Schramm (1993) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Jörg Buttgereit
Starring: Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Monika M., Micha Brendel
Rated: UR/Region AB/1:33/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Cult Epics
As serial killer Lothar Schramm lies dying in his own blood, horrific memories of his miserable life of paranoia, self-harm and rejection flash before his eyes. A tragic look into the mind of a Borderline Personality Disorder psychopath.
Schramm is a 1993 film by the same director that gave us Nekromantik and it’s sequel. That alone should probably tell you ahead of time what you will be getting yourself into when you sit down to watch this slow moving, yet hard to watch at times film. A film that takes us deep inside the mind of a murderer during his last few moments in this world. Now that makes this film sound rather deep, and perhaps it kinda is. I like to think Jörg Buttgereit always has a deeper meaning in his work than just what we see on the screen. But it’s hard to look through the horrific stuff we see on the screen to see what his true point is. In this movie, Lothar Schramm is a simple man with complex problems, yet he seems like such a nice guy. He works as a taxi driver and lives by himself where he is happy to answer his door to strangers and kill them outright. As with many shy loner types he has a problem dealing with women so he drugs them and photographs their nude bodies for sexual stimulation. He then murders his helpless victims and so goes the life of a deranged serial killer. After taking a bad fall, Lothar is unable to move and is on the floor dying. The movie is then a glimpse into the last things that go on in his mind. This movie has got a major dirty feel to it and it’s one of those movies that makes you feel as if you are doing something wrong by watching it. That’s a look and a feeling that every Jörg Buttgereit film I’ve seen has also had. While not as good as the original Nekromantik, this film does hold some very good and nasty looking gore. Now it also has some bad looking effects as well, but overall I’d say the positives are far greater than the negatives in that sense. The story may be hard for the average movie-goer to follow, but if you are used to weird stuff I don’t think you’ll have too much of a problem keeping up with it.
Now let’s just get the film’s claim to fame out of the way now. During one scene we see our sick lead nail his uncircumcised penis to a table…I’ll give you a moment here to let that sink in…OK, so while that’s very VERY hard to watch, I’ve been told that the penis in question was actually real. Making matters even worse, a man who does that sorta stuff was who came in to do it. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t like seeing private parts nailed to a table, especially real ones. Anyway, there’s seems to be a lot of shock but very little point at times. And where Nekromantik was also sick in nature, it at least had a better story. And on the subject of this story, this one moves a little too slow for my taste even with it being a shorter running film. We have more questions than answers once everything is said and done and that might not sit well with some. If you are looking for some creative and artsy films, you probably won’t get more strangely odd and creative as Schramm. It isn’t always easy to watch but I still admire the creative path a movie like this takes regardless. The HD transfer here is of a 16mm negative and looks better than you might expect even if it isn’t perfect. As for extras, the disc ports over all the old stuff from the old Barrell Entertainment release and even tosses some new stuff on for a very well put together release by Cult Epics.
– 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
Quality of Transfer: 86%