Digital Dismemberment: Jorg Buttgereit’s SEX MURDER ART 4-Disc Blu-Ray Collector’s Edition Box Set: Der Todesking Special Edition Blu-Ray Review

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This is part 3 of a 4 part review of the Jorg Buttgereit’s SEX MURDER ART 4-Disc Blu-Ray Collector’s Edition Box Set. Enjoy!

Director- Jorg Buttgereit

Producer- Manfred O. Jelinski

Special FX- Sammy Balkas, Jorg Buttergeit, John Dreyer, Stefanie Ollenburg, Franz Rodenkirchen, Robert Vakily and Alois Vollert

Cast- Hermann Kopp, Heinrich Ebber, Michael Krause, Eva-Marie Kurz, Angelika Hoch, Nicholas Petche, Susanne Betz, Mark Reeder, Hille Saul, Ades Zabel, Jorg Buttgereit, Bela B., Andreas Doehler, Bettina Buchholz, Eddi Zacharias, Harald Lundt, Ingo Busing, Gerd Breitung, Franz Rodenkirchen, Simone Sporl, Manfred O. Jelinski, Gudrun Kromrey, Daniela Geburtig and Barbel Jutte

Released By- Cult Epics

Release Date- April 12th, 2016

The Premise: Cult Epics presents the third release in the series Corpse Fucking Art; Jorg Buttgereit’s powerful masterpiece Der Todesking (aka The Death King), made in between Nekromantik (1987) and Nekromantik 2 (1991). Seven stories on Death and Suicide, each taking place on a different day of the week, enframed by the decomposition of a human body.

Der Todesking, available for the first time on DVD and Blu-Ray, is persented Uncut and Uncensored in a new High Definition transfer,including the bonus Shockumentary Corpse Fucking Art: an in-depth look behind the scenes of Nekromantik, Nekromantik 2 and Der Todesking.

The second film in Jorg Buttgereit’s filmography is certainly different in thematic elements from Nekromantik while still being an homage to death. While thoughts and feeling about suicide are often very taboo, especially in today’s social climate, the film possesses a certain poetic and romantic quality that few arthouse films could ever come close to touching. It was certainly brave to take a viewpoint of seven different individuals on seven different days and to show the circumstances and decisions that led to them deciding to commit suicide in different ways. Some of the stories make you feel sad and empathetic for the individuals while others will horrify you as you watch them spiral into unending depression and madness. Still others will leave you breathless and asking questions that will have no answers that will make any sense. To me, the most powerful of the stories is one of the shortest ones with absolutely no dialogue and no grotesque scenes of violence (the Thursday tale of The Bridge). It is a very powerful segment that will certainly haunt you simply because of the absolute tranquility of the location and the lack of sheer violence. In terms of the most shocking segments, the Saturday segment may be the most shocking as it hits upon the trend of public shootings but with the twist of it being a woman and her filming the whole thing as it goes it. It is certainly a chilling segment and one that will make you step back and take pause as you think about today’s society. The rest are equally well told and while the film will certainly be triggering for some, I think it is an important piece of film making and will make you look at suicide very differently…

SPOILERS: As the film starts, we see a man’s dead body laying still and slowly starting to decay. We then cut to a little girl on a playground drawing in a notebook. The top of the page simply says Der Todesking and she is drawing a skull and a skeletal body…

Monday: As the story opens, we see a man walking down the street looking at various locations. The next time we see him, he is in his apartment writing a series of letters. He calls into his work and lets them know that he will be quitting before we see him cleaning up around his rather austere apartment. It would appear that the only thing he cares about are his goldfish and his various fish themed knick-knacks. The last time we see him, he is finely groomed and sits in his bathtub taking multiple pills before laying back in the water as he fades away into death…

Tuesday: We see a young man enter a video store and look at the horror films until he comes across a naziploitation film titles Vera, Todesengel Der Gestapo. He opens a letter he received to find out that a friend of his committed suicide. When he gets home, he pops the film in and starts watching it with great joy while drinking beer. The film shows a female S.S. officer torturing a man and cutting his penis off with a pair of garden shears. He cheers the film on until his girlfriend comes home and berates him for not going to a birthday party. He pulls out a gun and shoots her in the head, later framing the splattered brain on the wall with a picture frame before hanging himself…

Wednesday: A young lady is walking down the road in the rain reading a letter (we are left wondering if it is one of the letters from the beginning of the film). We then see a man sitting in the rain at the park and she sits down next to him. He begins to tell her the story of his wife and her troubles with mental health issues and how they are beginning to affect him. He goes on to tell her about how they spent their anniversary together until he killed her later that evening. The woman pulls a gun out of her purse and points it at him but he takes it from her and sticks the gun in his mouth, pulling the trigger as the camera pans away…

Thursday: The camera pans in on a large bridge in a rather serene location. As the camera pans up and around the bridge, all we see is a continuous list of names and ages scrolling throughout. As we continue to see more of the bridge and the breathtaking location we realize that the list of names are those that have committed suicide at the loaction…

Friday: We see a woman observing her younger neighbors having a make-out session. She leaves the apartment for a quick moment and peeps into what we can only assume is the young couples apartment but she quickly goes back to her place. She picks up an envelope that is outside and makes a phone call that no one answers. She opens the letter to see it is a chain letter telling her to kill herself but she simply tears it up and throws it away. She eats some chocolate some wine before falling asleep, dreaming of walking in on her parents having sex while she was a child. After she awakens, we flash back over to the young neighbors to see that they have committed suicide together in bed…

