The closest thing to a Hungarian film I’ve ever seen before an hour and a half ago is some highlight clip of Ferenc Puskas. So it was with some trepidation that I decided to check out Gyorgy Palfi’s Taxidermia. I was right to be scared but just not quite how I imagined it.

First off, its quite a brilliant film, just that its also a pretty grotesque one at the same time. Taxidermia is a look at man through the course of 3 generations, from a sex obsessed soldier to a champion speed eater and finally, the taxidermist that the title alludes to. Its a look at man’s instincts and his savagery and it pulls out all the stops. Amon Tobin’s score also gives the film a good bit of tension and style.

Graphic is the first thing that pops into my head when I think of the film. Its beautifully shot, with really wonderful colors and contrast and it definitely uses the visuals to drive the film along. You get to see things like a penis fucking a hole in the wall though, not really something I was expecting. There are a lot of really pretty scenes that are also really disturbing and gross. In the first act, you see a guy porking the carcass of a pig as he fantasizes that he’s fucking all these various women. Its sick but you don’t feel disgusted per se. At least I didn’t, it just felt strangely watchable and very compelling. Or maybe I’m pervy. Whilst the imagery is awash with perversion, it didn’t feel like it was for perversion’s sake. To put things into context, its sort of like a nature documentary, just that the imaginations of man come into play.

The blood and gore is there but it always has been, just that we tend to choose to live lives where we pretend we’re no longer brutal and animalistic. Its the butchers who face up to chopping up carcasses. Or the forensics doctors that stare death in the face. Or taxidermists who put make up on dead people. No we’re the evolved, cultured version of humanity that wears nice suits and goes to church. We’re not monkeys. We’re people, with feelings. Not blood and guts that walk.

If you like eating meat, this is perhaps one film that could make you vegetarian. A film that reminds you of the brutality of canivorous consumption. The similarity between man and animal. Our mortality. I for one, am still gonna enjoy eating my meat.

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