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The Cremator

Spalovac Mrtvol
1969 / 95m - Czechoslovakia
The Cremator poster

A film with an interesting premise, but it never quite fulfilled its promise. A cremator gone mad during WWII and a director with an eye for styling sounds like a perfect mix for an off-kilter horror flick, but somewhat I'd hoped for something a bit weirder and more explicit, instead, the film offers a slower and more subdued experience.

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Karl Kopfrkingl manages a big crematorium in Prague during the Second World War. He loves to talk about his job and often loses himself in monologues, which isn't entirely healthy. The more he thinks about it, the more he believes that cremation sets the souls of the dead free.

Hrušínský is pretty great in the lead role, the rest of the cast is also decent, but not half as memorable. The black-and-white cinematography is nice, and the premise of the film is promising, but then the film itself is a tad slow and the finale isn't half as impressive as I'd hoped it would be. Intriguing, but ultimately a tad disappointing.