Kissed (1996) by Lynne Stopkewich
Alexandre Rodrigues da Costa
3 min

Eroticism As Transgression: A Survival Kit In Case You Fall In Love With a Corpse - Part II

3 min

Necrophilia and Impossible Love

"Would it be an exaggeration to compare a film where someone has sex with a corpse to a classic like 'Wild Strawberries' (1957)?" The question may not be one of comparison but of how the work was made, what its objectives are, and who its target audience is, as we can see in "The Corpse of Anna Fritz" (2015), directed by Hèctor Hernández Vicens, in which the corpse of a famous and beautiful actress, Anna Fritz, is abused by two young men in the morgue.

The.Corpse.Of.Anna.Fritz (2015)

Fig.1.  The Corpse Of Anna Fritz (2015) by Hèctor Hernández Vicens

The Corpse Of Anna Fritz (2015) Hèctor Hernández Vicens

Fig.2. The Corpse Of Anna Fritz (2015)

Cleaning Corpses

The first minutes of the film remind us of the engraving from the shunga book "Oyogari no koe," printed in 1822 by Utei Enba II and designed by Utagawa Toyokuni I (Fig.3). In this image, a cemetery guard returning from the temple finds his colleague, responsible for cleaning corpses, violating the woman he has always been in love with. If, in the engraving "Oyogari no koe," the class differences between the morgue attendant and the woman he loves prevent him from having any chance of realizing his love, something similar happens in "The Corpse of Anna Fritz," as the actress is also seen as inaccessible.

‘Gravedigger and corpse‘ (c.1822) from the series ‘Oyogari no koe (Call of Geese Meeting at Night)' by Utagawa Toyokuni

Fig.3. ‘Gravedigger and corpse‘ (c.1822) from the series ‘Oyogari no koe (Call of Geese Meeting at Night)' by Utagawa Toyokuni

The Corpse of Anna Fritz

This impossibility turns into possibility when the woman's corpse in the print by Utei Enba II and Utagawa Toyokuni I, and "The Corpse of Anna Fritz" become similar to sexual objects. In the case of "The Corpse of Anna Fritz," when the two necrophiliacs discover that the actress is not dead and seek, at all costs, to kill her to prevent her from escaping and revealing what happened to her. The premise of "Oyogari no koe" ends up being converted into a suspense film, where the survival of the actress depends on the skills of her profession.

Kissed (1996) by Lynne Stopkewich

Fig.4. Kissed (1996) by Lynne Stopkewich

still from Kissed (1996)

Fig.5.  Kissed (1996)

Kissed (1996) - mortuarium

Fig.6. Kissed (1996)

She Profanes Corpses

In "Kissed" (1996), directed and co-written by Lynne Stopkewich, based on Barbara Gowdy's short story "We So Seldom Look on Love," we follow the journey of Sandra Larson (Molly Parker), whose childhood fixation with death leads her to study embalming at a mortuary school and work at a funeral home, where she profanes corpses by having sex with them. Instead of opting for horror or suspense, Lynne Stopkewich created drama, according to the filmmaker, attempting to "put aside my own critical and moral judgments and allow myself to truly enter into the world of the characters”.

Kissed (1996) - necrophilia in film

Fig.7. Kissed (1996)

necrophilia in film - Kissed (1996)

Fig.8. Kissed (1996)

Continue reading in Premium and discover the Canadian erotic drama film Kissed (aka. 'Disney version of necrophilia')an analysis of the transgressive values of necrophilia, the necrophilic allegories in the iconography of "Death and the Maiden" and more...

In case you haven't read the first part click here or here for the absurd sexual violence of A Serbian Film from Srdjan Spasojevic