Feb 5, 2010

Posted in 1990s, James, Reviewers

SCHRAMM (1994)

SCHRAMM (1994)

“Today I am dirty, but tomorrow I’ll be just dirt.”-Carl Panzram

Directed by Jörg Buttgereit and starring Florian Koerner Von Gustorf and Monika M, Schramm tells the story of the last few days of the life of serial killer Lothar Schramm, the notorious “Lipstick Killer.”

The story is told through broken narrative, broken like this man’s mind. We see his life flashing before his eyes in snippets of memory out of sink. This “serial killer movie” stands out among the rest of so many of the other films dubbed “serial killer movies.” Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, M, Citizen X, Tenderness of the Wolves.                        

What we are interested in is Lothar Schramm, the man. From his perspective. We don’t see the police trying to solve the case, we see the victims through how he perceives them not how they perceive him.

Two preachers visit him on his fateful day, a man and a woman. He casually invites them in for a coffee or a cognac. He returns with the beverages and with force and viciousness he slits the mans throat and bashes the woman’s head in with a hammer. He places them in sexual positions and takes photographs of them. While climbing a ladder in order to paint over the blood covering the walls of his apartment, he falls to his death.

After helping his neighbor Marianne (a prostitute) out she repays him by buying him dinner. Upon arriving home he invites her in for a night cap. He drugs her cognac and she passes out on his couch. First he removes most of her clothing then he masturbates and takes pictures of her calling her a slut and other derogative names.

He dreams, he dreams of a dentist removing his eye. He dreams of his leg being severed. He dreams of a womans genitalia with teeth.

He hammers nails into his foreskin. This is the mind of a serial killer.

Clocking in at about 65 minutes, Barrel entertainment has done a fantastic job with the presentation of this DVD. A new digital transfer in 1.33:1 from the original 16mm negative. German with removable English subtitles, two audio commentaries. A 35 minute behind the scenes “Making of Schramm.” Two early shorts by Buttgereit, a gallery containing over 100 stills, theatrical trailers, liner notes, and more.

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