Freaky Flicks: The Final Member

Welcome to “Freaky Flicks”, a hopefully semi-regular new feature on the blog where I review and discuss movies…

A few weeks ago I did something I’d never done before in my entire 26 years of being alive – I went to the movies alone. I didn’t go by myself because I wanted to, but because I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to join me. The movie in question wasn’t a Hollywood blockbuster; It was The Final Member, a film about a penis museum and I guess my friends don’t quite have the stomach for viewing 1-and-a-quarter hours’ worth of footage of disembodied penii that I do.

The Final Member is a film about The Icelandic Phallological Museum, the world’s only penis museum and it’s founder’s quest for a taboo item for display. For over 40 years, acquiring mammalian penis specimens has been Sigurður “Siggi” Hjartarson’s (the museum’s founder and curators) great passion in life. The collection started with a bull’s penis and has grown to include the phalluses of hamsters, field mice, horses, reindeer,  blue whales, and much more.  But Siggi was still missing one crucial specimen that he believed would finally complete his collection – a HUMAN penis. The film follows Siggi on his quest to add this final member to the museum and explores the reasoning behind why 2 very different men, Pall Arason and Tom Mitchell, were vying to grant Siggi his wish.

Siggi, outside his famous phallus museum.

Siggi, outside his famous phallus museum.

Pall is the hometown hero, an 95 year old Icelandic man and local celebrity known equally for his career as an adventurer and his womanizing ways. His motivation for donating his genitalia to the museum is fairly simple – a mix of national pride and wanting his infamy to live on after his death. However the motive of the other would be-donor, American Tom Mitchell, isn’t so easy to stomach. Unlike Pall, Tom doesn’t want to wait until he passes away to donate his member to the museum. He’s ready to chop off Elmo (yes, he named his penis) ASAP in a bid to make his penis a full-fledged celebrity, going so far as tattooing an American flag on the head, designing a custom mirrored display case, and commissioning a promotional comic book starring Elmo as a super-hero. (I’m not going to give away the ending… but I promise Siggi’s wish is fulfilled.)

Pall Aroson,reminiscing about the hundreds of women he supposedly slept with.

Pall Aroson,reminiscing about the hundreds of women he supposedly slept with.

The Final Member is funny, weird and at times much more thoughtful than one would expect from  a film that features a variety of penises floating in jars of formaldehyde or mounted on wooden crests. It is definitely not for everyone, but it IS a film for weirdos who want to learn about other weirdos – and if you are reading this, I can only assume you are indeed a bit of a weirdo (and there’s nothing wrong with that!!!).

Tom Mitchell, showing off plans for Elmo's final resting place.

Tom Mitchell, showing off plans for Elmo’s final resting place.

You can learn more about The Icelandic Phallological Museum and browse the collection at their official website. The Final Member is available for pre-order on Blu-Ray/DVD from Drafthouse Films and is screening in select cities across the country. My local indie theater, Cinefamily at The Silent Movie Theater (if you live in LA, I highly recommend you check them out), put together their own mini phallus museum to celebrate the film and I took some picture, just in case you never happen to have the chance to visit a penis collection.

Sheep Penis

Sheep Penis

Goat Penis

Goat Penis

Raccoon Penis Bone

Raccoon Penis Bone

Elephant Penis Recreation

Elephant Penis (artist rendering)

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