Schramm: Into the Mind of a Serial Killer (1993)
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Audience Reviews for Schramm: Into the Mind of a Serial Killer
The first thing that strikes me about Jörg Buttgereit's 'Schramm' is the sleaziness in the film quality. The film stock adds to the overall dirtiness of the picture itself and it works very well in conjunction with the film's premise. 'Schramm' is not an exploitation film in the slightest, I think it's quite an insightful examination into the mind of a serial killer, like 'Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer' before it. The film has many, many disturbing qualities about it and it's not for the faint of heart. It has that same sort of 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre', get-under-your-skin quality about it that makes it incredibly seedy, incredibly dirty and incredibly psychological. It works on a whole different level to films that feature nothing but a ton of gore and goes a lot deeper into your brain and has a nasty after effect on you that you can't get away from easily. Jörg Buttgereit's 'Schramm' is an unflinching and unrelenting look into the mind of a serial killer. It is a tale of obsession, of dirt, depression and desperation. The film itself doesn't really have a premise that is easily described, it is more of a film that one must experience or endure rather than to sit down and watch it like any normal film. Particular scenes in the film are more disturbing than others. The one that sticks into my head more than any other is Schramm putting nailing three nails into his penis whilst having a flashback to a moment in his life when he had sexual intercourse with a corpse, one of his victims. Another is within the first few minutes when he is visited by two Jehovah's Witnesses. He invites them into his house, seemingly interested in what they have to offer, even goes so far as to offer them cognac and coffee, and then slits the male Jehovah's Witness' throat with a dirty knife and then strikes the female Jehovah's Witness several times in the head with a hammer. The film is full of subtle disturbances. Overall, the film is a true to form, quality art film with a serious message. I'm not exactly sure what that message is but I'm sure that behind all of the violence and disturbing scenes there is a deeper meaning. One cannot believe that this film was made for the simple reason that it wanted to show off as much violence as possible, like an exploitation film. Is this film an exploitation film? Absolutely not, it's a film with a message. It doesn't really have a story though, as I said, it's just something you have to watch to understand. The film is also very short and to the point, it doesn't dance around flapping for a few hours before it shows what's going on, and in a way it does leave you quite cold. It is a very nihilistic film that asks the question, 'who are we to watch a film like this?'. One can consider that there are some deep, existentialist themes in this film too. It is a film worth talking over with your friends after a viewing. To sum up, its not a film for everyone but worth checking out if your in mood for something a little different.
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