Monday, February 7, 2011

Taxidermia (2006)


Written by György Pálfi & Zsófia Ruttkay
Directed by György Pálfi
Based on short stories by Parti Nagy Lajos

This import follows three generations of Hungarian men during critical times of their lives.  The first sequence follows a lowly and slow-witted military private who has a very strong (and very graphic) fantasy life.  When he's not performing menial jobs for his asshole of a lieutenant or burning himself with his weekly candle rationing, he is usually engaged in one sick sexual fantasy or another.  In one instance (that blurs the line between fantasy and reality), he has sex with a pig carcass while dreaming about his lieutenant's wife...and 9 months later, she gives birth to a baby boy.

Complete with pig tail.

The repugnant pig-tailed bastard grows up to become a competitive eater, his life transforming into a grotesque cycle of eat-vomit-eat.  This revolting cycle somehow leads to a wife and child--though, granted, not the cream of the genetic crop.

Though spawned by girthy parents, this child grows to be a pale and sickly looking specimen, who has eschewed the world of speed eating in favor of taxidermy.  He cares for his morbidly obese father and his feline companions with more than a little resentment, although it later becomes obvious that he has nothing else to live for.

I'm not really sure what to say about Taxidermia.  I can offer a rough plot synopsis, but I'm still not sure what it's about.  I can tell you that it's supposed to be a dark comedy, but I can't tell you what's supposed to be funny about it.  I can tell you that it's artistic and disturbing, but that doesn't necessarily add up to great entertainment--at least not 90 minutes worth.

The plot is minimal, and although the visuals are interesting, it's difficult for eye candy (whether sweet or sour) to hold attention for so long when there's nothing else going on.  This movie has sometimes garnered comparisons to the work of Alejandro Jodorowsky, but those comparisons are shallow at best.  Jodorowsky creates images of beauty, sometimes using ugliness as his media, and uses a comprehensible narrative to string them together.  Here, it is all ugliness, viscera for the sake of viscera, with only the slightest thread of narrative to lead the way. 

Only the final third of the film, for which the movie was named, was of any real interest to me, with its aspects of body horror and shocking finale that takes body modification to a whole new level.  Were this last segment a short film in and of itself, I would be obliged to give it a favorable review.  But as a whole, Taxidermia was 60 minutes of prologue too long, and recommended only to the most hardcore of arthouse aficionados.  However, if you've ever wanted to see a man shoot flames out of his erect penis, then this is the film for you!

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I probably just don't "get it".  Those of you that do get it, maybe you can explain to me what you liked about this flick.  But in the meantime, I'm going to go watch El Topo or Holy Mountain again.

Not Rated
91 Minutes



  1. you and me both, brother zombie. you and me both.



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