The Cremator Blu-ray
Comedy / Crime / Drama

The Cremator

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.

"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 Crematoris 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, 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


Production Year: 1969
Region Code: Free
UK Rating: 15
Running Time: 100 mins
Number of Discs: 1
Language: Czech
Subtitles: English
Audio: 2.0 Dual Mono LPCM/24-bit
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Colour: Black & White
Director Juraj Herz
Cast Rudolf Hrusínský
Cast Vlasta Chramostová
Cast Jana Stehnová


  • The Cremator (Spalovač mrtvol, 1968) presented from a new HD transfer from original materials by the Czech National Film Archive
  • Filmed introduction by the Quay Brothers
  • Audio Commentary by writer and film historian Kat Ellinger
  • Juraj Herz’s short film The Junk Shop (Sběrné surovosti, 1965) 
  • The Projection Booth podcast with Mike White and Samm Deighan
  • Booklet with an essay on Herz and the film by writer/producer Daniel Bird
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Original soundtrack in Dual Mono 24-bit LPCM audio
  • World Premiere on Blu-ray