations of the people who have jumped from it. Skeleton Beneath the Skin: Graham Rae on the phenomenon of Todesking tattoos (plus, tattoo gallery) Commentary by Buttgereit and co-writer Franz Rodenkirchen – This English language commentary originally appeared on the German special edition DVD. It is quite informative and valuable, considering that almost all of the other supplements here were made almost 30 years ago.A woman, alone in her apartment, observing a young, seemingly happy couple in the neighborhood. She spies on them until they are out of her sight. She then find a chain letter in front of her door, urging her to commit suicide. Obviously everybody in the apartment got a chain letter as well. She ends up ignoring it, by ripping up the chain letter and throwing it away, eats some chocolate and falls asleep on her couch, dreaming of the past when she was a child, walking into her parents' room while they were having sex. The camera then shows the young couple from before, dead on their bed. Two short films by Manfred Jelinski: Orpheus in der Oberwelt (1970, 31 mins) and Ein Ku'ze' Film übe' Hambu'g (1990, 5 mins) A man and a girl meet in a park in the pouring rain. The man tells the girl about his disastrous sex life with his wife which led to him killing her. The girl then pulls out a gun to kill him, but the man takes it from her and shoots himself in the head. Schramm: Redux – option to watch Schramm and its sequel Tomorrow I Will Be Dirt as a single, continuous feature

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