The Cremator

The Cremator


Juraj Herz's film The Cremator has been described in many ways – as surrealist-inspired horror, as expressionist fantasy, 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 (Rudolf Hrušínský), a professional cremator, for whom the political climate allows free rein to his increasingly deranged impulses for the "salvation of the world".

"(...) from the opening seconds I fell under the spell of this curious mantra of death. There's too much to recommend: the brilliant detail and delirious wide angles of Stanislav Milota's cinematography, Zdeněk Liška's choral reveries, the brutal collage of the opening credits, Jaromir Janacek's wonderfully disconcerting editing and of course, Rudolf Hrušínský in elated form as the errant and suspiciously health-conscious Mr. Kopfrkingl, the titular Cremator. 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

Technical Specs

Director: Juraj Herz
Year: 1968
Duration: 95 min
Alternate Title: Spalovač Mrtvol