Rent The Cremator (1968)

4.0 of 5 from 95 ratings
1h 35min
Rent The Cremator (aka Spalovac Mrtvol) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
'The Cremator' has been described in many ways - as surrealist-horror, political allegory, a pitch-black comic satire and a darkly disturbing tale of terror. This unique cult film, a brilliantly chilling mix of Repulsion and Dr. Strangelove, is set during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia and built around a remarkable performance by Rudolf Hrusinsky as the titular cremator. Proud of his mastery of his trade, Mr. Kopfrkingl's perverse and deranged fantasies gradually lead him towards offering a final solution for the 'salvation of the world'.
Actors:
, , , Milos Vognic, Zora Bozinová, , , , , , , , , , , , , Jana Sulcová, Jan Rericha, Oldrich Vízner
Directors:
Voiced By:
Josef Kemr
Writers:
Ladislav Fuks, Juraj Herz
Aka:
Spalovac Mrtvol
Studio:
SECOND RUN DVD
Genres:
Classics, Comedy, Drama, Horror
Countries:
Czechoslovakia, Classics, Comedy, Drama, Horror
BBFC:
Release Date:
10/04/2006
Run Time:
95 minutes
Languages:
Czech
Subtitles:
English
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
B & W
Bonus:
  • Introduction to the film by the Quay Brothers
BBFC:
Release Date:
11/12/2017
Run Time:
100 minutes
Languages:
Czech
Subtitles:
English
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
Colour:
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
(0) All
Bonus:
  • Filmed introduction by the Quay Brothers
  • The Junk Shop (1965) - Juraj Herz's debut short film presented for the first time on home video
  • New and exclusive audio commentary by Kat Ellinger
  • The 2017 Projection Booth podcast on the film, co-hosted by Mike White and Samm Deighan
  • World Premiere

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Reviews (3) of The Cremator

Astonishing Masterpiece from the Czech New Wave - The Cremator review by CP Customer

Spoiler Alert
17/03/2008

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.

4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

The Smile of Evil. - The Cremator review by NC

Spoiler Alert
03/09/2018

We gradually discover that Kopfrkingl is not the faithful, virtuous citizen he'd like the town to think he is. He visits brothels and has regular VD check-ups, whilst boasting that he never touches anyone but his wife ("my angel"). He's miserable when people are happy at the funfair, but practically coos with pleasure at the gore of the waxworks. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the cremator thinking his work helps to free souls from an imprisoned body - according to him it says as much in the holy book of Buddha. But the film follows the steps taken from that position to the madness of Kopfkingl considering himself the next Dalai Lama for performing the beneficial service of cremating thousands of people in mere minutes, freeing all those souls.

Rudolf Hrusinsky is remarkable. Oily and banal, arrogant and dishonest, it takes only a drop or two of poison in the ear to turn him into a Party member of the invading forces, and become the cremator-in-chief.

Some of the surrealism and rapid intercutting is a little disconcerting, especially at the start of the film (it's no surprise to learn that Herz worked with Svankmajer) but there is real style in the way in which one scene slides into the next without the viewer realising for the first second or two that it is a different time and place.

It's the blackest of black comedies. It's the creepiest of noirs. I'll never again be able to see the smile on a Buddha without also thinking of the cremator's insidious grimace.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Brilliant and relevant to today - The Cremator review by TE

Spoiler Alert
15/10/2018

A remarkable satire on the darker aspects of human nature.

It's a film that comes across as rather disjointed in the first sequences, but it gathers pace and power as it goes along. When it ends it pays to go back to the start to appreciate the narrative in the light of what you know by the end (hope that makes sense!).

Ominously relevant to the world right now, sad to say.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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