Saturday: A man is watching a reel of film with another man. It starts off showing someone in a POV style with a gun walking around. It then cuts to a woman reading to a young girl about the act of killing and suicide. We then see her again preparing to go out, setting up a camera rig and then loading a gun. She heads out and we see her shoot a man in a ticket booth at a concert venue before walking inside and shooting the lead singer and then turning the gun on members of the audience. She turns to another man that has a gun and he shoots her. The last bit of footage we see is from a camera at the back of the venue turning to shoot members of the crowd…

Sunday: A man wakes up in his bed and you can see he is in obvious mental anguish. He continuously beats his head against the wall for a while and lays groaning on the floor. He eventually gets up and continues to beat his head against the wall until he starts to convulse and then dies…

As the film ends, we see the same little girl from the beginning of the film finishing her drawing of Der Todesking…

Bonus Features
Jorg Buttgereit’s SEX MURDER ART Booklet: New for this Box Set, this 40 page booklet is one of the true treasures of this release! Complete with an introduction from Nico B. of Cult Epics, this includes excerpts of David Kereke’s early interviews with Jorg and other crew members from his book Sex Murder Art as well as art created exclusively for this release by Ferox. The interviews certainly give more subtext to the cannon of Buttgereit’s films and with the inclusion of the photographs and an in-depth breakdown of Buttgereit’s filmography, this may just be THE definitive say on his work!

Film Introduction By Jorg Buttgereit: (Run time of 1 minute 14 seconds) This optional intro is a brief introduction of the film from the director. He makes it a point to tell us that the film is not like Nekromantik in that the film is not about necrophilia, but instead about suicide and violence towards others…

The Making Of Der Todesking: (Run time of 15 minutes 43 seconds) A nice and compact look at the making of the film with plenty of behind the scenes footage and exposition by the director. It was interesting to note how he felt that they might have a hard time selling the film because it did not have the same bloody and gross out atmosphere of Nekromantik. The approach taken was and still is very controversial, especially considering how suicide is viewed by todays social standards. The behind the scenes footage is particularly interesting, especially when they get to the segment about the bridge and how they managed to shoot the footage for it. I was also very fond of the description of how the rotting corpse footage was shot and shown. Very nice addition for this release…

Corpse Fucking Art HD: (Run time of 58 minutes 11 seconds) This is a combination of the making of Nekromantik, Nekromantik 2 and Der Todesking combined into one feature. While this is all footage than we have seen on the other discs in this box set release (including this one), it is blended together nicely and flows into one coherent story. All of the gory details are kept intact and is indeed meant for those with a strong stomach. Excellent addition to this release and a must watch for die hard fans and collectors!

Still Photo Gallery: 128 different photos and still in color and black and white from the film.

JB Trailers: Trailers from Jorg Buttgereit’s films, including Nekromantik HD (2 Minutes), Nekromantik 2 (1 Minute 5 Seconds), Der Todesking (2 Minutes 20 Seconds), Schramm (1 Minute 30 Seconds), Hot Love (1 Minute 12 seconds) and Angst (3 Minutes 2 seconds).

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: This is included on the Blu-Ray AS WELL AS on a separate disc (new for this release as it was including only on disc on the standalone Der Todesking Special Edition Blu-Ray Release) along with the soundtrack to Jorg Bettgereit’s NEKROMANTIK. Track Listing: 1. Die Fahri Ins Reich Der Menschentrummer I (String 3:05), 2. Die Fahri Ins Reich Der Menschentrummer II (Organ 3:07), 3. Petrified (1:25), 4. Poison (3:59), 5. Fish (2:59), 6. Die Fahri Ins Reich Der Menschentrummer III (3:27), 7. Ich Liebe Meine Frau (:13), 8. Freund Hein (3:38), 9. Sie Fangt An Zu Weinen (:48), 10. Die Fahri Ins Reich Der Menschentrummer IV/Endtitel (2:47), 11. Der Todesking (:37)

Discs: 4
Format: NTSC
Color: Color
Rating: NR
Aspect Ratio: 1080p High Definition Widescreen (1.33:1)
Language: German with Subtitles

Cult Epics has once again given us a piece of gore cinema that does not quite get the reception that it deserves. The HD transfer is quite good while still leaving the film with the gritty grindhouse look and feel that adds to the atmosphere. The Making Of Der Todesking featurette is quite good and on par with the other “Making Of” featurettes included in this box set and the Still Photo gallery once again gives us a wealth of behind the scenes that most films don’t. I think the one of the crown jewels of this release is the Corpse Fucking Art documentary. It takes the “Making Of” from Nekromantik and Nekromantik 2 and combines them into one soid piece with the “Making Of” from this film to tell the ultimate story of death in cinema. When all three are viewed together, you really do see the more poetic aspects of Buttgereit’s films and how they all tie in together. The other crowning piece of this release is once again the standalone disc of the soundtrack. Having the capability to transfer this amazing soundtrack to your favorite listening device is something I wish more releases did and I applaud Cult Epics for making that possible. A must own for fans of extreme cinema, Cult Epics should be saluted for taking such risks and releasing such fine art!

Movie Rating: 4 out of 5
Blu-Ray Rating: 10 out of 10

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Posted by Dedman

Writer for House of Tortured Souls website, Coffin Cuties & Digital Dead Magazines, Podcast Host for The Calling Hours & Owner of Slit of the Wrist Fx

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