Length: 100 minutes
Special features: 44 minutes
Sound: 2.0 Dual Mono LPCM (48k/16-bit)
Black and white
Original aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Blu-Ray: BD50 / 1080 / 24fps / Region ABC
Blu-Ray RRP: £19.99
Release Date: 30 Oct 2017
Second Run BD009
Presented from new HD materials, Second Run presents a special Blu-ray edition of one of its most enduringly popular titles – Juraj Herz’s The Cremator.
The Cremator has been described in many ways – as surrealist-inspired horror film, as an expressionistic political allegory, a pitch-black comic satire and as a dark and disturbing tale of terror.
This brilliantly chilling film, a unique mix of Psycho, Dr Strangelove and Repulsion, is set in Prague during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. It tells the story of one Karl Kopfrkingl (Rudolf Hrušínský), a professional cremator, for whom the political climate allows free rein to his increasingly perverse and deranged impulses for the ‘salvation of the world’.
Now more chillingly prescient than ever, The Cremator also contains another of master-composer Zdeněk Liška’s brilliantly inventive film scores.
Presented from a new HD transfer this region-free Blu-ray special edition includes Herz's rarely-seen 1965 debut short film The Junk Shop (Sběrné surovosti), a new audio commentary by Kat Ellinger and a filmed introduction by the Quay Brothers.
• Presented from a new HD re-master and transfer from original materials held by the Czech National Film Archive.
• Juraj Herz’s short film The Junk Shop (Sběrné surovosti, 1965)
• Filmed introduction to The Cremator by the Quay Brothers
• Audio Commentary by Diabolique magazine editor-in-chief Kat Ellinger
• The Projection Booth podcast with Mike White and critic Samm Deighan
• Booklet with an essay on Herz and the film by writer/producer Daniel Bird
• New and improved English subtitle translation
• Region Free
• World premiere release on Blu-ray
Directed by Juraj Herz
Screenplay - Ladislav Fuks and Juraj Herz
Based on the novel by Ladislav Fuks
Cinematography - Stanislav Milota
Editor - Jaromír Janáček
Music - Zdeněk Liška
Production Designer - Zbyněk Hloch
Sound - František Černý
Rudolf Hrušínský - Karel Kopfrkingl
Vlasta Chramostová - Lakme
Ilja Prachař - Walter Reinke
Jana Stehnová - Zina
Jiří Menzel - Dvořák
Miloš Vognič - Milivoj
Juraj Herz's chilling and twisted Morgiana is also available.
A DVD edition
of The Cremator is also available.
1972 Sitges Film Festival Winner
Best Actor - Rudolf Hrušínský
Best Cinematography - Stanislav Milota
"From the opening seconds I fell under the spell of this curious mantra of death. There's too much to recommend... Both ludicrous and malevolent, The Cremator is an irresistibly septic meditation on death and the hideous lure of fascism. I've never seen a film display such morbid euphoria"
Peter Strickland – director of Berberian Sound Studio and
The Duke of Burgundy
"In addition to the astonishing visual inventiveness there is also a ferocious sense of humour in the details... Disorientating, disquieting and darkly humorous, The Cremator remains one of the most richly resonant celluloid nightmares" Virginie Sélavy, Electric Sheep
"The Cremator is one of the most memorable films of the 1960s Czechoslovak New Wave, though its macabre humour and lacquer-black sensibility have tended to set it apart from the movement’s gentler films" Sight & Sound
"The Cremator has a formally inventive nightmare texture which is still striking almost four decades later"
Senses of Cinema
“An enjoyably strange, undoubtedly original and occasionally terrifying film” Channel 4 Film Guide
"Darker and eerier still is Juraj Herz's surreal political chiller The Cremator, made as the Prague Spring was being crushed. Set during the Nazi occupation of Czecholsovakia, it's a deeply unsettling portrait of almost banal evil, centring on the extraordinary performance of Rudolf Hrušínský as the demonically perverted cremator with unique plans to save the world" Wally Hammond, Time Out