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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Blu-ray Review - The Final Member

By Adam Ruhl



When I was in grade school they took all the boys into one room to have “the talk” about our bodies. The teacher stood up in front of the class and said ‘we’re going to be talking about the penis, so I’m just going to say it now and you can get all the giggles out, penis’. I mention this story because, even to this very day, when I tell grown-ass adults about the ‘The Final Member’, they more often than not get very squeamish or go into giggle fits. Yes, this is a documentary about a penis museum and it is amazing so let’s get those giggles out of your system right now, penis museum, penis museum, penis museum.



I first saw ‘The Final Member’ at Fantastic Fest 2013 and it has subsequently been picked up for release by Drafthouse Films and will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on June 17th. Its subject is The Icelandic Phallological Museum; the world’s only museum devoted exclusively to the preservation and display of male genitalia. Founded by Sigurdur ‘Siggi’ Hjartarson, who has been collecting specimens for over thirty years, the museum boosts the bits of hundreds of animals but they have one major absence, a human specimen.


In all his years running the museum, Siggi has never found someone willing to donate their junk, not even after death. He is reaching retirement and he would like to see his collection complete before he dies. The film follows his efforts and tracks the lives and motives of two potential donors. One is a 90 year old famous Icelandic casa nova and the other is an American that’s so proud of his member that he would like to have it removed and displayed before he even dies.


The movie doesn't take itself too seriously but the filmmaker doesn't treat it as a joke either. I found the whole quest engrossing and the folks involved are some real characters. You really feel for Siggi and his life’s work as he readies a document to donate himself to his collection if he should die before completing his work. The film can be a little graphic; they show animal penises being boiled and cut open so be ready for that.  The Final Member is a great documentary and offers us all a chance to get the giggles out and ponder why something as normal as a penis remains such a taboo subject.


The Final Member can be ordered from Drafthousefilms.com. The disc includes a booklet about the museum and film, a digital copy of the film, and deleted scenes. The is also a “Total Package” Limited Edition which adds a Penis Donation form for the museum and “A limited edition genuine bull penis, preserved in a glass jar with wax seal and signed Certificate of Authenticity”. That’s correct, your very own bull penis to start your collection!


THE FINAL MEMBER  Blu-ray / DVD
Genre:Documentary
Rating:R
Running time:72 minutes, plus extras
Languages:English and Icelandic with subtitles
Year:2012
Available:June 17, 2014

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