Premutos: Lord of the Living Dead (Premutos – Der gefallene Engel) (1997) (106 minutes)
Directed by Olaf Ittenbach.
aka Premutos: The Fallen Angel
Written by Olaf Ittenbach.
Starring André Stryi, Christopher Stacey and Ella Wellmann.
Premutos, the first of the fallen angels, even before Lucifer himself, was incarnated in the flesh to spread disease, envy, death and sin amongst the world of the living…and the dead. His defeat in 1023, led to the discovery of an unholy book prophesying the legacy of Premutos in 1942, by a peasant who wanted to learn the secret to eternal life.
Throughout our history Premutos has been resurrected; sacrificing the flesh of his own son to step into the world. His son is the sacrificial lamb. And his human form will be taken away from him, to show his true nature that will overcome death in the name of his father. He will clear his father’s path, and he will head his armies of the dead. He will be immortal. He will suffer the trinity of evil. Unholy desire. Eternal torture, and the metamorphosis. He will be invocated and reborn. Now the book has been rediscovered…
“For centuries, the secret of an ancient legend was kept hidden. It contained the legacy of the mystery of life and death. It was the book about the resurrection of the anti-god Premutos.”
With a bodycount of 139 (declared proudly during the end credits), Olaf Ittenbach’s Premutos: Lord of the Living Dead is a low budget splatter masterpiece, hindered only by the awful dubbing, featuring the voice acting talents (or lack thereof) of director J.R. Bookwalter (The Dead Next Door), that was given to its North American release; courtesy of Shock-O-Rama.
There were also lines of dialogue in the dub retained from the original soundtrack that were not subtitled. Or rather, they were subtitled, but not in English. Yet, if my synopsis above is any indication, Premutos is a difficult movie to follow regardless; even with these soundtrack/transfer oddities.
Frequently throughout Premutos the timeframe would jump from century to century, with no immediate discerning link until the final act. But you won’t care, for Premutos is less about the overall story, and more about the generous amount of splatter that will hit your television screen.
The titular fallen angel is capable of resurrecting the dead; creating an army of flesh-eating zombies that contributes to the overall bodycount. Premutos: Lord of the Living Dead thrives on gore! It is, after all, directed by the same mind that conceived The Burning Moon five years earlier; an equally violent splatter film. Blood, guts, dismemberment, decapitation, castration, evisceration…and a dark sense of humour! Premutos has it all.
I ♥ splatter films. Classics like Re-Animator (1985), Bad Taste (1987) and Evil Dead II (1987) always expertly blended obscene amounts of crimson with just the right amount of slapstick comedy. Premutos hasn’t got this formula 100%, but it’s a close imitation…even with the bad, but hilarious quips from J.R. Bookwalter and company throughout the nonsensical English translation. Premutos could also be even gorier than Braindead (1992); aka Dead Alive.
Long since out-of-print, this 2002 Region 1 release from Shock-O-Rama (E.I. Independent) is still worth your time…if you can find it. Along with the the dreadful, albeit fun English language dub comes the original German soundtrack. Don’t get too excited however, as there are no English subtitles. The inclusion of the original soundtrack is welcome, but only for German speaking audiences.
But wait! To make up for this odd omission, Shock-O-Rama have included the imaginatively entitled ‘Making of Premutos’ featurette, along with a collectors booklet, which was well worth the trade I made for this DVD a few years back on Cult-Labs.
Regarding the ‘Making of Premutos’, Olaf Ittenbach speaks candidly of the experience he had creating the film and how many of the SFX were created; often molded by his own hands in his kitchen. Premutos was also to feature a much higher bodycount than depicted in the final cut, but budget constraints prohibited further splatter.
With Premutos: Lord of the Living Dead, Olaf Ittenbach has managed to create a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously; instead opting to bring humour to the violence portrayed onscreen. It is grosser, nastier, gorier than most splatter films, and likely done on a much smaller budget too. If you enjoy video violence exaggerated to the extreme, and your humour as black as the night sky, look no further than this fallen angel.