6. Schramm (1993)
Schramm is a brilliant, hallucinatory trip into the mind of a serial killer who is prone to nailing his penis to chairs (yes, you read that correctly). Jörg Buttgereit strikes again.
Though, as insane as it can get at times, this film has a surprising complexity and depth, made even more remarkable in its running time of just over an hour. There is no padding to be found here. Every scene holds significance, and one can’t help but admire the economy of its approach.
Within the first five minutes, we are given a solid basis to proceed on. One, the central character is a serial killer named Lothar Schramm, nicknamed the “Lipstick Killer” by the media. Two, he is critically injured and soon to be dead, lying semiconscious in a pool of white paint and blood. Three, he sustained this injury by falling off of a stepladder in his apartment, painting his wall to hide the arterial sprays of his latest victims. The victims, incidentally, were two Christians spreading the message of salvation on a door-to-door basis. The movie is filled with ironic twists like this, overflowing with merciless black humor, and the most savage twist is saved for its epic conclusion.
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