Reviews of movies and TV focused on women

Woman of the Dead (Totenfrau), why isn’t this labeled horror?

Anna Maria Mühe in Woman of the Dead

Woman of the Dead (Totenfrau) is a German language series filmed in the Alps of Austria. It’s labeled as crime and mystery, but it’s as bloody and gory as any horror series I’ve ever seen. There is a mystery involved, because Brunhilde Blum (Anna Maria Mühe) spends all 6 episodes searching for the hit and run driver who killed her husband.

Woman of the Dead (Totenfrau) begins when Blum becomes suspicious of her husband Mark, a cop. He’s out all night. She catches him using a new phone. They live on a winding road on a mountain. They have two kids and his father (a former cop) lives with them.

A refugee Mark previously helped, Reza (Yousef ‘Joe’ Sweid), lives with the family and is an assistant for Blum.

Anna Maria Mühe in Woman of the Dead
Blum at work on a dead body

Blum’s an undertaker. The title reflects her handling of dead people, but there are many other dead people in this story. There are so many dead people, some of them are introduced in flashbacks.

One morning Mark leaves home on his motorcycle and is run down by a black car right outside their driveway. The police investigation, lead by family friend Massimo (Felix Klare), doesn’t yield anything. Blum takes on a revenge/vengeance crusade of her own.

Blum finds a woman hiding in a tiny cabin based on clues in Mark’s new phone. She is Dunja (Romina Küper), a frightened woman Mark was helping escape from a terrible situation. She takes Dunja home.

Romina Küper in Woman of the Dead
Dunja draws masked figures

Dunja turns out to have been in the hands of a group of men who secretly import sex slaves to torture and kill them. Dunja can’t identify them because they wore masks.

Blum goes after one suspect after another in her search for the hit and run driver. Most of the people she suspects are part of the underground murder club. They definitely don’t want her to learn what they’re doing or to become public knowledge. So her life is in danger too.

There are no innocents in this series. It turns out just about everyone is capable of murder. You’re rooting for Blum because she loves her kids and wants justice for Mark, but she’s no angel herself.

The plot is full of twists. It’s also contrived and unlikely. There’s one horrific scene after another. The person who murdered Mark was obvious to me long before Blum figured it out. I kept wanting the series to be better, but it never was. The thing the series did well was maintain the tension and suspense as Blum fell deeper and deeper into trouble in her revenge quest.

If you watch this Netflix series, I’d love to hear your opinions about it. What did you think?

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6 responses to “Woman of the Dead (Totenfrau), why isn’t this labeled horror?”

  1. 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
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    The many details you presented about the story make it sounds VERY interesting…

    Not exactly the happiest of stories though…

    I haven’t decided what I’ll do about this series, but I will say this:

    Thanks, for your information 🙂



    around 2338 in HK.

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  2. “The plot is full of twists. It’s also contrived and unlikely…”

    The way you wrote about the plot, I find that combination of descriptions quite humorous 🙂

  3. Good series. Violent, but not a horror one. Intense till the end and very well filmed. Excellent acting by Mühe.

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