Juraj Herz's film The Cremator has been described in many ways - as surrealist-inspired horror, as expressionist fantasy and as a dark and disturbing tale of terror. This brilliantly chilling film, a mix of Dr. Strangelove and Repulsion, is set in Prague during the Nazi occupation. It tells the story of Karl Kopfrkingl (Hrusinsky), a professional cremator, for whom the political climate allows free rein to his increasingly deranged impulses for the 'salvation of the world'.
Astonishing Masterpiece from the Czech New Wave
- The Cremator review by Doctor P
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You rated this film: 5
From the opening montage intercutting caged animals at a zoo with the humans observing them this is wonderfully assured and audacious cinema. The performances are chilling, the bleak, sharp visual style adroitly suited to the theme of the mundanity of evil, culminating in the efficiency of the Nazi holocaust. For me though, it is the remorselessly disorientating momentum of the editing that confirms this as one of the great works of the 1960s. How tragic that the Soviet invasion of 1968 killed such creativity.