The Final Member

2012

Action / Comedy / Documentary / Drama

74
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 91%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 63%
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 985

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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by planktonrules 8 / 10

I went there just a few days ago, actually....

Most of the time when I bring you an installment of my You Ain't Seen Nothing' Yet series, I talk about a comedy or drama. However, in light of my recent trip to Iceland, I decided to bring you my review of an extraordinarily strange documentary. And strange it truly is...and I cannot believe that I saw it!

The Final Member is an ultra-strange film about a man in Iceland who runs the world's only museum dedicated to penises. At the time this movie was made, the Phallological Museum was housed in the small town of Husavik. Although this collection of mammal penises is second to none, the retired school teacher and owner, Sigurður 'Siggy' Hjartarson, felt the museum was lacking one essential item...a human penis. This film is about his obsession to get someone to donate theirs to his collection.

Now when it comes to collecting human penises, you cannot legally just hack one off a dead guy--you need to have all the legal niceties taken care of before the donor expires. Such an opportunity arises early in the film. An elderly Icelandic man, Páll, decides to donate his genitals upon his death. And, since he's in his 90s, it doesn't look like it will be long before the museum receives this donation. But there are two problems. First, due to his advanced age, the penis is possibly awfully small and wouldn't be a welcome addition to the collection. Siggy insists on one at least 5 inches in length. Second, and even more strange, is that there is another person ready, willing and able to donate their penis right now...while he's still alive! So, while you clearly can see that Siggy is an oddly obsessed man, his obsession is clearly minor compared to the American named Tom and his insistence that everyone see his member now AND that he be able to visit the museum to see it himself! But Tom's odd story doesn't stop there. Through the course of the film he comes up with a comic book character based on his penis (which he nicknames 'Elmo') and he begins to drive poor Siggy crazy with all his demands and suggestions! So what will happen? Will Siggy be able to complete his museum? And, if so, who will the first donor actually be?

Canadian filmmakers Zach Math and Jonah Bekhor have crafted an unusual yet expertly made film. In fact, it's done quite well in film festivals and has been nominated for several awards. So, despite the strange and possibly distasteful subject matter (depending on your perspective), the movie is extremely well done. Subject matter aside, Math and Bekhor have done themselves proud and the film is definitely worth seeing. Not surprisingly, it does have a few scenes involving penises that make this a rather adult film-- so don't invite Granny or Father O'Malley to come over to watch the film with you!

By the way, if you are wondering how I learned about the film it's because I just visited the Phallological Museum less than two weeks ago! While visiting Reykjavik I learned that the museum had recently been relocated there and I took my family. There I saw information about the film at the museum and couldn't wait to see it when my trip was completed. And, since it's available streaming through Netflix, it didn't take long for me to see this quirky documentary. The film and the museum are well worth seeing (especially the gift shop), and since I assume most of you will never make it to Iceland, you can at least travel there vicariously with this movie.

Reviewed by cemaginnis 10 / 10

A very excellent documentary and window into a slice of life

WARNING POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT: While this is a documentary and the final outcome of the "drama" part of it was, and is, publicly reported all over the world as the "competition" was happening, I do make comments which indicate "who lost," so if you have never heard of this actual news item, this review may "spoil" that part of the story for you. Think of it as if you are studying the history of a small country which experienced a civil war and you had never heard about it. The outcome is a matter of public record and can't be changed, but you might be the type of person who enjoys "getting" there as 95% of the fun.

OK, so I just watched this documentary movie and it is very interesting and done in excellent taste. It gives considerable attention to history of the museum and it's founder, Sigurður Hjartarson. When the the drama of "who the first human donation would be" was actually happening, I was following it.

After watching this, I am very glad with how it turned out. In my opinion, Tom Mitchell was (still is?) a total jerk and the consummate ugly American with all of his conditions, planning and control issues, even to the point of proving medical need to an American doctor as to why he should have his penis removed. It is interesting that once it was all over, he did not have the procedure done. So... just which was bigger, his medical need, his ego, or himself personified?

Yes, he made me that angry. I HATE ugly Americans. They shame my country.

But, it is an very good watch. I highly recommend you check it out.

Reviewed by rockenkay 8 / 10

Seriously, except for a wince or two, I smiled through the whole movie..

A simple documentary about the life of two penis donors and the curator of a phallus museum..

While the penis is presented as the main character in the movie, the director underplays the stereotype attached to penises and lets the viewer follow along, free to have our own reactions without prompting from theatrics..

It's a straight forward documentary and while there are a few exposed penises, it's not a sexual movie,, it's a peek into the psyche of men who love their penises..

I gave it an 8 rating because I found it interesting and as documentaries go, well done..

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