The Film (3.5/5)
Cult Epics have spent the last 2 years releasing the 4 feature films by director Jorg Buttgereit in spectacular Blu-ray editions that have seen the films looking better than they have ever looked likely ever before. It has been quite some time since the release of the third entry (Buttgereit’s second feature)in their Blu-ray release series Der Todesking, and they have finally concluded their release series with the director’s serial killer epic Schramm. They have also released concurrently with the Schramm Blu-ray a box set of all 4 features in one collection entitled Sex Murder Art.
Schramm as of this writing (April 2016) is the final feature film by director Jorg Buttgereit. Buttgereit started his feature film career in the late 1980's with the infamous 8mm shot arthouse-horror film Nekromantik, and followed that up over the next half decade with Der Todesking, Nekromantik 2, and Schramm before ending his feature film career for the world of radio, TV, and the stage.
Schramm follows the last days of the infamous "Lipstick Killer" Lothar Schramm. As the film opens he is painting over some blood splatter in his apartment, the result of the last murders he committed in his residence. However, as he paints he falls off of his ladder and damages his skulls, he begins to bleed out onto the floor, and from their the film begins to go into a flashback over the last few days of his murderous life.
Schramm is nowhere near as over the top and grotesque as his earlier work, however, what is shown is certainly quite potent and extreme. The film has a dirty and disturbing atmosphere, and is paced quite leisurely which allows the viewer to truly get into the mind of Schramm. Performances across the board are quite solid with Florian Koemer von Gustorf truly feeling like a disturbed serial killer. Monika M. (Nekromantik 2) offers a solid turn, as Schramm's neighbor, and an object of his desire.
EuroCultAV.com has previously reviewed the other 3 entries in the Sex Murder Art box set in their single disc release form. As the Blu-ray’s included in the set are identical to their box set counterpart I have simply included links to the original reviews.
Schramm comes to Blu-ray from Cult Epics in a quite solid 1:85:1 1080p AVC encoded director approved transfer. The Blu-ray looks quite solid, but do not go in expecting perfection. The film was shot low budget on 16mm and it shows. That being said the natural look of the film is well reproduced, detail is solid, colors are natural, there is some damage from the source material, but that is to expected.
The audio is presented with a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track in German with optional English subtitles. The track is quite serviceable with dialogue and score coming through nicely.
Cult Epics have packed this one solid with extras, multiple short films, an introduction to the films, photo galleries, commentaries and more.
The Sex Murder Art box also includes CD soundtracks to all the films on 2 discs. The first disc contains Nekromantik and Der Todesking, and the second contains Nekromantik 2 and Schramm. There is also a comprehensive book of liner notes.
Schramm is not my favorite of Buttgereit's films, but quite an unsettling and disturbing film that is sure to please fans of extreme horror cinema. The Blu-ray looks as good as this film will probably ever look. RECOMMENDED.
The Sex Murder Art box is a glorious thing to hold in one’s hands. I know that all 4 releases have come out individually, but to have in one place a comprehensive, well restored set of Jorg Buttgereit’s films with book of liner notes, and CD soundtracks is something I wouldn’t have even imagined 15 years ago. To see a director of such extremes afforded such a respectable collection makes me quite happy, and I have to HIGHLY RECOMMEND the set.