Kopfrkingl enjoys his job at a crematorium in Czechoslovakia in the late 1930s. He likes reading the Tibetan book of the dead, and espouses the view that cremation relieves earthly ... See full summary »
A wounded criminal and his dying partner take refuge at a beachfront castle. The owners of the castle, a meek Englishman and his willful French wife, are initially the unwilling hosts to ... See full summary »
After a long journey, Philip arrives at the Usher mansion seeking his loved one, Madeline. Upon arriving, however, he discovers that Madeline and her brother Roderick Usher have been ... See full summary »
A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.
Kopfrkingl enjoys his job at a crematorium in Czechoslovakia in the late 1930s. He likes reading the Tibetan book of the dead, and espouses the view that cremation relieves earthly suffering. At a reception, he meets Reineke, with whom he fought for Austria in the first World War. Reineke convinces Kopfrkingl to emphasize his supposedly German heritage, including sending his timid son to the German school. Reineke then suggests that Kopfrkingl's half-Jewish wife is holding back his advancement in his job. Written by
This film is hypnotic. The soothing voice of the lead character, coming out of his cherubic always sweetly smiling face, almost lulls the viewer into a serene calm--if not for the fact that we know in our guts that this is the calm a cobra induces in its prey before the kill. This is, after all, Czechoslovakia on the eve of being taken over by Hitler, and the main character runs a crematorium. We know what is coming next. And yet, we cannot take our eyes from the screen; we are filled with foreboding.
Like the best of Fellini, the director, Juraj Herz, frames virtually every scene perfectly; a collection of stills taken from this black-and-white masterpiece could fill a photographic art gallery with a distinguished collection indeed.
How could the holocaust ever have happened in the middle of the most "civilized" culture in the world, the cradle of elegant music? How could rational "civilized" human beings have abetted this monstrosity? This film provides a fable that can help us answer these most important questions. But do not think this movie is some boring treatise on the banal roots of evil. It is a very entertaining horror film that will keep you spellbound.
24 of 26 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?