The Final Member

2012 penis documentary

Rating: 16/20

Plot: Iceland has a phallological museum containing samples of every mammal. There's a penis of a sperm whale, the mammal that can boast the largest penis on earth other than mine. [Obviously, I'm not mature enough to even watch a movie about a penis museum.] There's a penis bone from a hamster, a penis so small that the poor little fur ball would be embarrassed to change in any locker room. And there's every penis in between except for one, the titular final member that museum curator Sigurdur (or something) Hjartarson craves--the penis of a human being. Procuring a human penis isn't as easy as you'd think, it seems, but one famous Icelander agrees to donate his upon his death and one American is interested in giving up his even before his death. This documentary details Hjartarson's struggles in getting his hands on that penis. [See, that's just a childish sentence to end a plot synopsis with. I should not have been allowed to watch this movie.]

Here are a few more signs that I am too immature to watch a movie about a penis museum:

1) Almost immediately (within the first minute anyway), I started giggling at the mention of a harbor seal penis.

2) "My dad has been collecting penises for as long as I can remember." Come on! I'm really expected to hear that sentence and not laugh? I'm not dead inside!

3) Another giggle when a news guy staggers a bit as he says "the only penis museum."

4) I couldn't hold it together during a scene where the Icelander, one Mr. Pall Arason, is having a plaster of Paris mold done of his penis. Seriously, this was like nearly-falling-off-the-couch laughter. A neighbor called to ask if I was all right.

5) Tom the American: "I've decided to donate my penis." You guessed it--more giggles. I can't remember a comedy that I've laughed at more than this, and I know I've never laughed this much at a documentary. Tom, who doesn't blink nearly enough, also said, "Even when I was a kid, I felt like I didn't want my penis to go to waste when I die." And that pretty much tells you everything you need to know about Tom the American.

6) I laughed again when an Indian (I'm guessing the nationality here) doctor describes Tom the American's plasticination desires.

7) Go ahead and guess what seeing the words "Rules for donating your penis" made me do.

8) A final shot where Hjartarson is posed, probably intentionally, behind a penis and balls statue that makes it look like the sculpture is actually his genitalia brought me a final chortle.

In my defense, this thing seemed like a mockumentary at times. Most of that was Tom the American's fault though. I mean, the guy named his penis (Elmo, of course), claims he's doing this whole thing for patriotic reasons, gets a tattoo to prove that he's doing this for patriotic reasons, has plans for a comic book starring his penis, bothers the museum curator with too many calls and emails, and sends pictures to Iceland of his penis in astronaut and Abraham Lincoln costumes. Surely, you think, this guy can't be real. And you see him with a doctor, explaining that "for a number of reasons [he has] decided to remove [his] genitals completely" which makes the doctor describe the Hippocratic oath. He then explains to the doctor that he "fractured" his penis, and the doctor, bewildered, actually says, "It has no bones." And when that doctor discovers Tom the American's tattoo? Oh, man. I dare you to not watch all that and not giggle. I fucking triple-dog-dare you! The guy from Iceland, a nearly-dead sort-of folk hero who was famous for being "the greatest womanizer in the history of the country" is also almost too good to be legit. Unfortunately, I watched this without subtitles, and although most of it is in English, Pall Arason's stuff is not. But you don't need words for his first appearance in this where this big music and heroic camera angles make him seem like the most important guy to ever walk the frozen ground of Iceland. And seriously, that scene with the plaster mold is downright hilarious. Arason is well into his 90s when this is all going on, and with the possibility that his penis could shrink in its old age to an unacceptable length, there's a race against the clock that really does manage to create a little bit of tension. The curator's an interesting dude. It's hard to believe that he started this phallological museum as a joke. Ok, it's not hard to believe that at all. But the guy takes this whole thing very seriously. He even carves penises. The last fifteen minutes of this are really stretched out, but on the "greatest day of his life" near the very end, it really is kind of touching to see his reaction. As strange and as comical as this documentary is, the story is fairly gripping. I really can't recommend this enough. You'll be hooked from the opening credits where the camera really takes you right in there, right up against all those penises.

If you're reading this, Mr. Hjartarson, I'd really like one of those sperm whale penis bow ties.

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