(List) 20 Must-See German Horror Movies

9. Der Todesking (1990)


Directed by the great (and often controversial) Jörg Buttgereit, Der Todesking (aka The Death King) is an experimental film that explores the topic of suicide and violent death in the form of seven episodes, each one attributed to one day of the week. These episodes are enframed by the vision of a human body, slowly rotting during the course of the movie.

To get a better understanding of what to expect, “Tuesday” follows a man from his mailbox to a video store, where he rents an Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS-looking Nazisploitation film and talks of the suicide note he received in the mail with the clerk. He then goes home, grabs some beers, and watches as female Nazi soldiers cut off a man’s penis on his television. When his wife comes home with the groceries and complains that he doesn’t do anything, he shoots her, then puts a frame around the blood splatter that her brain and skull left on the wall. Sex. Murder. Art.

If you can handle the subject matter, Der Todesking is a cerebral and beautifully constructed film. Buttgereit has always exceeded in making the most repulsive act (having a threesome with a rotting corpse, for example) visually appealing. This film is no exception.

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