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Death King, The (1990)
Movie Review by Professor Corpse Rot

Death King, The (1990) This film is brought to you by the controversial German director, Jorg Buttgereit. I had a difficult time understanding the premise to its maximum potential - but from what I've gathered, for each day of the week, a short tale is told with the theme of death or suicide present in each one. It makes reference to a religious chain letter in circulation from a group calling themselves "The Brotherhood of the 7th Day." Also, the reoccurring scene of a decomposing corpse against a black back drop is shown with the use of classical music in the background.

"Life is an illusion and becomes ridiculous and meaningless once we face it. The one security life has to offer is DEATH."

This piece was constructed with an obvious existential nihilistic approach. Life is treated meaninglessly and the idea of suicide is likened to vengeance. Each person has control over their destiny and this enables them to become "The King of Death." This concept is not without interest, but Buttgereit's delivery was lackluster.

Unlike his previous film, Nekromantik, the abstract elements present in this film are deep - I'm not sure I've fully grasped what the director was trying to convey. Certain scenes are splashed together and inconsistent. I partially blame the uncut copy I viewed for its poor use of subtitles - if I had a more coherent version, it surely would have been easier for me to piece together the meaning of certain segments.

If I was to accurately judge this movie I would say that it's mostly boring and unprovocative. Buttgereit doesn't spell the message of his film out to the audience, and whatever feeling you're left with after watching Der Todesking is the right one. There are no definitive answers.

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